Things That Matter

The Difference Between The Confederate And Pride Flag? One Represents Hate The Other Represents Love And Inclusion

Some kids do the darnedest things. Others… commit acts that are just plain stupid. 

In a story, high school students from a town in Missouri acted against several displays of the Pride flag at their school by displaying a Confederate flag in their cafeteria. 

Yawn.

After a group of students at West Plains High School in Missouri passed out pride flags to show solidarity with LGBTQ students, some conservative students apparently took issue.

In response to the flags, several students hung up a Confederate flag in their school cafeteria area. The display ultimately sparked a heavy debate on social media and amongst the people of West Plains. According to a report by Buzzfeed students had posted the Confederate flag incident to Snapchat accounts. One post had captioned the images of the flag with the words “If they can fly their queer flags, others can fly their rebel flags. Butt hurt?”

The incident which occurred on December 9th is reportedly under investigation by the West Plains School District. As of Monday, the school has yet to take disciplinary actions against any of the students involved according to a district spokesperson who spoke to BuzzFeed News. 

In a statement issued by the West Plains School District the school views the incident as unacceptable. 

“Last week groups of high school students chose to bring banners to school, and while we respect student’s first amendment rights, however, we became aware the banners were used by some members of the groups to taunt other students, and that is not acceptable,” the statement read. “Rather than deal with this a disciplinary matter, we chose to deal with it as a learning experience. No disciplinary actions were taken. Our hope is to teach our students to respect each other and to respect different viewpoints on a variety of societal issues. Since that occurrence, rumors have sprung up from the most part from people who were not affiliated with the school district, but we want our community to know what the true facts are and set aside any rumors that are being heard.”

According to Buzfeed, the “banners” that were referred to in the statement are actually addressing both the Confederate and Pride flags. (Insert world’s most massive eye roll.)

In an interview with BuzzFeed New, two students who had taken part in passing out the Pride flags have said they are currently experieing hateful comments online. 

“A lot of students don’t have parents who support them,”  Marianne, a 15-year-old sophomore from the school where the incident took place told BuzzFeed. The sophomore took part in passing out Pride flags to students at the school before the Confederate flags were strung up. “We were just trying to show that we’re proud of who we are.”

According to students who interviewed with Buzzfeed, 60 Pride flags had been bought and passed around to other students. Distribution of the flags had been done without Mal intent and many students stuck their flags out of their backpacks or carried them by hand around the school’s campus. Students had said that they wanted to share the flags to show LGBTQ+ students at their high school that they were never alone. 

According to the students who had talked to Buzzfeed, it wasn’t until their lunch period that they had noticed two or three male students string up a Confederate flag in the seniors café.

“To us it was just like retaliation to people who were holding their own [pride] flags,” Taylor, another 15-year-old who spoke to Buzzfeed said. “The worst part is that others were backing them up.”

Some students claimed that anti-gay slurs were used against students who had passed out the flags while they were in the cafeteria. The incident piqued when kids ran from the cafeteria upset and phoned their parents so that they would be picked up.

Eventually school administrators took down the flag away.

While a superintendent for the Missouri school district said that the school recognizes students’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, they had to ask students to put the banners away when it became a disruption.

“But when it became a point of disruption, we had to eliminate the disruption and we simply asked students to put the banners away,” said the superintendent. “It doesn’t matter what the banner consists of.”

The images of the incident have circulated online, often with comments that are homophobic and against the LGBTQ+ community.

Students involved in the incident have argued on Snapchat that they were expressing their equal right to practice freedom of speech. Still, their true intentions were clue. As one FB user who had read the commentary wrote in response, “One is for love and acceptance and the other represents hatred! Sorry, schools should not allow that!”

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An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

Things That Matter

An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

For years, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to denounce violence against women and to demand accountability from their leaders. However, much of that messaging doesn’t seem to have reached the very top as President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) continues to support a candidate for governor facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

A candidate for governor faces multiple sexual assault allegations and still enjoys widespread support.

Félix Salgado Macedonio, a federal senator (currently on leave) is accused of sexually assaulting five women and yet is still in the running for governor of Guerrero.

Despite the accusations he faces, 64-year-old Salgado, has maintained the support of President AMLO, who has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated, and other high-ranking party officials including national party president Mario Delgado. He was considered the frontrunner in the election for governor.

AMLO came to the candidates defense, calling on people to stop politicking and avoid “media lynchings” and asserting that people should trust the party process that was used to select Salgado as candidate.

“We have to have confidence in the people, it’s the people who decide. If polls are taken and and the people say ‘I agree with this colleague [being candidate],’ I think that must be respected. Politics is a matter for everyone, not just the elites,” López Obrador said.

The MORENA party has committed to reselecting its candidate for governor but Salgado is still in the running.

Officials from the MORENA party announced that they would conduct a new selection process to find a contender for the June 6 election. The party’s honesty and justice commission said its members had voted unanimously to order a repeat of the selection process.

While the honesty and justice commission has ordered a new candidate selection process, Salgado was not precluded from participating in it. He indicated in a social media post on Friday night that he planned to seek the party’s backing for a second time.

“Cheer up colleagues! There is [still fight in the] bull,” Salgado wrote on Facebook.

Activists continue to fight back against his candidacy and the president’s support for an alleged rapist.

Women have protested in Mexico City and Guerrero state capital Chilpancingo and the hashtag #NingúnVioladorSeráGobernador (No Rapist Will be Governor) has been used countless times on Twitter.

Yolitzin Jaimes, a member of the feminist collective Las Revueltas, said the withdrawal of Salgado’s candidacy is a positive first step but urged the authorities to continue investigating the rape allegations.

“… He has to go to jail, … he mustn’t return to the Senate and he mustn’t be nominated [for governor] by any political party because … it’s very probable that he’s seeking to go to the Labor Party [a Morena ally],” she said.

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Things That Matter

Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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