Things That Matter

Trump Attacks AOC And Other Freshman Congresswomen Of Color In Racist Twitter Rant Telling Them To Go Back To Their Country

We think it’s safe to say that the president of the United States is an unrepentant bigot. For example, the Muslim Ban and the internment of South American migrants at the borders are both works of pure xenophobia. Also, we can recall those rumors of an infamous recording that allegedly has the business-man-turned-politician dropping the N-word.

So, it’s no surprise when Trump goes off on racist tangents about Black and brown people pretty regularly. In his latest bigoted explosion, the president’s target is Congressional women of color.

Sunday morning, the president went on a racist Twitter rant aimed at Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other freshman congresswomen of color

Twitter / @realDonaldTrump

In the tweets, Trump condemned what he called “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen.” These tweets are directed at Representative Ocasio-Cortez as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley. Recently, these freshmen congresswomen have spoken out against the racism that is prevalent in our political systems.

This past week, the women came under fire from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. After she made disparaging comments in an interview about the group’s Twitter presence, AOC and the other congresswomen pushed back against Pelosi. In response, the Speaker of the House scolded the group during a caucus meeting on July 10th.

“You got a complaint?,” the Speaker said during her time on the floor. “You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just okay.”

In response, AOC and the other congresswomen ⁠— often referred to as “the Squad” ⁠— responded to what they saw was a targeted assault on women of color in the Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about the disharmony with the Washington Post, calling it a “persistent singling out.” She further explained, “It got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”

Trump was quick to defend Pelosi ⁠— someone who he regularly attacks ⁠— against claims of racism.

However, that set up his own racist and, frankly, inaccurate Sunday morning strike on the congresswomen.

Twitter / @realDonaldTrump

The president tweeted:

“So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat congresswomen, who originally come from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, the most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all) now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”

There’s a lot to unpack with this run-on sentence but let’s start with the inaccuracies.

AOC was born in the Bronx, New York, a community that the congresswomen now represents. Rep. Tlaib was born in and represents Detroit. Rep. Pressley was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. She now represents Boston, Massachusetts. As a child, Rep. Omar and her family were forced to flee Somalia and received asylum in the US. She became a US citizen in the year 2000 and serves as congresswomen to Minneapolis.

All four are American citizens and are sworn to serve the United States as congresswomen. The only “corrupt and inept” country that they have alliance to is American and they are working to call out the dysfunction of our system no matter who attacks them.

Democrats were quick to respond to Trump’s ridiculous tweet storm.

Twitter / @ewarren

Presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren called out the president words as the “racist and xenophobic attack” that it is. She concluded her response by promising these congresswomen will receive the respect they deserve ⁠— the respect not granted by Trump ⁠— when she becomes president.

Even Nancy Pelosi, an instigator in this conflict, condemned the president’s words.

Twitter / @SpeakerPelosi

The Speaker claimed that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign has “always been about making America white again.” Pelosi goes on to announce that it is our diversity that gives us strength, unity and power as a nation.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez went on to answer the president’s vile tweets with ones of her own and showed that she is not backing down in the face of bigotry.

Twitter / @AOC

In the thread that contained her response, the representative went on to challenge Trump in his racism and fear-mongering. She pointed out that the issue that vexes the president and people like him is that AOC and people like her do not fear them. She and her fellow freshman congresswomen will continue to serve the communities they were elected to. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and her Squad know there isn’t much the president can do in response to this besides have another tweet tantrum and they don’t plan to let that stop their push for a more inclusive system.

AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

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AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

@mayadejendela / Twitter

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used her short career to be a champion of many worthy causes. Before she even entered the political arena, she visited embattled communities like Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan in order to learn more about the environmental crises taking place. She’s since turned that environmentalism into support for the Green New Deal, a legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality. AOC has also been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration’s border wall and their oppressive take on immigration. On top of these important causes, the representative from New York is a great advocate for women’s rights. 

It’s with this advocacy in mind that AOC took to Twitter on Friday evening to tweet her support for Taylor Swift during the artist’s latest professional battle. 

Twitter / @taylorswift13

The defense comes from a Thursday evening tweet from Swift. In the tweet, the musician shares that, though she is being named “Artist of the Decade” by the American Music Awards, there’s a damper to her happy news. According to Swift, issues with Big Machine Records’ music executives were keeping her from being able to have access to all of the songs previous to her latest album, “Lover.” 

The two execs, Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, own the masters to Swift’s earlier works and, as such, can control whether or not to she’s allowed to use them. According to the deal she signed with Republic Records and Universal Music Group in 2018, Swift is not allowed to re-record her earlier songs until 2020. It’s important to note that neither of these men had anything to do with the creation of these songs.

“I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” the tweet read. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that they would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”

Additionally, Swift explained that she had an upcoming documentary about her life in the works with Netflix. 

Twitter / @THR

Just like with the American Music Awards, the musician shared that the executives were again refusing to allow her to use old clips of her performances or any new renditions of these old songs. The note went on to request that fans let Braun and Borchetta know that they’re Team Taylor all the way.

Borchetta reportedly told Swift’s team that she could in fact use these earlier songs on two conditions. One, the musician would loose the right to re-record these songs for the year of 2020. The second condition was that Swift had to stop publicly discussing Braun and Borchetta. 

This is when AOC got into the mix with her response to Swift’s tweet. 

Twitter / @AOC

A longstanding opponent of major corporations, the representative likened the situation with Swift’s music rights to private equity groups. AOC responded to the music controversy with a call to action demanding that the music executives be “reigned in.”

“Private equity groups’ predatory practices actively hurt millions of Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Their leveraged buyouts have destroyed the lives of retail workers across the country, scrapping 1+ million jobs. Now, they’re holding Taylor Swift’s own music hostage.”

If you’re thinking that AOC’s support is proof that she’s a closet Swiftie, it’s actually much deeper than that.

Twitter / @AOC

Since AOC is a champion for middle and low income America, it might seem unexpected for her to back Swift who is a multimillionaire. However, the musician’s problem is one that the representative has been fighting against. As Ocasio-Cortez explained on Twitter, millions of Americans have been impacted by private equality firms. These firms buy businesses and liquidate them in order to squeeze out all of the profitability they can without concern for their employees. This results in employees being laid off, having to make due with reduced pay and/or hours and losing benefits like insurance and severance packages. 

By relating the two problems together, AOC was able to make a series of tweets about an important policy go viral and reach a huge audience. In fact, her initial tweet in response to Swift earned nearly 80K likes and almost 15K retweets. 

Whether it was thanks to Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s attention or the public pressure, this story now has a satisfying ending. 

Twitter / @THR

The music execs at Swift’s former record label and Dick Clark Productions, producer of the American Music Awards, have come to an agreement. In the press release issued by Big Machine Records, details of the agreement were laid out so all of the label’s artists are cleared for performance. 

No word yet if AOC will be tuning into Swift’s American Music Award appearance but hopefully she knows that she helped to make that performance a reality. 

Indigenous People In Guatemala Marched On Their Capitol In Support Of Evo Morales

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Indigenous People In Guatemala Marched On Their Capitol In Support Of Evo Morales

evoespueblo / Twitter

South America’s poorest country, Bolivia, is in the midst of a political crisis, and Guatemala’s indigenous people are marching in solidarity with ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales. After the Guatemalan government joined the United States in recognizing extreme right self-appointed Jeanine Anez as the interim president of Bolivia, Guatemala’s indigenous people expressed their outrage in an organized protest. Hundreds of indigenous people marched in Guatemala’s capital Thursday to protest the change of government, which they view as a coup d’etat of Bolivia’s first indigenous president. With a “Brother Evo, Guatemala is with you” banner in hand, the protesters marched toward a heavily guarded US embassy. The next day, Morales announced that he won’t be “taking part in new elections.”

Before Morales rose to the presidency, he was a campesino activist, representing indigenous traditions and customs under attack by the US government. “We are repudiating the discriminatory and racist coup d’etat that took place in Bolivia,” said Mauro Vay, march organizer and head of Guatemala’s Rural Development Committee. 

Protesters proudly waved the wiphala flags, an indigenous symbol of solidarity.

CREDIT: @UKREDREVOLUTION / TWITTER

This man held an image that told the story of a thousand words. As a child, Evo Morales’ family were subsistence farmers, which allowed him to enjoy a basic education. He later moved to grow coca, the raw plant used to make cocaine. During the U.S.’ “War on Drugs,” coca farmers were under attack. Morales rose to defend the campesinos from what he called an imperialist violation of indigenous culture. His protests may have led to several arrests, but his notoriety grew to elect him to Congress as the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party. 

In Paraguay, Bolivian ex-patriates went up against the police to rehang the wiphala flag at the Bolivian embassy.

CREDIT: @WILL_J_COSTA / TWITTER

Several indigenous residents of Paraguay arrived at the Bolivian embassy to hang the Wiphala flag, which was reportedly taken down. They faced police resistance but eventually succeeded. The next day, the flag was removed. 

In 2005, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa and won, becoming the first indigenous president of Bolivia. 

CREDIT: @BRETGUSTAFSON / TWITTER

Then, it gets murky. By the time his first term was over, MAS rewrote their constitution to lift the one-term limit on presidents. Morales ran for a second term and won. Even though he claimed he wouldn’t run for a third term, Morales claimed the first term didn’t count because it was completed under the old constitution.  So he ran again and won for the third time. In October 2019, Morales ran for his fourth term, and won by a small margin, prompting a recount.

Just 24 hours into the recount, Morales ordered the recount to an end and declared himself president over his opponent, former president Mesa. the Organization of American States (OAS) conducted an audit that flagged the election as possibly fraudulent.

The OAS is not in the service of the people of Latin America, less so the social movements. The OAS is at the service of the North American empire,” Morales later said. Still, protests erupted across the country.

In a quickly developing government coup, military chiefs removed Morales.

CREDIT: @FAFASCHMITT / TWITTER

On Nov. 10, General Williams Kaliman, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces, decided, along with other military chiefs, that Morales should step down. Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Mexico offered him asylum and sent a plane to escort Morales to Mexico City.

CREDIT: @EVOESPUEBLO / TWITTER

“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care,” Morales tweeted. Right-wing Christian opponent, Luis Fernando Camacho, also called “Bolivia’s Bolsonaro,” led violent protests against Morales and his Indigenous supporters, burning Bolivia’s Indigenous Wiphala flag. 

Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Argentina have maintained that his removal from office was a coup. The United States, led by a right-wing president, has recognized Bolivia’s interim right-wing president as valid.

Morales announced Friday that he won’t run for president in the reelection “for the sake of democracy.”

CREDIT: @VERSOBOOKS / TWITTER

Morales resigned Sunday after protests left four people dead. “For the sake of democracy, if they don’t want me to take part, I have no problem not taking part in new elections,” Morales told Reuters while remaining in asylum. “I just wonder why there is so much fear of Evo,” he offered.

READ: A US-Backed Opposition Leader Has Declared Herself President Of Bolivia Amid Outrage At Her Comments About Indigenous Bolivians