Things That Matter

We Spoke With Ammar Campa-Najjar, The First Latino-Arab Running For Congress

Ammar Campa-Najjar For Congress / Facebook

Ammar Camp-Najjar made headlines when he first announced his candidacy for California’s 50th Congressional district representing San Diego. The young politician garnered lots of attention for his looks and the collective thirst he inspired on social media helped raise his profile. While the Internet was busy swooning, Campa-Najjar was starting his work into flipping the California’s 50th Congressional District. As the son of an immigrant father, Campa-Najjar says he understands the need for a more efficient and modernized immigration system.

Campa-Najjar, the first Latino-Arab to run for Congress, spoke with mitú about the importance of changing our immigration system, his family’s immigration experience, and how he plans on getting people to show up and vote.

Ammar Campa-Najjar is running for California’s 50th Congressional district, which has been a Republican stronghold for more than a decade.

#flashbackfriday: Swearing-in ceremony, performed by Deputy Secretary of Labor Lu.

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


Campa-Najjar is hoping to flip California’s 50th Congressional district to represent people in San Diego who he thinks have been let down by multiple Congressmen, including incumbent Duncan Hunter Jr. Hunter Jr. has been accused of misspending tens of thousands of dollars of campaign funds to pay for family vacations.

And one of his biggest influences for running for Congress comes from his own family: his grandmother.

Visited my abuelita and gave her the gift I got her from the #Vatican: A #blessed silver plate of the Last Supper ?

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


“My grandmother and my grandfather were immigrants [from Mexico]. They came here legally back when it was a little easier. My grandmother is from Guadalajara. My grandfather was an orphan farm worker. They came from humble beginnings and they were just hard working, middle-class people,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

“I think what my grandparents had and my mother had was the ability to contribute fully and fairly to America’s economy and way of life,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

Thanksgiving 2015 with my little brother and sister. ?

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


Campa-Najjar told mitú that he understands the importance of making sure that people can come into the country more efficiently and immediately bringing them into the fold. He believes getting people working and integrated will help the economy and improve many lives.

Campa-Najjar says that the best way to fix our immigration issue is to modernize the process.

CREDIT: Ammar Campa / Facebook

“If we could modernize our immigration process, people will be able to opt to come here in the more legal fashion because it is a viable path. They wouldn’t be waiting a decade or two to come into this country legally,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. He added: “There are people who are trying to come into this country who are fleeing persecution or fleeing oppression or fleeing violence and they can’t wait for 20 years for their children to come to this country to have the American dream. So I would focus on modernizing our immigration process.”

Campa-Najjar told mitú that he has the experience in Washington D.C. and that he has proven he can lead from the Capitol.


“I am the only person in this race who has been to Washington, who has worked in Washington, who has proven that I will not lose my way,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. “If you look at this district, they’ve had a history of terrible Congressmen on both sides.”

Once again, a lesson from his own family is what encouraged him to work as hard as he can in whatever he does.

#TBT We love you mama ??

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“My mom taught me that your work ethic reveals who you are as a person and I’ll contrast the values instilled in me by this district to the values that Duncan Hunter has lost and the code of conduct he has violated, not just as a Congressman but as a former military member,” Campa-Najjar told mitú.

And since he is running for Congress, he wants people to see him as a politician, not an Internet heartthrob.

Chatting with MSNBC's Jose Diaz Balart at the #DemConvention

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“I’ll be honest. It’s a very minuscule version of what women go through all of the time trying to be taken seriously. I’m not running to be a social media candidate, I’m running and spending every waking moment at people’s homes,” Campa-Najjar told mitú. “This election is not about the newsroom. It’s about people’s dining rooms and living rooms. It’s about what keeps them up at night and wakes them up in the morning and I honestly see it as a disservice to that struggle when people objectify me. I try not to take it personally but it really derails the hopes and dreams of a lot of people.”

He plans on getting young people ready to vote by getting them pre-registered to vote.

Trump's biggest nightmare: a Mexican-Arab born in a border city occupying the Oval Office ??

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Campa-Najjar is working to get young people to vote through an initiative he called “18 By 2018.” He is actively getting 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds pre-registered to vote so that they are able to go straight to the polls once they turn 18. Camap-Najjar knows many young Latinos become eligible to vote every day. He wants to tap into the younger population, who he believes will be bear the brunt of decisions made by politicians.

Campa-Najjar told mitú he is running on ideology, not party, to help his district and his neighborhood.

Official government portrait ?? Only in America can the son of a woman from the barrio and a man from an occupied territory have the freedom to reimagine his life and pursue his dreams. It's impossible to explain how surreal it is to spend the first part of your life with your family under siege for years, almost every night, by helicopters and F-16s that leveled entire neighboring buildings on your bloc with missiles that had the words "Made in America" written on them, and then spend the second part of your life working within the United States Government, entrusted with serving the American public, getting referred to as sir by Secret Service agents every morning and being protected as a man by the same things that could've killed you as a boy. It's not the perfect love story, but I know what I've witnessed in my life is nothing short of an American miracle. Not a single day goes by where I don't hear from a family member who is still shocked that someone with my background has been called to serve in this place; it flies in the face of everything so many in the Arab world think they know about America. This anecdotal story gives them the audacity of hope. So even in our darkest hours as a nation, and there have been many recently, these experiences give me faith that there's nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. I love this country.

A post shared by Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ammarvel) on


As the son of immigrants, Campa-Najjar told mitú he wants to represent California’s 50th district to give all immigrants the same dream and opportunity his family had. It isn’t about sticking to a party line. It is about helping those who want to come to America to contribute.


READ: People Just Can’t Handle The Heat Coming From This Handsome Congressional Candidate

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The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

Entertainment

The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

@BernieSanders / Twitter

Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and rapper Cardi B have been teasing their on-screen discussion on issues ranging from police brutality to canceling student debt for a few weeks now. Finally, the Sanders campaign published the video in all its nearly ten minutes of glory.

The two met at Detroit’s TEN nail bar, a deluxe nail salon founded and operated by two women of color. Cardi B came prepared with a list of questions that her own followers have brought up with her. In essence, Cardi B served as a representative of her fans’ political interests and brought them to a Presidential candidate to see if he would be the guy to officially represent their needs in the nation’s most meaningful capacity–as POTUS 2020.

Six weeks ago, Cardi asked her fans what they would want to hear Bernie Sanders discuss.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

On July 2, the rapper shared a video to Instagram telling her followers that her number one question to Bernie Sanders is about how to end police brutality in this country. “What would you like to ask? what change would you like to see in your community and in the USA 🇺🇸?” she posted. “2020 is getting very close let’s get familiar with who is running and how they can change the country! Put your questions down below and your questions may be answered very soon.”

Nobody expected she was actually going to sit down with Bernie Sanders and represent the Bardi Gang’s political issues.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Hilariously, Sanders wiggled his fingers alongside Cardi B’s as he told us that, “Cardi B’s nails are juuuust a little different than mine. Our views on the issues are pretty similar.” 

Cardi B absolutely nailed it as an interviewer. She steered the conversation and truly represented her followers’ interests. She opened the video to remind everyone that, “A couple of weeks ago, I asked my followers what types of questions would you want to ask a Democratic candidate. Let’s go baby.” Here are the takeaways.

Number one: Cardi and Bernie’s shared goal is getting Trump out of office.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“You know what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to advocate the youth in my community because I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi opens. “We have this bully as a President and the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”

“We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump, obviously. Because Donald Trump is an overt racist. He’s just way out there.”

The first question on Cardi’s mind is putting an end to police brutality in America. Bernie has a three-pronged plan.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B got vulnerable and talked about the mental effects of what it’s like to “constantly see on social media police brutality against black men and against minorities. What are we going to do to change that, because that is discouraging our people? We constantly see our men getting killed every day, and it seems like nobody cares.”

Sanders wants to end the militarization of police departments, which he sees as a form of intimidation.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

To address police brutality, he wants the Department of Justice to investigate every police killing to ensure accountability and prevent local police departments from covering up crimes. He also wants to federally obligate police departments to “look like the community they serve” and “not like an oppressive army.” Sanders related to the “disgust” of seeing 1 in 4 young black men in the criminal justice system. His solution to that specific issue is to invest in free education instead of investing in prisons and incarceration. 

During his first week as President, Sanders will reinstate the executive order that gave protections to DREAMers, and he wants to extend those protections to their parents.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi had recalled meeting a fan who enrolled for protections under DACA and is now facing deportation back to Mexico–a place that he has no living memory of ever knowing. Bernie wants the 1.8 million young people who qualify for DACA to experience the freedoms of this country. When he said he wants to expand that program to their parents, Cardi did a little jiggle and let out a “Yeahhh!”

Bernie is going to raise taxes to allow free healthcare and education, but it will be cheaper on a day to day for Americans.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“People are afraid to pay more taxes than they’re already paying,” Cardi rightly stated. Bernie’s plan to offer free health care for all will ultimately be cheaper for the overwhelming majority of people than paying for premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Cardi B will never forget how hard it was to make a living wage before she found fame.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B brought up how “certain people like to brag” about how there are more jobs in America, but she’s questioning the quality of these jobs. Why are her followers having to work two or three jobs to survive? Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

By placing a modest tax on Wall Street, Sanders plans to cancel student debt.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Forty-five million Americans are living with student debt. Sanders knows that those of us in our 20s and 30s were told that we had to go to college to get a good job. Where the good jobs at? Our generation is far less likely to own homes and make financial progress in our lives. For the first time, our generation is worse off than the generation before it. 

Sanders has a message to Cardi B’s followers: “Trump doesn’t want people of color to be participating in the political process.”

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“Participate in the political process,” he tells POC. You can spend five minutes to register to vote here.

Watch the full interview below!

What do you think about Cardi B’s interview?

READ: Cardi B Claps Back At “Republicans And Conservatives” Who Want Her To Shut Up When It Comes To Politics

Activists Are Warning That The Guard Running His Truck Through Protesters Is Not Going To Be The Last

Things That Matter

Activists Are Warning That The Guard Running His Truck Through Protesters Is Not Going To Be The Last

People across the U.S. are stunned by a viral Twitter video showing a contract Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guard driving his pick-up truck through a crowd of protesters. The protesters, part of the Jewish activist organization Never Again Action, posted videos of the assault on Twitter and it has sparked outrage at the actions of law enforcement at the scene. Here’s what happened.

Captain Thomas Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave following the incident, according to authorities.

Credit: @theplaceilove / Twitter

“The incident which occurred last night is currently being investigated by the Rhode Island State Police,” a statement to the Boston Globe read. “Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility Warden Daniel Martin is also conducting a top to bottom review of the incident, Wyatt correctional officers’ response, and the Wyatt’s protocols regarding protest activities outside of the facility. Captain Thomas Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the independent investigation being conducted by the Rhode Island State Police, and the Wyatt’s internal investigation.”

People are spreading his information as far and wide as they can to shame him for his actions.

Credit: @AntiFlashGordon / Twitter

The video has been shared all over social media and people have reacted with shock and anger. Other activists are pointing out that the use of a car to ram protesters is becoming a more common thought and occurrence than in recent history.

Others are using the video as a moment to question what exactly is happening inside the detention centers they are protesting.

Credit: @nat_lern / Twitter

People have been trying to get people’s attention to the humanitarian crisis in the detention centers. There is a real concern that if guards can run their car through a group of lawful protesters, what are they doing to migrants in detention?

Activists captured video of an ICE guard using his pick-up truck to break through a group of protesters in Rhode Island.

Credit: @NeverAgainActn / Twitter

Protesters were stationed outside of the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island. During the protest, a pick-up truck drives up the protesters and honks the horn before driving through the crowd of protesters. However, the truck was not the only time the protesters were assaulted during the protest.

During the incident, law enforcement at the scene used pepper spray on the protesters to break up the crowd.

Credit: @NeverAgainActn / Twitter

“We will not be deterred by the violence that was taken against us last night,” a spokesperson for Never Again Action told NBC News. “People are being harmed in ICE custody every day. This is exactly why we are doing what we’re doing.”

People are horrified at the blatant attack on peaceful protesters.

Credit: @mcastimovies / Twitter

The video is a chilling reminder of the violence we have seen against protesters in recent times. Two years ago, the world watched in shock as a white supremacist ran his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia during the Unite the Right rally. The attack claimed one life, Heather Heyer, in the name of hate. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured during the incident on Wednesday night.

Five people were hospitalized after the guard ran over protesters.

Two people were hospitalized because of the truck driving into the crowd and three people were hospitalized for the pepper spray. The whole incident has not deterred the organization from standing against ICE and its detention practices.

READ: More Than 100 Protesters Were Arrested In New York City For Blocking One Of The Busiest Streets In The City

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