Things That Matter

Love Her Or Hate Her, Netflix’s ‘Knock Down The House’ Gives An Electrifying Account Of AOC’s Political Career From Humble Beginning To Victorious Win

Before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the media obsession of the year, she was an unknown bartender trying to get 10,000 petition signatures to become a candidate for New York’s 14th Congressional District primary race run. AOC was one of many women who answered the call to run after Trump was elected in 2016.

Documentarian Rachel Lears followed four of those progressive women who challenged incumbent Democrats and Republicans for their Congressional seats–creating a New Congress. “Knock Down the House” is the emotional foil to every other depressing political documentary out there. It will inform, inspire and …yes, it will make you cry.

From the opening scenes of AOC getting ready for a political appearance, the undertone is pure feminism.

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AOC talks about how simple it is for men to run for office. They have two outfit choices: sleeves rolled up or not? Already, on appearances, it’s more work for women.

Witnessing AOC in the early days, going up against all odds, will make you weep.

@_americaG / Twitter

It feels good being on the other side knowing that all those knocked doors, late nights counting petition signatures, and passing out flyers are worth it for you, AOC. She made it for us.

Many folks thought that her win would lose power for the 14th district.

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Incumbent Crowley was already vying to become Speaker of the House, and had so much seniority, Ocasio had to convince folks her win wouldn’t be a loss.

While AOC was the only successful candidate in the documentary, the work isn’t over for the other women.

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Amy Vilela, whose 22-year-old daughter was denied medical care for lack of insurance and died in the hospital, is still speaking out for healthcare for all. Paula Jean Swearengin is running for West Virginia office once again in 2020.

Cori Bush is running for Missouri’s 1st congressional district again in 2020.

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Bush is a registered nurse, ordained minister, and mother of two teenagers. Bush was PAC Brand New Congress’s first candidate to support and they’re continuing their support for 2020.

We get to see a young AOC wearing sanitary gloves working her dang job.

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No doubt that millions of Americans are happy that AOC stayed in the race. She has used her place in Congress to call attention to the inequality that is hindering the growth of people in this nation.

AOC makes a life lesson out of people underestimating her.

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People think of waitressing and bartending as not a ‘real job,’ but AOC makes the point that it’s trained her to be able to stand on her feet 18 hours a day, take heat, and talk to people.

We also get to see AOC dogwalk Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth most powerful Democrat in Congress.

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Nobody expected AOC to win. Crowley had been elected since 1999 with no contender. For the first time in 14 years, he had a contender and she won.

Crowley underestimated AOC so much, he sent a representative to give his statements at the only town debate.

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We got to see stellar footage of AOC shutting it down–dragging Crowley’s vote for the Iraq war, for his position on moving the Israeli embassy to Palestine territory, and for being an absent elected official.

We also got to see AOC passing out flyers with her niece.

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Folks were walking by telling her niece that she was next, she’d be a Congresswoman one day. This is one of the most touching moments in the documentary. It is so important to keep the younger generation motivated and this is one of those moments that shows the hope for an inclusive future.

The most iconic moment was this:

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AOC trying to energetically take up space before a local news debate with Joe Crowley. May we all seek to take up space like AOC. We are in a time when we need to be purposeful in taking up space and searching out the space we need to be taking up.

Fans want to mandate every young girl to watch this film.

@Poppy_Elizabeth / Twitter

She did the dang thing. She went up against a white guy in power and actually unseated him without taking a single corporate dollar. Her path to Congress is empowering and important for so many young girls and boys of color.

We got some very cute home videos of AOC cuando era niña.

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We saw her playing piano in church and seeing her as the only brown girl in her choir. We saw her whole extended family chip in to get them into the burbs.

We got some tender moments reminiscing about AOC’s father, who passed several years ago.

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She says that her father knew her soul better than anyone else on this planet. When he passed, while she was in college, it turned her life upside down.

It was this event that forced her to quit her non-profit job and work to pay her student loan debt and avoid foreclosing on their family home.

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We can’t imagine the weight of that stress on top of the stress of campaigning (which by the way, is not a paying job) for her community. However, this story is one that is growing in commonality in our community. Young adults of color having to foot bills and hold down jobs to make sure that their families can stay in their homes. This is why we need more people like AOC fighting for families in Congress.

Five days after she was elected, we see her weeping on the steps of the Capitol.

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She tells us the story of how she elbowed her way into her dad’s road trip with the guys. The ended up at the Capitol and he told her that all of this belongs to us.

The documentary will literally rip the tears from your soul.

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We watch AOC in disbelief as she learns she won her campaign. No tears. The only tears we get from AOC are her reflecting on her father’s last words to her: “Make me proud.”

“Knock Down the House” might be inspiring the next wave of women to run for office.

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There’s no sugarcoating. These are the challenges faced by women who run for office. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Seeing AOC’s reaction to her win is worth every minute of the emotional journey in “Knock Down the House.”

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Have you seen “Knock Down the House” yet? Comment below with your thoughts!

READ: From College To Congress, Here’s What We Know About AOC’s Longtime Boyfriend

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Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Things That Matter

Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Photos: State of California, Gabriel’s Justice/Facebook

Gabriel Fernandez’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, is trying to have her murder conviction thrown out. The 37-year-old woman has been in jail since 2018 for the murder and torture of her eight-year old son.

Pearl Fernandez is petitioning the court for resentencing, hoping to have her first-degree murder and/or second-degree murder charges thrown out.

Fernandez is hoping to have her sentence vacated based off of new changes to the California state penal code. “I think that she feels that somehow maybe, you know, the special circumstance will be dismissed or maybe she’ll have a chance that the D.A. will agree with the petition,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said to CBSLA.

In June 2018, a judge sentenced Pearl Fernandez to life without parole. The judge charged Pearl Fernandez with the 2013 torture and killing of her eight-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.

On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez died after suffering a fatal beating from his mother. Pearl Fernandez was allegedly angry that he didn’t clean up his toys.

The details of Pearl and her boyfriend’s lengthy torture campaign against Gabriel Fernandez are both gruesome and numerous. Over the course of his eight-month stay with Isauro Aguirre, the couple broke his bones, burned him with cigarettes, pepper-sprayed him, and forced him to eat his own vomit as well as animal feces. And that is just a short-list of what they did.

The case came to national attention after the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez“. The documentary shone a spotlight on the insidious nature of child abuse. It also highlighted the systematic failures of the social services system that fails to protect children.

Elected officials have expressed their disgust at Pearl Fernandez for trying to escape justice by taking advantage of updated laws.

“The policies and directives from my office and these new laws created by the Legislature are emboldening murderers of children to apply to be re-sentenced,” said Deputy DA Hatami to City News Service. “This is completely unfair to the surviving families and their loved ones.”

He continued: “Families now have to relive all the horror that was perpetrated upon a small and helpless child. Based upon all the evidence presented at the grand jury, which was made public, and the jury trial, Pearl Fernandez was a major participant in the torture and murder of little Gabriel.”

It seems obvious by the fact that Pearl Fernandez is trying to get out of jail after torturing her son to death, that she isn’t remorseful about her actions.

Any other mother who killed her son would probably want to spend the rest of her life in jail instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.

If you believe someone you know is experiencing–or committing–child abuse, there are resources to help. Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. Staying vigilant could help save a child like Gabriel Fernandez.

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Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Entertainment

Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Courtesy Netflix

There is some very bad news for “Bridgerton” fans. On Friday, Netflix announced that Regé-Jean Page is not returning for the second season of the smash-hit Shondaland series. Regé-Jean Page played the dashing Duke Simon Basset in the first season.

Netflix told the world that Regé-Jean Page would not be returning to “Bridgerton” via a statement written in the voice of Lady Whistledown.

“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family,” Lady Whistledown wrote.

They also added: “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”

Apparently, it was Regé-Jean Page’s decision not to return to the multicultural costume drama.

Although the role of duke Simon Basset shot Page to stardom, he feels that it’s now time for him to move onto bigger and better things. In an interview with Variety, Page said that Bridgerton producers always told him that his role would be a “one-season arc” with a “beginning, middle, end”.

“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” said Page. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”

According to Bridgerton producers, the next season will largely revolve around Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey) as he tries to nab the love of his life.

Unfortunately, that storyline doesn’t seem quite as appealing to Bridgerton fans who loved to stare at Regé-Jean Page’s face for hours on end.

“Well, not sure what the point of watching this now,” said one disgruntled Twitter user. “We all know that Simon was the reason why most of us were watching this :/”

Fans of the book series, however, were much quicker to jump to Regé-Jean Page’s defense.

“Guys, each season is about one brother/sister, first season was about Daphne, second season will be about Anthony!” wrote another fan. “Simon won’t be the main character as he was. Accept Anthony and Kate [the new love interest]”. They added later: “The name [of the show] is ‘Bridgerton’ not Duke of Hastings.”

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