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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Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

Things That Matter

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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