These Puerto Rican students finally have power restored to their school.
It has been 112 days since Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria. That’s about four months. The aftermath has been devastating, with relief efforts moving at a dangerously slow pace. As of now, just over 55 percent of the island has had power restored. The heartbreaking reality of the plight of American citizens in Puerto Rico has been underscored with a newly viral video coming from the island. In the video, students and teachers celebrate with joyous cheers after their school gets power after months in the dark.
“Finally, after 112 days, the lights have returned,” wrote the person who uploaded the video. “Indisputable joy from all of us here at Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo. Many thanks to the parents, students, and faculty that have stayed with us and continue to support us.”
Hurricane Maria’s affects have lingered for months since the storm hit the Caribbean island and has impacted more than just those living there. A lack of power has impacted hospitals and patients on the mainland. A factory that makes IV bags has been without power since the storm. As a result, American hospitals are grappling with an IV bag shortage that has made the latest flu season a nightmare for many.
There’s a lot to learn from college officials and recruiters, including how ignorant the world can be.
According to recent reports, a recruiter for an Oklahoma Christian college was fired after directing students at a high school in Oklahoma to line themselves up by the color of their skin as well as how “nappy” to “straight” their hair was.
During a visit to Harding Charter Preparatory, the unidentified white recruiter had teachers in tears.
According to KFOR-TV, the recruiter from Oklahoma Christian University went to the school last Monday and upset teachers so much that some of them were int ears.
“He was like, ‘Let’s play a little game,’” one 11th-grade student told KFOR-TV in an interview about the recruiter. “He said, ‘Okay everyone, now line up from darkest to lightest skin complexion.’ ”
According to the station, the recruiter never gave an explanation about his request and he also told students to order themselves by kinkiest hair.
“He told us nappiest hair in the back and straighter hair in the front,” another student from the high school told KFOR-TV. “Teachers left. They were crying because they were offended. It’s just horrible.”
Since the incident, the recruiter has been fired from the university.
In a statementto KFORTV, the university confirmed the firing saying “OC admissions leadership did not approve the inappropriate activity in advance and has communicated closely with Harding administration since the visit. Admissions staff are scheduled to visit the academy Monday to apologize to Harding students and staff on behalf of the University.”
In a separate statement about the incident Harding Charter Prep’s principal, Steven Stefanick called the recruiters actions “inappropriate and hurtful” and said that it left everyone “stunned and distraught. “Over the years, we have had a strong relationship with the university and have never encountered events as such,” he wrote in a Facebook statement.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!
A trans woman was shot and killed in Puerto Rico after she used the women’s bathroom at a McDonald’s. The attackers filmed her death as they laughed in her final moments. Adding insult to injury, many Puerto Rican news outlets covered her death as a man in a skirt. Bad Bunny, who has long championed for the LGBTQ+ community, used his time on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” to address the misgendering of Alexa Negrón Luciano after her humiliating and brutal death.
Bad Bunny took time during his performance on Jimmy Fallon to bring attention to a trans woman who was killed in Puerto Rico.
Alexa Negrón Luciano was a homeless trans woman known in Puerto Rico. She was often ridiculed by people on the streets and on social media where photos were posted making fun of her as an oddball. That mockery and callousness of those around her reached a deadly conclusion last week.
According to reports, a woman customer at a McDonald’s in Tao Baja, Puerto Rico claimed Negrón Luciano tried peeping on her as she used the bathroom. She was then questioned by police as people took photos and posted them on social media. Twelve hours later, a video circulated on social media of Negrón Luciano’s assassination as the assailants are heard laughing on the video.
Media reports from Puerto Rico initially broke the story calling Negrón Luciano “a man in a skirt.”
Puerto Rico has long been criticized for the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. Last year, Puerto Ricans and celebrities took to the streets to protest against a “religious freedom” bill that would allow the discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community. The bill, initially supported by then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló, ultimately didn’t pass after strong pushback in Puerto Rico and from around the world.
Not long after the bill was blocked, Governor Rosselló was caught up in a group chat scandal where he and those who worked with him spoke about the LGBTQ+ community and women in disparaging terms. The group chat scandal fueled more protests and eventually led to Gov. Rosselló resigning from his position after growing outcry.
Despite presenting an LGBTQ+-friendly face to the world, Puerto Rico’s anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is still a very real fear for those on the island.
The New York Times has reported that women’s and LGBTQ+ rights have advanced significantly in recent decades. However, an underlying fear of physical and legislative violence has scarred the communities. While some measures to protect LGBTQ+ people have progressed, like an employment non-discrimination law, there is a strong coalition of conservative and Christian evangelicals fighting the progress.
“This has served as a reminder that some of these advances are at risk, that there is still discrimination, that there is still homophobia,” Pedro Julio Serrano, an activist in San Juan, told The New York Times after the shooting death of gay Latin trap singer Kevin Fret. “We can’t forget that.”
This is why Bad Bunny openly correcting the media’s and people’s perception of Negrón Lucian is so important.
Last year, at least 26 transgender and gender non-conforming people were murdered in the U.S. for being who they are. Mainly, deadly violence is focused on trans women of color with Black trans women dying at higher rates. The real statistics of these murders are hard to track because often the victims are misgendered by the media or family who never accepted them for who they are. So far, in 2020, there are believed to be at least two trans women murdered in the U.S.
Some responses to the performance show the work still needed to break the ignorance and hate around a vulnerable community.
Trans people, like all people, deserve the same respect when it comes to pronouns and the right to live without fear and violence. Bad Bunny’s shirt addressing Negrón Luciano by name and not “a man in a skirt” is a significant moment in demanding that respect.
You can watch Bad Bunny’s full performance below.
Thank you for standing with the LGBTQ+ community, Bad Bunny.