Things That Matter

An Alleged White Supremacist Took The Life Of 6-Year-Old Steven Romero At California’s Garlic Festival And Our Hearts Ache

Today, America is waking up to the news that another child has been killed by senseless gun violence. His name was Steven Romero. Last month, his 9 year-old sister and parents took him to Legoland to celebrate his sixth birthday. On Sunday, he was shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival just outside San Jose, California. A 13-year-old girl and man in his 20s were killed in the shooting and fifteen more were injured.

Romero’s killer explicitly posted his frustration with seeing “hordes of mestizos” and a reference to a white supremacist text just before the attack.

Steven was at the festival with his mother and grandmother, who were also both shot.

@shaunking / Twitter

He is survived by his grandmother, who was allegedly shot in the leg, and his mother, who was shot in the hand and in the stomach. 

Steven’s father, Alberto Romero, was at home with his daughter when his wife called from the hospital.

@nbc6 / Twitter

“I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, maybe I was dreaming,” he told CNN of the phone call. By the time he got to the hospital, doctors told him that Steven was in critical condition. “Five minutes later, they told me he was dead,” Romero told CNN.

“My son had his whole life to live and he was only 6. That’s all I can say,” Romero told NBC.

@abc7newsbayarea / Twitter

“I lost my son. There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” he told NBC. Alberto Romero’s mother, Steven’s paternal abuela, Maribel Romero, went from hospital to hospital searching for him, unable to reach her son. By the time she found the hospital where her grandson was, he was dead.

Abuela Maribel is adamant: “I want justice for my grandson.”

@abc7newsbayarea / Twitter

The above photo may be the last image of young Steven Romero’s life, taken at the garlic festival. Steven’s injured mother and grandmother have not spoken out yet. Alberto’s mother, Maribel, told CNN, “This is really hard, there’s no words to describe (it). I don’t think this is fair.”

Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee stated that one shooter was killed and another may be on the loose.

@abc7 / Twitter

The event, which typically draws in 100,000 festival-goers each year, had tight security. There were metal detectors in the entryway and heavy police presence. Officers were able to find the suspect within one minute of his initial firing. In that one minute, the suspect killed three and injured fifteen people.

America’s response is pure heartache.

@Gueromexican831 / Twitter

The founder of non-profit Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts, tweeted a photo of Steven with a plea for action: “Stephen Romero wasn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in the right place in a nation with the wrong gun laws. Act in his honor and the others killed and injured in the #gilroyshooting. We have the power to fix this. Use your voices and votes. Text ACT to 644-33.”

Steven was a Latino boy. His killer was a white supremacist.

@CeeLeeMusic / Twitter

The suspect, named Santino William Legan, 19, allegedly referenced a white supremacist text just before the attack. In an Instagram post bearing his name, created four days before the attack, he posted a sign of Smokey Bear saying “Fire Danger High Today.” The caption said, “Read Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white tw**s?”

In a press conference, President Trump read off a teleprompter to “ask that God will comfort [the families] with his overflowing mercy and grace.”

@TheWhiteHouse / Twitter

In response, constituents like @DogginTrump are tweeting bluntly, “If he wants to help, he can get Mitch McConnell to vote on those 2 gun bills sitting on his desk from the House & then sign them. Otherwise, he can STFU & continue to do nothing as usual.”

Trump made no reference to the killers white supremacist ideologies and offered none of his typical impassioned off-the-cuff speech. 

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Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Things That Matter

Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

Although the United States is seeing a growing movement for racial equality and justice, thanks in part to a growing national Black Lives Matter movement, racial minorities in this country continue to face violence.

We don’t yet know the exact motives behind the recent attack on the Asian-American community in Atlanta that has left eight dead, but it comes amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

Atlanta is mourning the loss of eight locals after gunman attacks Asian-American community.

A series of shootings over nearly an hour at three Atlanta-area massage parlors left eight people dead and raised fears that the attack was yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans.

The attacks began Tuesday when five people were shot at Youngs Asian Massage Parlor about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Two people died at the scene, and three were taken to a hospital where two died. About an hour later, police responding to a call about a robbery found three women dead from apparent gunshot wounds at another spa, near Atlanta’s Buckhead area. While there, the officers learned of a call reporting shots fired at another spa across the street, Aromatherapy Spa, and found another woman apparently shot dead.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the “horrific shootings” and administration officials have been in contact with the mayor’s office and the FBI.

“Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families, and we’re certainly keeping them in our prayers,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “We’ll let the investigation continue, but it was a tragic night in our state.”

The gunman was apprehended by authorities and taken into custody.

Robert Aaron Long, a white man, 21, was apprehended in South Georgia Tuesday night and has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I have remained in close contact with the White House and APD as they work with federal, state and local partners to investigate the suspect who is responsible for this senseless violence in our city.”

Long told investigators he frequented the types of businesses targeted in the Tuesday shootings, calling them a “temptation he wanted to eliminate.”

The attack highlights the growing threats that the Asian & Pacific Islander community faces in the U.S.

The killings came amid a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.

We don’t yet know exactly what motivated the alleged killer, but we do know that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the start of the Covid pandemic in the US.Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times in the first two months of this year, according to the organization Stop AAPI Hate with a total of 3,795 complaints received over the past year. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults.

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

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