Things That Matter

US Ambassador Insults Mexican Icon Frida Kahlo And Mexicans Clapped Back

Relations between the US and Mexico haven’t exactly been super warm over the last few years. Thanks, in part, to Trump’s often inhumane (and likely illegal) policies targeting migrants, many Mexicans don’t have the greatest impression of the US right now.

Although the working relationship between Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, hasn’t suffered too much – at least not publicly – that could all change after a recent gaffe by the recently appointed US Ambassador to Mexico.

The ambassador was touring the famous Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s longtime home, when he shared some choice words about the iconic Mexican artist.

The newly appointed United States ambassador to Mexico has caused a fierce social media debate after taking aim at iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo for her “passion for Marxism”.

Following a visit on Sunday to Kahlo’s house, which has been turned into a museum after her death in 1954, Cristopher Landau sent out a tweet asking if the acclaimed artist had not been aware of atrocities committed in the name of that ideology.

“I admire her free and bohemian spirit, and she rightly became an icon of Mexico around the whole world,” the US ambassador, who assumed office last month, wrote in Spanish. He then added “What I do not understand is her obvious passion for Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism. Didn’t she know about the horrors committed in the name of that ideology?”

The ambassador basically tried to mansplain the politics of Marxism and Leninism.

In a now viral tweet, the ambassador questioned her political views and whether she truly understood the meaning behind them. Many Mexicans, and people around the world, rightfully took offense to that.

Frida Kahlo was a very political person who was very engaged in the Mexican political scene. She was well tuned in to the inner workings of Communism and Marxism, so for this man to question this powerful woman’s understanding of politics rubbed many people the wrong way.

So what were Frida Kahlo’s political beliefs?

Frida was both a feminist and a socialist. She was a trailblazer not just for women, but for LGBTI people and people with disabilities. After a tram accident changed the course of her life, she struggled with and embraced her multiple identities, which can be seen in her self-portraits, making up the bulk of her work.

Frida joined the Mexican Communist Party when she was in her 20s but left when her husband Diego Rivera, also a famous artist, was expelled. After the expulsion, Frida and Diego went to the US, and it was here that they began associating with the Left Opposition headed by Leon Trotsky.

Mexicans flooded Twitter with some pretty savage responses to the ambassador’s insult.

His tweet prompted fury from Mexicans online.

Many criticised the US or its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.

“In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said one Twitter user.

Many Mexicans blasted the US for its long history of interfering in the internal affairs of Latin America and other countries around the globe, often to counter socialist governments.

“How many deaths have caused by US interventions? Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Operation Condor … and we don’t talk about the extermination of Native Americans or the economy of slavery,” A Fuertes wrote on Twitter. 

Another user on Twitter wrote: “In the name of fighting that ideology, the US killed children in Vietnam by bombing entire villages and supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America,” said user @Quetzalcoaltl1.

Even the Mexican Communist party got in on the debate.

The Mexican Communist Party weighed into the debate, saying: “Ambassador Landau, Comrade Frida was consistent with humanism, the search for democracy and freedom of Mexico’s workers and people, and therefore she was a Marxist-Leninist, and of course Stalin’s admirer. Don’t show your ignorance any more, imitating Trump.”

While some shared her works paired with her quotes showing what she really thought when it came to politics and life.

For many, simply holding Marxist and Leninist views doesn’t equal negative politics. For many, those political views offer hope and signify community, respect, and society.

Police Brutality Protests Intensify Following Autopsy Of Mexican Who Died In Police Custody

Things That Matter

Police Brutality Protests Intensify Following Autopsy Of Mexican Who Died In Police Custody

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have sprung up around the world. People are tired of police departments killing unarmed citizens and the latest unrest is coming from Mexico after a man was killed by police after being arrested.

Mexican protests against police brutality intensified this week.

Protesters took to the streets through Jalisco to protest the death of Giovanni López at the hands of the police. The 24-year-old was allegedly arrested for not wearing a face mask on May 4 in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco, near Guadalajara. An autopsy of López revealed that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head prompting protests against police brutality.

A video of the arrest has been spreading all over social media showing López being arrested by a group of police officers.

People at the scene and in the video are shocked at the force used in the arrest. Multiple police officers can be seen surrounding López as they attempt to put him in the police car. The police officers can be heard degrading López and those defending him during the arrest.

“Vanni, we’re coming for you,” a man is heard saying.

“Shut up, you p*ssy,” a police officer responds.

López can be heard begging for help as the police apprehended him.

According to the video, police claim that López was resisting arrest to justify the police presence at the arrest. There are unsubstantiated allegations of government-backed attempts to bribe López’s family for their silence.

López’s death sparked intense protests in Mexico demanding justice and police accountability.

#JusticiaParaGiovanni demonstrations, centralized in Jalisco, cropped up after the autopsy was released. There were already Black Lives Matter protests happening in Mexico to show support for the U.S. movement. López’s death amplified that anger and the result is violent protests.

One video circulating on social media shows a police officer being set on fire.

State Prosecutor Gerardo Octavio Solís claims that López was arrested for “aggressive behavior” but the family disputes that claim. Mexicans have long had a contentious relationship with law enforcement, many of which have been trained by U.S. forces.

“There are long histories of police brutality in both countries,” Tom Long, an expert on Mexican security at the University of Warwick, told The Guardian. “[Militarization] is a recipe for police violence, particularly aimed at those with the fewest monetary and societal resources to hold (them) accountable.”

READ: Venezuelan Singer Chyno Posted A Video Mocking Protesters And Calling Them Imbeciles And Delinquents

K-Pop Stans Took Over #WhiteLivesMatter On Twitter Completely Shutting Down The Hashtag

Entertainment

K-Pop Stans Took Over #WhiteLivesMatter On Twitter Completely Shutting Down The Hashtag

Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

K-Pop is both one of the most popular and most polarizing music created. It has made a global impact with fandoms everywhere. However, sometimes you just can’t get on Twitter without seeing the videos of K-Pop flooding popular hashtags and discussions. The latest K-Pop Twitter takeover was something everyone could get behind.

K-Pop completely shut down a social media party of #WhiteLivesMatter.

Black Lives Matter protests have cropped up around the world and they don’t show any sign of slowing down. They continue to grow in size and the protest has gone international with protesters fighting for American Black lives. In response, some people tried to make #WhiteLivesMatter a thing on Twitter but K Pop fans shut it down quickly.

K-Pop stans really came through in an unexpected yet obvious way.

K-Pop stans are a force to be reckoned with. They are loud and large in numbers and when they want to be seen and heard on Twitter nothing can stop them. They are very engaged on social media and they came out to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Imagine wanting to go to #WhiteLivesMatter to legitimately see something and then seeing K Pop everywhere.

There was some choice speculation about the reaction of #WhiteLivesMatter supporters watching their hashtag get derailed.

Alt-right Twitter users have been using this tactic for years attempting to derail all progressive and unifying social media movements. The sudden reversal in the dynamics of social media manipulation is something we should all be celebrating thanks to the fast-acting K Pop fans.

Not only did K-Pop fans take over the hashtag, Twitter even classified its ranking within K Pop.

That’s what you call success. #WhiteLivesMatter was stunted in its original mission of trying to lessen the Black Lives Matter protests demanding racial justice. There has long been a group of people trying to take attention away from Black Lives Matter under a cloak of caring for all people. Some have even claimed that it was racist to say Black Lives Matter because it somehow minimizes other lives.

Black Lives Matter is not trying to say other lives do not matter. What it means is that Black lives are under attack and they need to matter to society. There is a crisis of unarmed Black people being killed by police for no reason and it has to stop. It is a crisis that has needed attention for years and the death of George Floyd coupled with COVID-19 has catapulted it into the forefront of the American consciousness.

Even people who don’t listen to K-Pop got in on the fun.

Honestly, it is a remarkable thing to see. Twitter users coming together for a common goal of silencing what was being called a racist mobilization on Twitter.

People loved to see it all happen.

Anything that can bring people together is something we should celebrate. The world is fighting to protect the lives of one community that has been over-policed and disproportionately attacked by police. The movement has grown to now include more people both online and offline.

Maybe it is the isolation, but people are very grateful for this moment in social media history.

Black Lives Matter organizers are giving it everything they have. They are fighting to keep people organized in the fight against racial injustice at the hands of police officers. It seems they have support and backup from all sides.

READ: Meet the Korean-Mexican Hearthrob Topping The K-Pop Charts