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 recent 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!”

The U.S. Offers To Lift Crippling Sanctions Against Venezuela In New Plan, But There’s A Major Catch

Things That Matter

The U.S. Offers To Lift Crippling Sanctions Against Venezuela In New Plan, But There’s A Major Catch

Anadolu Agency / Getty

The coronavirus isn’t stopping the United States from continuing its maximum pressure campaign on Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela. 

For well over a year, Venezuela has suffered from a massive political crisis. President Nicolas Maduro clings to power as a growing number of foreign countries (including the U.S.) recognize his main competitor, Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim-President.

But as the country struggles to confront a growing Coronavirus pandemic, the international community is imploring the Trump administration to ease sanctions of the struggling nation. Many are concerned over its spread amid a collapsing health care system and a deep economic crisis, aggravated by U.S. sanctions and low oil prices.

The Trump administration is prepared to lift crippling sanctions on Venezuela in support of a new proposal to form a transitional government.

Credit: Kenneth Rapoza / Getty

However, getting both Maduro and Guaidó to buy into the plan – let alone millions of Venezuelans – will be an immense challenge. Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó would both have to step aside in favor of a five-person governing council, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan.

Under the “democratic transition framework”, all political prisoners would be released, and all foreign – mostly Cuban – forces would leave. A five-member council would be selected, with two members chosen by the opposition, two by Maduro’s Socialist party, and the fifth member picked by the other four.

“The hope is that this set-up promotes the selection of people who are very broadly respected and known as people who can work with the other side,” the US special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told the Associated Press.

The U.S. has long pushed for regime change in Venezuela and this could be a major step towards achieving this policy.

“The United States has long been committed to finding a solution to the manmade crisis in Venezuela,” the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said.

“The urgency for this has become all the more serious in light of the Maduro regime’s failure to adequately prepare for and address the global Covid-19 pandemic. This framework demonstrates our commitment to helping Venezuela fully recover and ensures that the voice of the Venezuelan people is respected and included.”

The plan would mean the end of the Maduro regime and the likely withdrawal of his largest competitor.

Credit: Elizabeth Melimopoulos / Getty

Since early 2019, Venezuela has been in the throes of a political crisis with two clashing sides vowing to take back control of the country. Millions of people have poured into the streets in support of one side or the other – often resulting in violent flare ups that have left thousands dead.

But could the promise of zero sanctions against a struggling economy be enough to make the plan work?

Credit: @carmses_in / Twitter

The US and EU would then lift sanctions on the current leadership. Broader sanctions on the country’s oil business would be lifted after all foreign forces had left the country. All sanctions would be lifted after free elections, to be held within six to 12 months.

“The basic outline is simple: We call for a transitional government that would govern for nine to 12 months and hold free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections,” U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told reporters Tuesday. “The United States will recognize the result of a free and fair election no matter which party wins.”

The proposal comes five days after the U.S. indicted Maduro and top members of his government and army for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The Department of Justice indicted Maduro and many of his right-hand men on a range of charges, all but guaranteeing they will not be part of any potential democratic transition in Venezuela down the line.

The indictment for crimes ranging from drug trafficking to corruption to narcoterrorism puts the spotlight on the horrendous acts Maduro and his associates have allegedly perpetrated.

In addition to giving the U.S. additional leverage over Maduro, the indictment also acts as an incentive for the 14 individuals charged along with him — and others close to him — to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

The plan has his critics on both sides of the aisle.

Skeptics of the plan said it provided few incentives for the incumbent officials to give up power, days after they were charged with serious offences and multimillion-dollar rewards put on their heads.

The ultimate focus must be on alleviating the suffering of the Venezuelan people, and though it will not be eased by these recent actions alone, the only way forward is to address the root causes of the crisis, starting with Maduro.

Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Entertainment

Bad Bunny’s ‘Yo Perreo Sola’ Music Video Has Drag, Female Empowerment, And Artistic Styling That Is World-Class

Bad Bunny / YouTube

Bad Bunny is known to push gender norms and supports the LGBTQ+ community. His music videos are artistic expressions of the world he wants to live in. His latest music video for the song “Yo Perreo Sola” is catching everyone’s attention for several reasons including the trapero singing and dancing in full drag.

Bad Bunny starts his “Yo Perreo Sola” music video in a hot red leather drag outfit.

Like, dayum. The Puerto Rican trap star did not hold back. His look was everything as he gave us some “Oops…I Did It Again” dominatrix vibes. The fans were not prepared for this but it seems that most of them are all for Bad Bunny pushing boundaries even further in Latin trap.

The imagery is literally being celebrated for its strong statement for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bad Bunny was very outspoken about Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico and misgendered in media reports. The singer was on “The Late Show starring Jimmy Fallon” and used the moment to protest the treatment of Luciano’s legacy. Bad Bunny wore a shirt that read in Spanish, “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.”

Bad Bunny fans were ready to defend their fave and his new music video.

To many, Latin trap is still a place where homophobia and misogyny fester in lyrics by some of the top performers. Bad Bunny is one artist that has been fighting against that culture from within. He has bent gender norms in music videos and it has set his career apart from other Latin trap musicians.

And they are all celebrating the anguish of straight men who listen to Bad Bunny and have social hang-ups.

The same homophobia in Latin trap is reflected within the community. Bad Bunny’s unapologetic willingness to take gender and flip it on its head is just one thing fans love about the trapero.

You can watch the full video below.

Bad Bunny never disappoints, does he?

READ: Bad Bunny Is The Modern Icon The Queer Latino Community Needs And Deserves Right Now. Here’s Why