Things That Matter

She Chased Latino Teens Off A Playground And Now ‘Swing Set Susan’ Is Facing Criminal Charges

A woman the internet nicknamed “Swing Set Susan” was charged with a felony this week. Samantha Louise Eley, a 38-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas was charged with impersonating a public servant, according to the arrest warrant affidavit

Eley became a viral meme when a video showed her pretending to be a cop in order to intimidate Latinx teenagers off a playground at Dream Park. The video was viewed over 5 million times on Twitter. 

Eley was arrested earlier this week on an unrelated bond violation, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, from a previous arrest in a domestic violence case. ‘Swing Set Susan’ along with “BBQ Becky” and “Permit Patty,” are a part of a string of recent incidents where white people have invoked the police to complain about people of color’s innocuous behavior. 

‘Swing Set Susan’ targets a group of Latinx teenagers. Then goes viral.

A teenager shared a video captioned with, “We were just trying to play. I guess we’re adults.” The teen was one of many having a good time on a swing at Dream Park when Eley interrupted by pounding on the swing as she screamed at the children. 

“Stop! Stop!” Eley is heard yelling at the teens. “It’s a children’s park, stop. Stop now.”

Eley accused them of not really being kids. When one girl corrected her, she went on a tirade. Eley insisted the playground was only for thirteen-year-olds and under. In a statement by the Fort Worth Police Department, they said the parks and playgrounds are open to all ages, even if some equipment is recommended for younger children. 

“Okay, well, I’m a f—— PD, so get the f— out of here now if you’re not here to play as a child,” Eley screams in the video. 

The girl then says they’re 16. Eley continues to argue with the children about whether they are children, before telling them 16 is old enough to be arrested as an adult. The kids largely remain quiet while some can be heard saying they should just leave. 

The Star-Telegram reported that a man who witnessed the incident told officers Eley left when he said he was calling the real police. 

Fort Worth Police Department investigate the incident. 

According to the Washington Post, Detective B. Cantu created a six-page photo lineup that included a mugshot of Eley. After identifying the teen in the video, they had her come in and choose the offender from the lineup. She chose Eley’s picture. 

“The teen told the detective that she did believe the woman was a police officer and that she and her friends left the park because of their interaction with her, according to the arrest warrant affidavit,” Lateshia Beachum reported for the Washington Post. 

Eley was already in police custody on a charge of bodily injury assault.  When the detective went to read Eley her Miranda rights and to interview her at Tarrant County Jail, she allegedly declined to speak.

The Star-Telegram reported that she had been charged on August 29, for assaulting a family member. In 2014, Eley was also sentenced to 16 months probation. In 2017, she spent 50 days in jail for DWIs, the newspaper found after reviewing Tarrant County court records. 

“Swing Set Susan” could face $10,000 in fines and 10 years of incarceration if she is convicted of impersonating a public servant. 

This isn’t the first time Latinx folk have been targets of white ire.  

In 2017, BuzzFeed News reported a man went on a racist tirade after overhearing a Puerto Rican man speak to his mom in Spanish. 

“Learn how to f—— speak English,” he shouts in a viral video. “We live in America.” 

Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. In 2018, Vox reported a white lawyer who threatened to call ICE when he overhead two restaurant workers speaking Spanish. 

“Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” he says to one employee in the video. “This is America.” The United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking nation, with more Spanish-speakers than Spain. 

This year another white man had a meltdown because he couldn’t understand why a Mexican restaurant had a menu in Spanish. 

“That’s bulls—” he said in a video according to The Hill. ‘It says it in Mexican. We’re not in Mexico. We’re in America! Above the border. The red, the line. I’m an American!”

These are just a few incidents of many that have swept the nation since Trump has taken office. In the United States, hate crimes rose by 17 percent in 2017, with anti-Latinx crimes raising by over 24 percent according to the FBI. 

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An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

Things That Matter

An Abuelo Got A Hurtful Note From Bad Neighbors About His Decorations And Latino Twitter Came Into Comfort Him

@goldenstef / Twitter

We are rarely more defensive than we are for our abuelos. The viejitos have always been there for us and seeing them treated unkindly is just heartbreaking. That is what one Twitter user experienced after her abuelo got a wretched note about his decorations outside his home.

This is the horrid letter left for @goldenstef’s abuelo by undesirable neighbors.

The letter, which is filled with misspelled words, calls the abuelo’s house an example of a “low class Mexican family.” The letter was written anonymously by neighbors and delivered to the abuelo in an attempt to shame him into changing his decorations. One of the most bizarre moments in the letter is when the angry author criticized the homeowner for having too many American flags claiming he isn’t patriotic and can’t fool the neighbors. Like, which one is it people?

The Twitter user followed up with photos of the house to show the decorations their abuelo has out front.

People flooded the Twitter post with comments supporting and sending love to the abuelo. Fellow Latinos are ready to stand with the abuelo and some just want the names of the people behind the letter so they can talk to them. Some people are stunned at how far the author was willing to go out of their way to be mean to an old man who just wants to decorate his home and front yard.

Latino Twitter wants to come together to let the abuelo know that his decorations are adorbs.

We need to come together to give her abuelo all of the wonderful decoration we love. Let’s turn his house and front yard into a showcase of all of the greatness that Latin America has to offer.

People are falling in love with this viejitos yard.

Honestly, this is a great yard. Who wouldn’t want a yard like this? This yard is original and adorable and worth all of the praise that we can muster. Thank you to people like this for making their yards something unique and worth seeing.

@goldenstef wants everyone to know just how much they appreciate the sweet messages about their abuelo’s yard.

It costs nothing to be kind. It is even better when you can be kind about something someone clearly cares so much about. Who cares if someone decorates their lawn a little too much. At least they are having fun with their lives and that is something we all need more of right now.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing Their Most Treasured Memories Of Their Abuelos And It’s Exactly What We Needed This Month

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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