Things That Matter

Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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After leading a divisive campaign, newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro promptly issued executive orders targeting Brazil’s indigenous groups, the LGBT community, and minorities. The far-right leader ran on a platform where he stated he would overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation. In just his first week of office, Bolsonaro offered a glimpse of what could be the start of many far-right policies.

Hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro issued an order for that will make it impossible for new lands to be identified for indigenous communities.

In a devastating blow to indigenous communities, Bolsonaro issued an order to put the Minister of Agriculture (MOA) in charge of designating protected lands for indigenous people, according to The New York Times. That ministry has historically favored the interests of industries that want greater access to protected lands. It’s a move that’s seen as undermining the indigenous rights and environmental protections of countless people in these undeveloped areas. “Quilombolas,” descendants of former slaves, would also be affected by this move.

FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation), the department in charge of indigenous rights, oversaw these indigenous lands but Bolsonaro’s decree now places those responsibilities to the MOA.

There has been an outcry from many indigenous rights groups that say the order represents a threat to Brazil’s indigenous population. Protected lands for indigenous groups take up 13 percent of Brazil, much of which in located in the rainforest and with limited development.

He has continued to deliver on his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric by limiting their rights.

The newly created Human Rights Ministry will no longer adhere to the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community which could spell trouble for countless people in Brazil. The newly named Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights made no reference to LGBTQ+ rights in its priorities.

According to the AP, Damares Alves, the new human rights minister, didn’t acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community in her first address. Alves has previously said that “the Brazilian family is being threatened” by diversity policies. This new realignment and focus on human rights has caused fear and anger in the LGBTQ+ community that feels that the move will result in more discrimination.

“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that,” Symmy Larrat, an LGBT activist told the AP. “We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues.”

Many of his policies fall in line similarly with those of  U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both presidents have had hard stances on immigration, minority groups and an agenda filled with nationalist policies. President Trump tweeted praise of Bolsonaro’s inauguration speech, saying “the U.S.A. is with you!” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even attended Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony.

Similar to Trump, Bolsonaro has attacked the press and even placed restrictions on journalists at his inauguration. Reporters had to arrive several hours before the event began and weren’t allowed to move freely in the presidential palace limiting the scope of their reporting.

All these swift orders by Bolsonaro have rewarded the base that got him elected which some see as similarities of the early days of President Trump’s tenure. He’s made a big splash in his first days as President and has signaled even bolder acts to come.

His first few days in office might be an indication of what’s to come in  Bolsonoro’s term as president.

After years of recession, corruption scandals and a crime wave that led to record homicides, there was an outpouring of anger that elected Bolsonaro to the presidency. But now that Bolsonaro is elected, Brazil must anticipate what’s to come next and be prepared for which direction their far-right leader will take them. Whether it’s on issues like security, where he plans to loosen gun restrictions in Brazil to allow citizens to carry a gun for self-defense, or boosting the economy with plans of privatizing major airports and seaports, he’s sure to face some opposition.


READ: Brazil Elected A New President And People Across The World Are Comparing Him To Donald Trump

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After Defending Trump’s Racist Tweet, Kellyanne Conway Asks Reporter ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’

Things That Matter

After Defending Trump’s Racist Tweet, Kellyanne Conway Asks Reporter ‘What’s Your Ethnicity?’

Does the Trump administration ever take a break from being downright harmful and problematic? Apparently not. On Tuesday, Kelly Conway asked a reporter about his ethnicity outside of the White House after the reporter asked a question about Trump’s racist tweets last weekend aimed toward AOC and three other congresswomen of color. 

Now, critics and users online are calling out the counselor to the president for a question that many do not truly know what to make of.

In an attempt to defend Trump’s racist remarks, she ended up saying something problematic herself and dug herself into an even bigger hole. 

“Following up on the previous question, if the President was not telling these four congresswomen to return to their supposed countries of origin, to which countries was he referring?,” asked White House reporter Andrew Feinberg.

To which WH counselor Kellyanne Conway asked, “What’s your ethnicity?” 

Feinberg responds, “Um, why is that relevant?” Then Conway goes on to tell the reporter and the cameras, “My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.” The reporter tells Conway that his ethnicity is not relevant to the question he asked. 

Following his racist tweets from the weekend, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that his tweets were “NOT racist” and that he does “not have a racist bone” in his body. To which AOC responded in another tweet, “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.” 

According to People, Trump also told reporters that the backlash he received from his racist tweets “doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me. All I’m saying is if they want to leave, they can leave now.”

Instead of answering the reporter’s original question yesterday, Conway felt evidently provoked and reacted defensively by going on a tirade.

–Wich at this point, isn’t unusual or surprising from the Trump administration. 

“He’s put out all of tweets and he made himself available…,” Conway told the reporter. “He’s tired. A lot of us are sick and tired of this country –– of America coming last… to people who swore an oath of office. Sick and tired of our military being denigrated. Sick and tired of the Customs and Border Protection people I was with, who are overwhelmingly Hispanic by the way being … criticized.” 

The rest of (sane) America, however, is also sick and tired of Trump, Conway, and the rest of the Trump administration’s foolish behavior, racism, and bigotry. 

Feinberg spoke to CNN‘s Don Lemon to discuss the incident. “I was thinking that this is bizarre, I’ve been a journalist in Washington for about 10 years and I’ve never had any government official speak to me that way or ask such an inappropriate question.”  

Unfortunately, the White House reporter isn’t the only person who has felt this way during the Trump administration –– following his racist tweets aimed at four congresswomen of color, saying, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came… you can’t leave fast enough.” 

Lemon replied to Feinberg’s comment and said, “It seemed that she proved exactly what the critics of the president were saying by asking you that question, am I wrong?” To which the reporter responds that this isn’t the first time Conway has asked him an “inappropriate” or “irrelevant” question in response to one of his questions. 

CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza also put it perfectly: “That Conway actually uttered the words “what’s your ethnicity” to a reporter — and refused to drop her line of inquiry –– amid an ongoing racial firestorm sparked by Trump’s own willingness to tell non-white members of Congress to go back where you came from is stunning, even coming, as it did, from an administration that has repeatedly shown there simply is no bottom.” 

Since asking the reporter, “What’s your ethnicity?” Conway addressed it in a tweet saying, “This was meant with no disrespect. We are all from somewhere else ‘originally.’ I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity… Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA, and grateful to God to be an American.” 

People also took to social media to rightfully criticize Conway and the irrelevant and inappropriate question she asked the White House reporter.  

Folks on social media also shared their own personal instances when someone has asked coded questions about someone’s nationality and/or ethnicity. However, all while expressing that although these are often questions asked by anyone but a government official –– especially one working for the White House. 

Woman Shoves Celebrity Brazilian Priest Off Stage In Front Of 50,000 Catholics

Entertainment

Woman Shoves Celebrity Brazilian Priest Off Stage In Front Of 50,000 Catholics

Site Famosando / YouTube

In downtown São Paulo, July 14th’s Sunday service didn’t go quite as planned. The Canção Nova Community sponsored a youth conference and invited a celebrity priest to serve the final mass. Brazil’s most famous padre, Father Marcelo Rossi, was giving a homily in front of 50,000 worshippers when a woman suddenly pushed him off stage. The 32-year-old woman’s name has not been released, and she was immediately arrested. The priest is known for being vehemently homophobic and misogynist and had reportedly told the crowd that fat women don’t go to heaven before being pushed off the stage.

A woman pushed a homophobic and misogynistic priest off stage on live national television.

Apparently, the woman was able to sneak past security and get on stage in the middle of his homily. In a few seconds flat, she excitedly shoved the elderly priest off the stage. 

O Dia later reported that “She said that she wanted to come in to talk to him and that she was scared the moment she saw the security guards running after her. It’s her version, but anyone who sees the pictures sees that there is none of it [security guards running after her]. She says she got scared and pushed him at a time when she kind of freaked out, lost control, but she had no intention [of hurting him], she just wanted to talk to him.”

She could be seen smiling after the push, and immediately jumped off the stage.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Within a few minutes, the priest reportedly stood up and told the crowd, in Portuguese, that “the devil hates him” and “thanked Mary for deliverance.” There have been mixed reports about why she did it, along with mixed reactions.

The young audience watched in shock and then started to scream.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Minutes after the incident, the priest was back on stage to finish la misa. Almost immediately, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted out his well wishes for Rossi, saying, “All our solidarity with Father Marcelo Rossi. God looks [over] Brazil.”

The woman told reporters Monday that what happened was “between [Rossi] and I.”

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Her friends told police that she suffers from various mental disorders and that she was being chaperoned when she snuck away from the group. She told police that she has bipolar disorder. Rossi decided not to press charges given that he was protected by the Virgin Mary, and she was released that same night.

Brasileños everywhere were sharing their reactions–from horror to just pure laughter on social media. 

Credit: @rafaelqualquer / Twitter

Just so y’all know, Rossi is a Grammy-nominated “Latin singer,” and mega-producer of Christian music. He’s also a mega-homophobe. In 1998, he said, “A lot of ideas will change the day homosexuality is proven to be an illness.”

Given Rossi’s open, proud homophobia, some folks were applauding the woman’s actions.

Credit: @Sugar_Pockets / Twitter

Just five years ago, he shared misinformation to his millions of followers, saying, “Sex between man causes pain, if something causes pain, it can’t be a good thing.”

We don’t know who said it first, but The Internet estaba chismosando for days about this version of the story.

Credit: @Its_SuNnYzzZ_77 / Twitter

Unfortunately, the reason this rumor started spreading is rooted in body-shaming the mentally unwell woman, and mother of a 3-year-old. While feminist outlets clung to this story and ran, fortunately, Rossi has never said that.

Catholics started clapping back to the chismosas by pointing out the flaws in the story.

Credit: @KorusBarnes / Twitter

Every version of the story we found says the priest said, “las gordas no van al cielo,” which wouldn’t make any sense. Rossi wouldn’t be speaking Spanish on a national broadcast when the vast majority of Brasileños speak Portuguese. This just didn’t happen, basta.

Others who feel spiritually traumatized by the Church felt that Rossi deserved the push.

Credit: @May_2112 / Twitter

Of course, plenty of people from all sexualities, religious belief systems or none at all, came out as unable to condone assault of any kind. They argue that you can believe the Church needs to change to include equal opportunities for women, to stop hating on the LGBTQ+ community, and to stop supporting a culture of pedophilia, and also believe that assault is unacceptable. 

The Church released a statement saying, “The priest is well.”

Credit: @crinternacional / Twitter

“He was attended by the medical staff at the event and presided over the celebration to the end.” Rossi himself said that he felt minor pain, but “that’s normal.” He didn’t break any bones, and will likely continue making religious pop and homophobic statements for a long, long time.

READ: Catholics Are Upset With Pope Francis For Donating Money To Help Migrants In Mexico

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