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It’s Only March And We’ve Already Seen Several Racist Moments Against Latinos Go Viral

We’re not even three months into 2019 and we’ve already seen multiple examples of racism against Latinos go viral. Latinos continue to be fired from their jobs or harassed in public simply for speaking Spanish. The first ICE raid of a large employer in over ten years forever changed 100 immigrant lives. Despite Democratic control of the House, the federal government continues to expand ICE’s reach.

The 2020 presidential campaign season is underway. So many of us are looking to our politicians to change their rhetoric and put the safety of all Americans are the forefront. Here are the examples of racism our community has already experienced this year.

The latest example is that of a woman being harassed at a Walmart for speaking Spanish.

Credit: Dulce Nereyda / Facebook

According to the video, Nereyda was at Walmart and was speaking Spanish with her mother. That’s when this man spoke up and told her that she needed to stop speaking Spanish because she was in the U.S. Newsflash, viejito, English is not the official language of this country and, in fact, English is the language forced on the country by European colonizers. If you really want to show respect to this country, maybe start by learning it’s history before you tell people you can’t wait for Trump to use your tax dollars to build the border wall.

This lady swore at a manager at a Mexican restaurant in West Virginia for speaking Spanish.

Irma Dleon / Facebook

On February 16, a woman identified as Jill was recorded yelling at the manager of the Mexican restaurant she was patroning, saying, “English is our first language, so you need to speak English. Get the f*ck out of my country.” Several people came to the defense of the manager, who offered to pay for their food if they would leave. On her way out, Jill threw something at him and kept repeating, “illegal aliens raped me.”

POTUS giving the locos good material since 2016 apparently.

This line cook was fired after ten years of service for speaking Spanish.

“Image: Francisca Perez” Digital Image. NBC News. 5 March 2019.

Argentine Francisca Pérez was just telling (in Spanish) recently hired waitress Janet Ruelas-Nava that a dish was ready at Osteria Fasula in Davis, California, when the owner, Leonardo Fasula, fired her. Fasula became incensed when she accused him of discriminating against Mexicans and asked her if she wanted him to put burritos on the menu. “This is America. We speak English here,” he said.

This all happened in front of her son, who was just dropped off after the end of her shift.

@dimples_32 / Instagram

Later on, she said that he cried and told her, “I don’t know if he was saying that to you or to me.” The Center for Workers’ Rights in Sacramento has filed a complaint with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing on Pérez’ behalf.

Oh, and Donald Trump demanded FEMA give tornado victims in Alabama “A Plus treatment,” but Puerto Rico heard something different.

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

Meanwhile, while Puerto Rico was literally under water, he explicitly compared the territory to other states, “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!”

Yeah, you got an F on that one.

His favoritism for a red state over fire-ravaged California and brown Puerto Rico didn’t go unnoticed.

@chelseahandler / Twitter

Puerto Rico means nothing to him since the U.S. takes Puerto Rican money without offering the right to vote in federal elections. People were also out here tweeting that Alabama should stop “mismanaging their air,” as a jab to Trump’s ignorance around the California wildfires.

Trump declared a national emergency in February to divert tax dollars from different departments to fund his useless border wall.

Credit: @RepJimmyGomez / Twitter

Trump himself admitted, “I didn’t need to do this,” but that it would build his wall faster. This is a POTUS subverting American tax dollars and his own power to propel his 2020 campaign. Basura. He’s creating all the crises at the border and we know it.

In March, the GOP and 26 Democrats voted to expand Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) reach.

Credit: @icegov / Instagram

AOC’s fury is all to relatable in this tweet: “Where was the concern last week when 26 Dems voted for a GOP amendment to expand ICE powers rooted in the racist + false trope that Latino immigrants are more dangerous than US born citizens?”

Which means more money and second chances for North Carolina Sheriff Terry Johnson to harass Latino residents.

@WFMY / Twitter

In 2012, The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against Johnson for systematically and unlawfully targeting Latino residents at traffic stops, interrogation and seizures. ICE cut ties with him for discriminatory policing.

In January, ICE approved $2.8 million budget increase for staffing and upgrades at Sheriff Johnson’s county detention facilit to hold immigrants for ICE. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

The New York Times revealed systemic shortfalls in health care provided by Border Patrol.

@nytimes / Twitter

After two children died in Border Patrol custody in December 2018, The New York Times did a deep dive into negligence by Border Patrol. Migrants are often arriving with serious injuries and BP is not equipped to handle the crises coming in. Instead of funding medical care to save lives, the GOP wants to fund a wall.

This ICE facility detained a 24-year-old pregnant woman and four days later she prematurely gave birth to her stillborn baby.

@ncardenastx / Twitter

ICE isn’t even reporting it as an “in-custody death” because the baby was stillborn. Last year, Trump announced it would change the release policy for pregnant women and instead detain them, knowing the detention centers don’t have proper medical resources to care for expectant mothers.

This same facility is now holding this 72-year-old abuelito with Alzheimer’s in solitary confinement.

@RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

The family says that every time they speak with Noe, he’s even more confused, and keeps thinking he’s getting out the next day. The family petitioned to have him fight the case outside of the detention center. They offered to put him in solitary confinement. He also has cancer and diabetes. Basta.

You can call 956-547-1700 right now and demand they release Noe De La Cruz.

@RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

RAICES Texas is petitioning us all to fight for Noe.

Caption: “Stay on the line and tell the operator we are calling to demand that Noe De La Cruz (A035302758) gets released!

Solitary confinement is not a substitute for true medical care.”

As of March 6, 200 people detained in Texas immigration centers have the mumps.

@newsweek / Twitter

Why? Because as The New York Times reported, migrants are not being given even the basic medical care as they arrive. Migrants have said they were left alone in concrete cells with broken bones. Mumps is a highly contagious virus when not vaccinated against and the booming immigrant detention industry maximizes profit by sardining the tired and weary.

Four U.S. women were sentenced to 15 months probation for leaving food and water for migrants walking through the desert.

@ajplus / Twitter

If you try to do America’s job and keep people on our soil alive, you get a record. If the migrants were Canadians or Israelis, these women would have received an award. Nope. Morality doesn’t lie in the laws.

The U.S. is now forcing asylum seekers in lethal danger to wait out their court hearings on Mexican soil, further endangering their lives.

@FosteringGlos / Twitter

The ACLU reports that one Honduran woman who fled after her suegro threatened to kill her for being a lesbian is forced to wait her claim in Mexico, without any assistance. Honduras offers no LGBT protections. She’ll have to show up to the border on days of her court hearings, be granted no interpreter, lawyer, or opportunity to appeal.

After North Carolinians voted to end ICE cooperation, ICE retaliated with a 5 day spree.

@thehill / Twitter

North Carolina recently held local elections that put new Sheriffs on the maps—Sheriffs that publicly vowed to end ICE cooperation. Starting February 5, ICE targeted those specific three counties and detained more than 200 immigrants. The ICE Field Office Director even went on to say that if local police cooperated with ICE, you would have less people getting detained.

An advocacy group filed suit against ICE for their raid of a Tennessee meat processing factory.

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) / Facebook

In April 2018, ICE raided and detained 100 Latino workers, while dismissing the white workers without question. Six workers were deported, twelve left the country voluntarily, five are still in custody and forty have been released on bond. We’re rooting for The National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the law firm of Sherrard, Roe, Voigt & Harbison.

In mildly brighter news, this woman was finally sentenced for attacking this 91 year old abuelito.

foxnews.com / reddit.com

Remember this 91 year old abuelito who was just visiting his family from Michoacán, Mexico? His attacker, Laquisha Jones, has been sentenced to 15 years for elder abuse.

Remember this U.S. Border Patrol Agent who detained these two moms for speaking Spanish in Montana last year?

NBC News

Martha Hernandez and Ana Suda were detained for 40 minutes on May 16, 2018 simply for speaking Spanish. They were both born in the U.S. and are citizens.

The ACLU has since filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government and the Agent O’Neal for detaining them on the basis of race.

Brooke Swaney / ACLU of Montana via AP file

The ACLU’s statement reveals that, even though the women have lived in Montana for years, they’ve since been “shunned and harassed by other town residents.” Suda has even said now her own hija is afraid to speak Spanish.

READ: [VIDEO] This Latino Captured Racist Assault Of Subway Rider On Video, Then Detained Her Until Police Showed Up

An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

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An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

Twitter

A West Geauga High School teacher in Ohio is being investigated for using a racist image in class. The teacher showed students a meme of Dora the Explorer portrayed as an undocumented immigrant during an 11th-grade Advanced Placement government class. 

Multiple parents called the school district to express outrage and vented about the incident on social media. Some parents even pointed out that besides being offensive the information the photo was supposed to convey was inaccurate, according to Fox 8

The teacher was put on leave pending an investigation but eventually reinstated by the superintendent. 

An Ohio teacher uses a racist meme about Dora the Explorer to discuss voter eligibility.

The teacher used two photos to demonstrate voter ineligibility. One showed the mugshot of an alt-right man with a felon, the other showed Dora the Explorer with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “resisting arrest.” One of the upset parents, Stephanie Anderson, expressed that the lesson was inaccurate according to Fox 8. Anderson noted that undocumented citizens would obviously not be allowed to vote so listing their charges would be pointless. However, the offenses that are listed are not felons but misdemeanors. 

“I was outraged,” said Anderson, “Whether this teacher intended it to be a joke, something he found online it’s simply inappropriate and outrageous.”

“Seeing that white supremacist juxtaposed with a brown-skinned child who has a superimposed black eye, blood coming from her mouth with the offense of illegal border crossing and resisting arrest combined with 666 666666 is 100% inappropriate,” she said. “There are so many other more appropriate ways to get your point across.”

The Superintendent released a statement to parents. 

“We are investigating the matter related to the politically-insensitive slides allegedly contained in a teacher’s classroom presentation today. The teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation,” Superintendent Richard Markwardt, Ph. D wrote in a statement to parents. 

While the teacher was put on leave, Anderson was hopeful that the entire district understood the gravity of the situation. The mother, whose son was in the class, believes the classroom is not a place for a teacher to impose their personal political beliefs. 

“It’s not okay for either extreme,” said Anderson, “So whether you are very liberal or very conservative at either end of the spectrum, imparting your views on your students in a non-educationally beneficial way is unacceptable.”

The Washington Post followed up on the story and found that Markwardt had already finished investigating. He told the paper he recognized the inappropriateness of the imagery but didn’t think the teacher had any ill will and refused to terminate them. 

“I will not use what I regard as a lapse of judgment as the reason to damage the career of a good teacher,” Markwardt said. “That would be following one mistake with another.”

Anderson told the Washington Post that the school district has struggled with addressing diversity and inclusivity, but that she was satisfied with the school’s response. 

“I genuinely believe they’re taking measurable steps to ensure all the students in the district can come to school in an environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination,” Anderson said.

Markwardt said some individual staff members may require diversity training, but the district overall will continue to focus on the matter. 

“I perceive the use of the objectionable image as symptomatic of a general lack of attention to the diversity of individuals in a largely homogeneous school district,” he said.

The Dora meme is a decade old and you can thank Arizona SB 1070 for that. 

According to the BBC, the Dora meme first appeared in 2009 in response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s SB 1070 Bill, which would propose the strictest immigration laws in the country. The bill that allowed law enforcement to demand documentation from anyone they thought “looked” undocumented and made it illegal to be caught without papers would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. The meme was used to illustrate the effects of the law, which some members of the right championed. 

University of Cincinnati sociology professor Erynn Masi de Casanova told the Washington Post that using a meme in like this in class can legitimize and trivialize the real lives of Latinxs. 

“Because Dora is what I call a ‘generic Latina’ stereotype, a fictional character without any identifiable national origin, people may feel comfortable projecting their ideas about Latinos onto her,” Casanova said.

However, Casanova did point out one silver lining to the disturbing incident. 

“It is heartening to me that students and parents were disturbed by this image that dehumanizes and makes light of immigrants’ struggles,” she said. “It seems they are learning something about empathy in spite of this teacher’s efforts to discourage it.”

Some Colleges And Universities Offer Affinity Housing For Highly Diverse Spectrum Of Students, Including Women Of Color

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Some Colleges And Universities Offer Affinity Housing For Highly Diverse Spectrum Of Students, Including Women Of Color

@fairhousing / Twitter

The human race is no stranger to segregation. In the United States, Jim Crow laws and “separate but equal” doctrine kept people racially separated for decades. In Germany, there were the Nuremberg Laws. In South Africa, Apartheid. Today, segregation in our country takes a different form—no longer supported by law, it is pervasive yet subtle, an intersectional issue rooted in gender, race, and socioeconomic status. While legally dividing people based on their differences is indisputably wrong, a complex question emerges: Could the cultivation of ethnic, religious, and racial minority communities actually yield positive outcomes for the people within those communities? Many signs point to yes.

On college campuses, this question underscores the phenomenon of “affinity housing”—spaces where minority students can live alongside peers who share important aspects of their identities.

credit: vassar.edu

The debate around affinity housing has spanned the past 50 years, beginning with active calls for change from students at numerous institutions in 1969 (Williams College, Vassar College, and Wesleyan University, to name a few). At Williams College, the discussion began when members of the Williams Afro-American Society occupied Hopkins Hall until the school president responded to a series of requests, including the development of a residence hall specifically for Black students. While that demand wasn’t met at the time—leading to a reemergence of the issue last year—students at Vassar and Wesleyan were more successful, resulting in Wesleyan’s “Malcolm X House” and Vassar’s “Kendrick House”—dorms specifically designated to Black students, which still exist today.

Now, in 2019, a wide number of colleges and universities offer affinity housing for a highly diverse spectrum of students, including women of color, Asians and Asian-Americans, Latinx populations, and LGBTQ groups. Proponents of affinity housing argue that these communal residences provide minority students with a sense of safety and security, especially at institutions with largely white student bodies. However, many people believe that affinity housing hearkens back to a darker epoch of American history, reviving segregationist tendencies that are fundamentally harmful to our progress as a society. Without a doubt, our country’s fraught past has definitely made the legal aspects of affinity housing a bit sticky.

According to the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate against tenants based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and family status. 

credit: calstatela.edu

So, if a university offers affinity housing for Black students, it could get in trouble if white or Asian students were explicitly prohibited from living there. To avoid this, colleges provide students with the choice to reside in these spaces, using careful language to define their role on campus—for example, California State University’s website describes its Halisi Scholars Living Learning Community as having been “designed to enhance the residential experience for students who are a part of or interested in issues regarding the Black community.” While it focuses on fostering a sense of community for Black students, the Halisi Scholars LLC is available to any student invested in issues of Black culture. Thus, as long as the option to join an affinity housing residence is inclusive to all, there is nothing illegal about it.

Although it can make affinity housing tricky to navigate, the Fair Housing Act protects folks all over the country. In certain states and cities, the protections expand even further to include factors like age, sexual orientation, marital status, gender, and citizenship status. Given the diversity of the U.S. population, these measures are absolutely essential to maintaining liberty and preserving our rights; yet history reveals that in spite of this legislation, marginalized communities are still most affected by housing discrimination, which perhaps points to affinity housing as a productive response to a long and unsavory trend.

Netflix’s “Dear White People” touches on the topic of affinity housing, illustrating the polemic nature of this issue through its characters’ divergent opinions. 

credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

While some characters, like Coco Conners—a Black economics student who serves as treasurer for Winchester University’s Coalition of Racial Equality—do not support the new Armstrong-Parker dorm (a residence hall for students of color), several other characters find community there. Yvette Lee Bowser, executive producer of the series, describes this point in the show as a “renaissance” for the predominantly white, fictional Ivy League school.

“Everyone wants to have a sense of community, no matter what their cultural background is,” says Bowser. “That’s really what Armstrong-Parker is about—a built-in sense of community.” As a woman of color, Bowser attended Stanford University, which also offers affinity housing. She reiterates that the housing assignments at Winchester are not meant to segregate, but to do the very opposite: the Amstrong-Parker dorm is designed to maintain connectivity within students’ own, preexistent communities. “You don’t choose to go to a predominantly white institution only to be with black people,” she says. “You want the diverse experience, but you also want to feel those creature comforts and culture comforts.”