Things That Matter

A Michigan Woman Doesn’t Understand Why People Are Calling Her MAGA-Themed Wedding Racist Because Her Husband Is Black

It’s 2019 and there is no denying the people have had their fair share of witnessing cringy racist moments. We’ve seen some caca. Walmart confrontations from seemingly sweet grandmas telling Latinos to go “back to Mexico” and midnight Twitter rants from the U.S. president have become our new normal. Nothing really makes us bat an eye anymore. Nothing I tell you. Nada. Or, so I thought.

You see, recently I saw that a couple from Kalamazoo, Michigan had a# MAGAPatriotWedding and was trending on Twitter and I was mostly like…

VH1 / GIF

Yes mi gente. This was my actual reaction.

But then I clicked in and saw the photos and I was like…

Monster-in-Law / New Line Cinema 

And it honestly felt good. Because it means I haven’t, and hopefully, we haven’t become immune to offensive people. That we refuse to stand up for it!

Anyway, here we go:

A couple from Kalamazoo, Michigan, had a#MAGAPATRIOTWEDDING!

ICK.

According to CBS News, Audra Johnson married her husband in a traditional plain but changed into a dress that was more representative of her true love? Johnson made an appearance during the wedding reception in a white gown with sparkly red lettering that read Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

It gets better.

The mermaid dress had a train that had the words “TRUMP” in red glitter too. 

What’s more, Johnson had her bridesmaids wear blue gowns and the dreadful red MAGA hats.

In an interview with CBS, Johnson said that the dress was originally meant to have a patriotic-theme. Then, she reached out to dress designer Andre Sorian who is a notorious Trump supporter and creates red-white-and-blue gowns that have included a “Trump 2020” dresses.

Recently Soriano’s made waves with his gowns at the Grammy Awards.

Black  singer Joy Villa wore the dress to the 2017 Grammys.

BUT the dress isn’t about THAT deplorable its about this newly wedded one. So anyway:

Johnson decided she wanted to wear Sorian’s dress on her wedding day and traveled to D.C. to have it made.

#magapatriotwedding

Posted by Audra Johnson on Monday, July 8, 2019

“It took four days of him doing measurements and putting the dress together,” Johnson told CBS News. “But it was amazing. Him and his husband are fabulous.” 

Johnson wasn’t the only one to wear something tacky to her wedding.

Her wedding guests were invited to wear “patriotic” gear as well AND bring guns to the wedding.

Tumblr. Giphy.com

The groom, Jeff Johnson–is a Black Marine veteran who apparently has been MIA when it comes to the newsfeeds coverage of Black people in gun-packed Trump Country– and wore his dress uniform. He made sure to also hold onto a gun in his photos.

Speaking about the decision to have guns, Johnson said that “Being a patriotic wedding, we really did encourage people to do whatever they felt comfortable with if they wanted to open-carry if they wanted to conceal-carry.”

Johnson said that her maid of honor is a Democrat and didn’t feel comfortable wearing a MAGA hat. “She said, ‘You know I love you, but I don’t feel comfortable wearing a MAGA hat,'” Johnson explained. “I said, ‘That’s fine, we can find you a plain red one to wear.’ We were able to compromise on that. We can believe differently but still very much love each other.”

Of course, photos of the MAGA wedding has generated quite a bit of social media traction.

#magapatriotwedding

Posted by Audra Johnson on Sunday, July 7, 2019

“It’s been absolutely crazy,” Johnson said. “Amazing patriots said they love the dress and support us. But then there’s the other side, where we’ve gotten threats, and there’s been really nasty comments.”

“A lot of the comments are ‘It’s a racist wedding.’ I’m the granddaughter of a Filipino immigrant, my husband’s black,” Johnson said. “I think what I want people to take from this is there’s a stereotype of Trump supporters flying around out there and maybe some of them are like that, but most of us aren’t like that.” 

Um okay. In either case, I guess congratulations to the r̶a̶c̶i̶s̶t̶ bride and her r̶a̶c̶i̶s̶t̶ husband.

Ecuador Was In Chaos After Massive Protests But The Government Has Reached A Deal With These Indigenous Activists

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Ecuador Was In Chaos After Massive Protests But The Government Has Reached A Deal With These Indigenous Activists

@democracynow / Twitter

Ecuador’s government announced a round of talks with leaders of the Indigenous groups who have been mobilizing against the government in a move to end the violence and chaos that has racked the nation for more than a week.

President Moreno announced he would withdraw the country from a deal reached with the IMF that many said would cause the greatest harms to the country’s most vulnerable populations.

In a major address, President Lenin Moreno announced he had struck a deal with indigenous leaders to cancel a disputed austerity package.

The news comes after nearly two weeks of protests that have paralyzed the economy and left seven dead.

Under the new agreement, President Moreno will withdraw the International Monetary Fund-backed package, known as Decree 883, that included a sharp rise in fuel costs. Indigenous leaders, in turn, will call on their followers to end protests and street blockades.

“Comrades, this deal is a compromise on both sides,” Moreno said. “The indigenous mobilization will end and Decree 883 will be lifted.”

The two sides will work together to develop a package of measures to cut government spending, increase revenue and reduce Ecuador’s growing budget deficits and public debt.

Ecuador’s Indigenous groups celebrated the announcement as a major victory.

“I’m so happy I don’t know what to say. I don’t have words, I’m so emotional. At least God touched the president’s heart,” said protester Rosa Matango in an interview with The Guardian. “I am happy as a mother, happy for our future. We indigenous people fought and lost so many brothers, but we’ll keep going forward.”

Caravans of cars roamed the streets early on Monday honking in celebration, passengers shouting, banging pots and waving Ecuadorian flags.

“The moment of peace, of agreement, has come for Ecuador,” said Arnaud Peral, the United Nations’ resident coordinator in Ecuador and one of the mediators of the nationally televised talks. “This deal is an extraordinary step.”

Wearing the feathered headdress and face paint of the Achuar people of the Amazon rainforest, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations, Jaime Vargas, thanked President Moreno and demanded improved long-term conditions for Indigenous Ecuadorians.

“We want peace for our brothers and sisters in this country,” Vargas said. “We don’t want more repression.”

The protests started when the President affirmed his support for an IMF-backed agreement, known as Decree 883.

The move sparked nationwide protests as prices rose overnight by about a 25% for gas and double for diesel. A state of emergency was imposed on Thursday. Truck and taxi drivers forced a partial shutdown of Quito’s airport and roadblocks have paralyzed major roads across the country.

Images from Quito showed protesters hurling gas bombs and stones, ransacking and vandalizing public buildings as well as clashing with the police in running battles late into the night.

Some protests became so violent that the government was actually forced to flee the capital of Quito for the coastal city of Guayaquil.

All of this was in response to Decree 883 which would have ended fuel subsidies that many of the country’s poorest citizens have come to rely on.

Other indigenous demands included higher taxes on the wealthy and the firing of the interior and defence ministers over their handling of the protests.

In a shift from the heated language of the last 10 days of protests, each side at the negotiations praised the other’s willingness to talk as they outlined their positions in the first hour before a short break.

“From our heart, we declare that we, the peoples and nations, have risen up in search of liberty,” Vargas told The Guardian. “We recognize the bravery of the men and women who rose up.”

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

Things That Matter

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

latinosfortrump20 / Instagram

Like most other American families, Latino-American families can be home to a wide range of differing political opinions, leaving family members on each side of the aisle appalled with each other’s opposite opinions. You might be a liberal trying to understand how your brown, immigrant mami is walking around in a MAGA hat, or you might be just as pleased as we are that the Latino vote is finally being more closely examined. Either way, The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston has given a home to Professor Rottinghaus and co-author Rudy Fonseca, who just published a study complete with answers to all your questions.

Myth #1: “Latinos are Natural Democrats…but it Ain’t Happening in Texas”

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

Tejanos are more likely to be registered Republicans than Latinos in other states. Twenty-seven percent of Tejanos identified as Republican, compared to 21 percent of Latinos in all other states during a 2014 Gallup poll. That said, the study reports that “divisive rhetoric and harsh immigration policies has
led many to hit the alarm.” As of September 2019, Trump has a 24 percent approval rating among Latinos, compared with an average of 30 percent to 35 percent of the Latino vote typically given to Republicans.

Bottom line: The majority of Latino-Americans identify with the Democratic party, but about a third of us identify as Republican.

Myth #2: “Latinx Republicans Must Be Less Conservative than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

This myth is also pretty close to the truth, but it’s not the whole story. While Latino Republicans are more likely to identify as “somewhat conservative” than Republicans as a whole, it doesn’t mean they fall right in the middle of the political spectrum. An October 2016 Texas Tribune poll illustrated that Latino Republicans are far less likely to identify as “extremely conservative” than their Republican counterparts as a whole. 

Bottom line: Latino Republicans are slightly less conservative than Republicans as a whole, but are still squarely Republican. Rottinghaus’s study notes that the party is likely to lose Latino voters if they continue to lean more extremely to the right. 

Myth #3: “Latinx Republicans Are Moderating Recently As Republican Party
Rhetoric Grows more Conservative”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

Myth #2 brings us straight to myth #3. Latino Republicans are growing more conservative over time. Another Texas Tribune poll just two years later showed that 27 percent of Latino Republicans are now identifying as “extremely conservative,” as compared to 19 percent just two years prior.

The same poll broke down some differences of opinion. When it comes to deportation, border security, trade negotiations, and judicial nominees, Latino Republicans were less in favor of Trump’s tactics than other Republicans. They were also 18 percent less likely to feel that “Trump cares about people like you” than the Republican party as a whole.

Bottom line: The myth is true. Latino Republicans are more moderate compared to the Republican party at large. 

Myth #4: Latinos are Culturally Conservative, And This is the Only Reason They
Support the Republican Party

Credit: @LaRepublicana86 / Twitter

The study concludes what we all already knew. If you had to genuflect in front of a Jesus painting at the entrance of your house, that (i.e. religion) plays a “major role” in choosing the Republican party. Those religious values that determine pro-life and anti-gay marriage political beliefs strongly swing a Latino’s choice of party. 

Bottom line: Of course, cultural beliefs are not the “only reason” Latinos might become Republicans. Homeowners and Latinos who have established roots in the U.S. for several generations are more likely to support the Republican party. Men are also more likely than Latinas to identify as Republican. The higher the income, the higher the probability a Latino might identify as a Republican.

Myth #5: “Latinx Republicans are “Softer” On Illegal Voting and Immigration
Than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

The study concludes that while Latino Republicans, in fact, are “softer” on these issues than other Republicans, the one area that sets them apart is deportation. A Texas Tribune 2016 poll showed 19 percent of Latino Republicans “strongly agreed” that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” compared to 35 percent of all Republicans. 

Bottom line: When it comes to immigration, Latino Republicans don’t see it as such a serious threat as other Republicans, but that gap is beginning to close. The 2018 Texas Tribune poll showed a nearly 15 percent rise in general opinion that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” and the gap between Latino Republicans and the party as a whole has closed by 2 points.

Myth #6: Latinos Don’t Feel Welcome in the Republican Party

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

The Houston study completely debunked this myth, finding that 61 percent of Latinx Republicans do feel welcome in the Republican party, compared to 68% of all Republicans. They might not feel as welcome as other Republicans, but the majority do feel welcome.

Bottom line: While Latino-Republicans feel welcome in their own party as a whole, only 22 percent of them feel the Republican party is “doing a good job” in reaching out to Latinos, according to the study. “The “sleeping giant” is real: Latinos are predicted to become
the largest population group in Texas by 2022,” the study concludes. If immigration is where Latino Republicans have differing views, the continued focus on deportation in the 2020 campaign could cause Latino Republicans to feel even less welcome in their own party.