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The Governor Of Puerto Rico Was Caught In A Chat Using Grotesque Homophobic And Sexist Language And The Entire Island Is Calling Him To Resign In Massive Protests

Over the last week, Puerto Rico has been hit with multiple political scandals that have motivated thousands of people on the island and in the diaspora to protest. Puerto Ricans are calling for the resignation of its governor, its fiscal control board and, for a growing sum, its colonial ties to the United States. A lot of the unrest stems from recent private messages released that showed the governor using offensive language against women, the LGBTQ+ community, and Hurricane Maria Victims.

Puerto Rico is being rocked with a growing political scandal.

Credit: @IsabelSDieppa / Twitter

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested former Education Secretary Julia Keleher, former Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration head Angela Avila-Marrero, businessmen Fernando Scherrer-Caillet and Alberto Velazquez-Piñol, and education contractors Glenda E. Ponce-Mendoza and Mayra Ponce-Mendoza, who are sisters, on 32 counts of fraud and related charges.

The streets were filled with people demanding that the governor resign facing corruptions and damning messages leaked to the public.

Credit: @flores_0h / Twitter

The corruption scheme, which ushered federal money to unqualified, politically connected contractors, involves $15.5 million in federal funding between 2017 and 2019. Of that, 13 million was spent by the Department of Education during Keleher’s time as secretary. During her two-year term, Keleher, an Italian-American educational leader from Philadelphia, was criticized by the people of Puerto Rico for closing down hundreds of schools and implementing the island’s first charter school. The additional $2.5 million was spent by the insurance administration when Avila was the director.

The governor was caught in a chat using grotesque homophobic and sexist language.

Just days later, on Saturday, the island experienced another political blow: Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s private Telegram chat. The secret messages, between him and several of his aides, included profanity-laced, and at times misogynistic, homophobic and violent, comments and memes about several high-profile women politicians, celebrities, the press and even the victims of Hurricane María.

Puerto Rico-born former New York city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is one person the governor attacked.

Credit: @MMViverito / Twitter

“All of my solidarity with my friend @CarmenYulinCruz for the unacceptable attacks by @ricardorossello,” Mark-Viverito tweeted. “The women are not ‘b*tches’ nor ‘sons of b*tches,’ we are fighting, courageous, and dignified human beings who contribute to society. Stop the machismo!”

In one chat, Rosselló calls Mark-Viverito a “puta” for criticizing DNC Chair Tom Perez, who was siding with statehood Democrats like Rosselló, who is the leader of the Statehood party in Puerto Rico. In another, the governor’s former chief financial officer Christian Sobrino said of San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who is running for Puerto Rico governor in the 2020 elections, that he was “dying to shoot her up.” Rosselló replied: “You’d be doing me a big favor.”

Mark-Viverito, who now heads the Latino Victory Project, released a statement in response to the governor’s violent sexism.

“The governor’s machismo was exposed,” she said in Spanish. “When a male chauvinist wants to belittle a woman, he uses words like “whore” to belittle, dehumanize and degrade her. A person who uses that language against a woman, whether a public figure or not, should not govern Puerto Rico.”

The conversations also included transphobic remarks about transgender and gender nonconforming protestors and homophobic comments about Ricky Martin.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“It is shameful and unacceptable and it isn’t resolved with an apology,” Martin tweeted. “This is not the government we need. This is not the Puerto Rico that our grandparents and parents built and even less [the Puerto Rico] we want to leave to our children.”

One associate wrote, “Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin. He is such a male chauvinist that he f–ks men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”

Probably the most stomach-churning exchange in the leaked chat was Sobrino joking about the backlog of dead bodies after the devastating 2017 storm. 

Credit: @Chiji007 / Twitter

“Now that we are on the subject, don’t we have some cadavers to feed our crows? Clearly, they need attention,” he wrote, likely referencing journalists and the administration’s critics, who long questioned Rosselló’s assertion that the hurricane claimed only 64 lives. A Harvard study later put the death toll at 4,645. 

The impropriety, which has been nicknamed #TelegramGate, has been likened to the Watergate scandal, which rocked President Nixon’s administration in the 1970s and ultimately led to his resignation.  

“For Puerto Ricans, this has been basically our Watergate,” Caribbean scholar Yarimar Bonilla, who writes about post-Hurricane Maria recovery, told CBS News. “The government is distracted thinking about its image, worrying about how they’re being represented in the press instead of attending to matters of the recovery.”

While two members of Rosselló’s cabinet have offered their resignations, the people are similarly calling on Rosselló to step down.

For several days, thousands of protestors have taken over the streets of Old San Juan, packing the cobblestone lane in front of La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, demanding that he immediately give up his seat. On Monday, the mostly-peaceful action turned violent when police officers tear-gassed crowds, injuring dozens and arresting five protestors. The streets were ablaze, but the people, enlivened, stayed chanting that they were not afraid. 

They’re not alone. Celebrities like Ricky Martin, Residente, Kany Garcia, Jon Z and more have taken to social media calling on the governor to resign. Meanwhile, rapper PJ Sin Suela released a heated track called PUTA, referencing Rosselló’s misogynistic comments, about political corruption on the island, and Bad Bunny announced on Instagram that he would be leaving Europe, where he is touring, to fly to Puerto Rico and march with the people on Wednesday.

Bad Bunny posted a video as a call to action for all Puerto Ricans to march and demonstrate.

Across the U.S., Puerto Ricans of the diaspora have also united, with protests in New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, and more scheduled for Tuesday in Miami and Orlando, where a majority of Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane María found refuge.

Despite the massive calls, on Tuesday morning, Rosselló, who has apologized for his “improper acts” and attended an Evangelical church where pastors prayed over him, insisted that he would not resign.

“I have not committed an illegal act and I have not committed an act of corruption,” he said during a press conference. “I committed some improper acts and I asked forgiveness for that.”

The governor also noted that the prime reason he would not resign is that he “was elected by the people” — despite many of those Puerto Ricans now begging for his removal.

Read: Two Racist Florida Women Are Caught On Video Telling A Puerto Rican Man To ‘Go Back To Mexico’ If He Wants To Speak Spanish

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

BRITTANY GREESON / GETTY

Dumb blonde jokes. They’re overwrought, trite, and pretty outdated. So it’s no surprise that one that came straight from the mouth of a GOP House candidate and directed at Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t go over so well.

GOP House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene attempted a joke at Ocasio-Cortez’s expense on Twitter Monday and it failed miserably.

Greene, whose Georgia campaign is being supported by Donald Trump, attempted to hit at AOC’s intelligence on Monday in a tweet.

“As a blonde woman, I would like to take a moment to thank Congresswoman @AOC. She has single handily [sic] put an end to all ‘dumb blonde’ jokes. Blondes everywhere appreciate your service and your sacrifice!” Greene tweeted.

In response, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Greene, writing, “Don’t worry Mrs. Greene, I completely understand why you need to swing + miss at my intellect to make yourself feel better. You seem to have some trouble spelling your own insults correctly. Next time try ‘single-handedly,’ it’ll work better.”

She signed off her tweet writing “Good luck writing legislation!”

It’s not the first time Greene has come for AOC and failed.

Greene attempted and failed to get under AOC’s skin earlier this month.

Facebook.com

In September, the candidate shared a photo of herself holding a rifle next to images of AOC and other Democratic lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to her Facebook page.

She captioned the post “Squad’s worst nightmare.” It was soon removed by Facebook who cited violations of its policies.

It didn’t take long for AOC’s supporters to strike back at Green to defend the congresswoman.

“Those who are jealous and envious of others typical attack those whom they envy because they need to feel important and try to gain some attention for themselves,” one user commented in the thread. “You are where you are @AOC because of your work and dedication. Mrs Greene knows she can’t compete so she attacks.”

According to People, “Greene has a track record of embracing false stories publicized by QAnon, a conspiracy theory-fueled group which alleges there’s a group of Democratic pedophiles operating around the country.”

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Why They Didn’t Vote In 2016 And The Answers Will Make Your Stomach Turn

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Why They Didn’t Vote In 2016 And The Answers Will Make Your Stomach Turn

Joe Raedle / Getty

In 2016, estimates from the U.S. Elections Project showed that nearly 43 percent of eligible voters failed to fill out a ballot for the presidential election. According to Pew Research, tens of millions of registered voters did so because of a “dislike of the candidates or campaign issues.” Shockingly, this means that in 2016, the number of people who were eligible to vote and chose not to greatly outnumbered who voted for Clinton, Trump, or a third-party candidate.

Curious about this, we turned to Reddit to find out WHY people were so quick to willfully toss out their voting power.

Check out the answers we found below.

“I wasn’t scared my brown or LBGTQ country folk would actually be fucked over. I assumed it was all his [Trump’s] ploy to get the people who voted Bush and Reagan in, to vote him in… Make the white people scared and make sure they don’t trust the Dems. or people of colour or alternative life choice. I’m from L.A.; we grow up mixed and if your a decent human you respect everyone or move back to whatever hate hole you come from.” – Sgrociopath

“I moved from a strong blue state to a strong blue state on November 7, 2016, which was too late to register to vote in this year’s election(and I re-checked multiple times to make sure that was the case).” –lovethenewname

“Didn’t pay enough attention when they first started running and by the time I was looking, everyon was so polarized biased I didn’t wanna dig through the bullshit to make an educated opinion.” –AndeeRin1031

“Didn’t find a candidate I could support. The only good thing anyone else had going for them was “eh at least it’s not Hillary” and when that’s your only good trait you’re not worth my support.” – egnards

“Because I didn’t want to pledge my allegiance to a candidate and then have to defend them for their choices. I want to complain about the president because a group of yes men ultimately get you sent to a psych ward.” –buk_ow_ski

“I didn’t have a permanent address and wasn’t sure how to even anything.” –weinerpug

“I live in a completely red state and didn’t give myself enough time. I left an hour and a half early for work, sat in line for 45 minutes, realized I wasn’t going to make it and said “fuck it” and left.” –Eensquatch

“I refused to vote (my first election that I did not) simply because both candidates were disgusting and there was simply no choice I could make.”-ultimatemayerfan

“I didn’t vote despite voting in the primaries. The reason why was aside from the fake propaganda essentially the democratic party really did know who they wanted and had enacted things to make primarying difficult in order to support Clinton. Dropping people from registries, cutting down primary locations, making it so you had to be registered so many months in advance Clinton was the only option. If your party deliberately makes it hard to vote you can’t turn around a few months later and tell everyone “Okay now get out and vote!”

Also the narrative against Sanders had been “1 man can’t change things that much”. But then when it was Clinton against Trump the narrative was “1 man will ruin everything”. You don’t get to have it both ways.

I was going to be a first-time voter but then I was basically told “we don’t want you to vote unless it’s who we tell you”

I don’t regret it. Especially since my state is so red (Utah) even had I voted for Clinton I would have just been another vote that didn’t win her the election.” –collin3000

“My ballot didn’t come in the mail.” –NutellaGood

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