Things That Matter

Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the country has been grappling with racial inequality and police brutality – trying to figure out how to move forward into a country that knows Black lives matter.

However, it also seems that racist encounters are on the rise, or at least they’re more commonly being caught on camera. Another white couple, this time in California, has gone viral for their racist attack on a couple after an alleged road rage incident. The encounter, all of which was caught on camera, was enough proof to land the racist couple behind bars on hate crime and vandalism charges.

A man gave a Nazi salute and a woman shouted “white lives matter” in an encounter with a couple in California.

A nasty racist encounter in Torrance was caught on cameras as a Black couple was abused at a red light by a white man and woman yelling “Only white lives matter!”

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light in Torrance, CA, when a white couple stormed out of their pickup truck. That’s when Lopez started recording. In the video, a white woman can be seen standing on the passenger side, flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black. She yells “white lives matter (expletive)” and then “only white lives matter.”

The man, who was standing on the driver’s side, fluttered his hand in a wave then yelled “white power!” and made a Nazi salute. Then he grabbed a shovel and slammed it against the car as Lopez’s boyfriend backed up and sped away.

Lopez, who posted the video to Instagram, wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles.”

For Lopez, 25, the firsthand experience of hate was jarring. “I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” she wrote in the Instagram video’s caption.

“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA.

The racist couple have since been charged with a hate crime and vandalism of property.

Credit: Torrance Police Department

Not long after driving away, Lopez and her boyfriend found the couple’s truck outside a Starbucks and recorded the license plate. The following day they reported the incident to the Torrance Police Department. In a news release the department said the crime started as a “road rage situation.” 

And thanks to the video, the white couple, Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested on hate crime and vandalism charges, police said. In an interview with KTLA before the arrest, Lopez said she wanted justice.

“I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else,” she said.

As the U.S. confronts racial inequality, racist incidents and hate crimes have been increasingly caught on camera.

Sadly but not surprisingly, racist incidents like this are far too common across the country. And as the U.S. grapples with mass protests against racial inequality since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, it seems that incidences like this are on the rise.

In June, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader was charged with a hate crime after driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond, while in Wisconsin, a school district called for hate crime charges against a white woman who spat on a Black student during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A report from the Census Bureau found these hate crimes and other racist interactions have taken a toll on the mental health of African Americans, with the rate of those reporting significant anxiety and depression jumping from 36 to 41 percent.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This TikTok User Went Viral For Making a Video About What a Latino Character in the Harry Potter Universe Would Look Like

Entertainment

This TikTok User Went Viral For Making a Video About What a Latino Character in the Harry Potter Universe Would Look Like

Recently, a TikTok video went viral for spoofing what a Latino character would look like if he or she were written by JK Rowling. 

The minute-long video, entitled “If JK Rowling wrote a Latino character”, was created by TikTok user @Munchy_Monk, who also goes by the name “Louie”.

The video (which has now been viewed over 2 million times), starts with Munchy_Monk reading a “script” that JK Rowling sent him.

“Um, Ms. Rowling, I’m not really sure about this character,” he says, his voice full of trepidation. In the video, the imaginary “Ms. Rowling” responds by telling him to “read the bloody script before I call immigration.”

The video continues to be more outrageous from there. His tongue firmly in his cheek, Munchy_Monk runs through the gambit of stereotypes that the media typically portrays Latinos as doing.

With an exaggerated semi-Spanish-sounding accent (one that is all-too familiar for people who watch TV), the TikTok star pretends to be a gardener (“I’m-gardening-leviosa”), a line-cook (“Accio tacos and burritos!”), and a trouble-making student (“I ain’t take no potions. I ain’t even in potions class, foo.”). 

The video is also littered with punny jokes that play on Rowling’s whimsical word-choice. For example, Munchy_Monk pronounces the spell “stupify” as “estupify” and claims he comes from the Hogwarts house “Gryffindor-a the Explor-a”. 

via munchy_monks/TikTok

The TikTok video perfectly illustrates the way Rowling has depicted BIPOC characters in the past, as well as how the media generally portrays characters who have identities outside of what the media considers to be “standard” (i.e. white and straight). 

For a few years now, there have been subsets of the internet who have taken issue with Rowling’s portrayals of BIPOC and queer characters in the the Harry Potter universe. Many consider these characters to be tokenized depictions of what real non-white, non-straight people are actually like. 

Some fans have also grown frustrated to her public statement about Harry Potter characters–specifically how she publicly and retroactively “changedtheir backstories to “gain inclusivity points” without doing the the more meaningful work of writing inclusive characters in the first place. 

Although some fans celebrate Rowling’s fluid approach to the culture and identity of her characters, some claim that the post-publication changes feel inauthentic.

“The problem is we never see those elements of characterisation in the books themselves,” writer Kayleigh Anne wrote in The Independent. “The faith, race and sexuality of her characters has been shoe-horned in retroactively, and it can’t help but ring hollow.”

Of course, the icing on the problematic cake has been the recent transphobic comments and forthcoming book JK Rowling has made about and against trans people. All of these circumstances put into question JK Rowling’s status as an ally to queer and BIPOC people–if she ever was one in the first place.

But one thing is worth admitting: all of the above make Munchy_Monk’s TikTok video especially poignant and darkly hilarious.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Teacher Recreates Cardi B And Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ To Inspire Students With Powerful New Lyrics

Things That Matter

Teacher Recreates Cardi B And Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ To Inspire Students With Powerful New Lyrics

Roanoke City Public Schools / Facebook

This summer’s top song, “WAP”, is showing up all over the place. Sometimes, given its explicit lyrics, even in the most unlikely of places – like school district Facebook pages.

That’s exactly where one teacher’s now viral remix of the hit song by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion ended up. The middle school teacher from Virginia wanted to continue her annual tradition of a back-to-school rap and decided to tackle one of this year’s biggest tracks.

The results have left many celebrating the new lyrics, with WAP standing for “We are going to work and progress.”

A Virginia teacher used the summer anthem of “WAP” to get her students motivated for the school year.

Lucy Addison teachers welcome students to a new school year

WATCH THIS: Some teachers at Lucy Addison Middle created a music video to get students excited for a new school year. Ms. Harrington wrote and performed the lyrics. The William Fleming High School Cheerleaders also add to the excitement. Watch and enjoy! Have a great school year Bulldogs.

Posted by Roanoke City Public Schools on Friday, August 28, 2020

Despite classes being cancelled amid a global pandemic, this Virginia teacher’s passion for education has not diminished. In fact, Eboni Harrington – a teacher in from Roanoke, VA – continued her annual tradition of creating a back-to-school rap to get her students pumped up for school (in previous years, she recreated Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj hits).

“Teaching gives me purpose,” Harrington, a middle school teacher, told Yahoo Life. “I truly enjoy inspiring and encouraging our future leaders of tomorrow. Their ‘aha’ moments are always worth the long hours and commitment.”

Harrington says she was “devastated” when school ended early this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she was determined to engage with her students, most of whom re-started the school year with remote learning.

“To be unable to have my passion fuel my purpose in a traditional way was tough,” she says. “I found ways to reach my students and had to get creative in doing so. From [using] the Remind [app] with parents and students to downloading a Google Voice number for direct contact, I was there.”

After posting the video to the school district’s official Facebook page, it’s racked up thousands of views.

In addition to recording the song, this year Harrington decided to put together a music video, a process she says took two weeks. Since releasing the track, she’s also posted the video to the Roanoke Public Schools Facebook page, where it has been shared 2,000 times.

“I was super excited to commit to changing the words of today’s most popular song. I got feedback from my family almost every day and even asked the cheerleaders and coaching staff [for] their thoughts. I knew if the cheerleaders were feeling it, then the community would be just as excited, if not more,” she told Yahoo Life.

The middle school teacher adds that she is overwhelmed by the response she has gotten from the music video and was happy to see that parents and students felt less stress when they saw that she, along with other teachers, were excited about the upcoming school year.

Meanwhile, the hit song has inspired countless viral remakes and unique choreography.

If you’ve been on the internet within the past month or so, it’s likely that you have seen people on TikTok twerking with their hands on the ground, humping the floor, and spreading their hoo-has to the sky — all for the sole purpose of following a dance challenge set to “WAP,” the record-breaking No. 1 hit from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.

“WAP” seems to naturally welcome a more queer, fluid form of sexuality, and that’s perhaps one reason why a new dance video set to the song, starring a troupe of insanely talented queer men, has gone viral. Created by choreographer Nicole Kirkland and beauty influencer Angel Merino (better known as Mac Daddyy), the “WAP” dance cover has racked up over 100,000 likes and nearly 50,000 retweets on Twitter, as well as over 460,000 views on YouTube, since its release last Wednesday

One choreographer from Guam even had his dance routine shared by Cardi B herself.

Just a day after Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion broke records with “WAP”, Esperon – a dancer from Guam – posted a challenge that went viral.

Huge TikTok stars such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae replicated the energetic dance, which features high kicks, booty popping, twerking, and splits, according to the tutorial with 28 million viewers. Cardi B even performed Esperon’s challenge on Instagram Live.

Once WAP became viral, Esperon’s social media flooded with comments. Some congratulated Esperon for making it to Cardi B’s Instagram live story; others said he achieved overnight fame. Since publishing his dance, over 100,000 users have posted videos of them trying Esperon’s dance challenge, according to Esperon.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com