Things That Matter

Memorial For Vanessa Guillen Was Vandalized And People Came Together To Clean It Up

Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance earlier this year ignited a firestorm of concern and anger across the country. The anger has resurfaced after a person vandalized and destroyed a memorial in honor of the murdered soldier. Here’s what we know so far about the vandalism that was caught on surveillance camera.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) released surveillance footage of a person vandalizing the site.

Vandal Destroys Vanessa Guillen Memorial Mural in Killeen, Fort Hood

VANESSA GUILLEN MEMORIAL VANDALIZED HOURS AFTER HER BIRTHDAYNation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Suspect Caught on Video at Site of Tribute Mural for Slain SoldierWashington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today asked for the public’s help in providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person caught on camera overnight defacing a public memorial site erected by the community to remember and honor Specialist Vanessa Guillen."I would ask that we focus on reminding the community that the mural is there to bring the community together and bring awareness to sexual assault, sexual harassment and its prevention,” said Analuisa Tapia, LULAC District Director. ’Our community has already been damaged by the loss of one too many soldiers. We ask that we collectively take care of the mural as we honor our service members who live in that silent combat,” she added.Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., Texas LULAC State Director and Linda Chavez, LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Southwest are monitoring the situation. “We abhor any type of vandalism and destruction of property,” says Rosales. “The only thing we believe in is peaceful and nonviolent action,” he added.

Posted by LULAC on Friday, October 2, 2020

The vandalism occurred on Oct. 1 in the very early morning hours. The act is captured in its entirety on camera with the perpetrator attacked the memorial in Killeen, Texas multiple times.

“I would ask that we focus on reminding the community that the mural is there to bring the community together and bring awareness to sexual assault, sexual harassment and its prevention,” Analuisa Tapia, LULAC District Director, said in a statement. “Our community has already been damaged by the loss of one too many soldiers. We ask that we collectively take care of the mural as we honor our service members who live in that silent combat.”

People are outraged that someone would vandalize the memorial.

The attack on the memorial happened just hours after what would have been her 21 birthday. The video shows a person running through the memorial from the sidewalk and kicking over candles. They then double back and run back through the memorial kicking more candles. According to KCEN, the site was cleaned up and fixed just hours after the vandalism occurred.

“We abhor any type of vandalism and destruction of property,” Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., Texas LULAC State Director said in a statement. “The only thing we believe in is peaceful and nonviolent action.”

Guillen went missing on April 22 and growing public pressure led to a formal investigation.

On June 30, Guillen’s body was found not far from the military base where she was last seen. Another body of a missing soldier was found while authorities were searching for Guillen.

Shortly after the body was found, 20-year-old Army Specialist Aaron Robinson and Cecily Aguilar were the prime suspects. According to reports, Robinson admitted to killing Guille by striking her in the back of the head with a hammer.

State politicians are calling on authorities to find those responsible.

Guillen’s search was national news as people were desperate to learn what happened to the young Latina. Civilians were calling on the military to launch a formal investigation into Fort Hood to find out what happened to Guillen.

Police confronted Robinson about the death of Guillen and Robinson shot and killed himself. Aguilar was arrested by police in connection to Guillen’s death and disappearance. Aguilar is charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence after admitting Robinson asked her to help dispose of the body. She has entered a “not guilty” plea and her court date is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Rest easy, Vanessa Guillen.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Guillen family as they continue to grapple with this tragedy. After months of hoping to find their loved one, Guillen’s remains were discovered near the military base. The Guillen family has used the death to push for change and drafted legislation they hope will become law to help military personnel.

Guillen confided in family and friends that she was the victim of sexual harassment by Robinson. Her disappearance happened soon after she decided to come forward and report the harassment. The I Am Vanessa Guillen bill seeks to create an independent way for victims of sexual harassment in the military to report. The bill would also make sexual harassment a punishable offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

READ: Vanessa Guillen’s Family To Meet With Trump And Introduce Bill To Protect Military Personnel Reporting Sexual Harassment

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Ted Cruz and Seth Rogen Are Currently In the Twitter Feud to End All Twitter Feuds

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Ted Cruz and Seth Rogen Are Currently In the Twitter Feud to End All Twitter Feuds

Photos via Getty Images

You may be familiar with the actor Seth Rogen, the burly comedian who has starred in hit films like “Knocked Up” and “Neighbors”. Well, it appears that Rogen is about the only person in the world who is able to get under Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s skin.

Since last Wednesday, the two Canadians have been embattled in an expletive-filled, eyebrow-raising Twitter feud.

It all started when Ted Cruz tweeted a criticism of the brand new Biden administration, saying because President Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, he’s “more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh”.

To which Seth Rogen eloquently responded: “F–k off you fascist.”

Normally, bigtime lawmakers ignore the public criticisms of celebrities, but this time, Senator Cruz couldn’t help but take the bait. He screenshotted Rogen’s response and commented about it on his Twitter account.

“Charming, civil, educated response,” Sen. Cruz said. “If you’re a rich, angry Hollywood celebrity, today’s Dems are the party for you. If you’re blue-collar, if you’re a union member, if you work in energy or manufacturing…not so much.”

At this point, Rogen took the time to respond: “If you’re a white supremacist fascist who doesn’t find it offensive when someone calls your wife ugly, Ted Cruz is the exact motherfucker for you.” He then added later: “Also I’m in four unions.”

And the debacle just got more intense from there. Cruz responded by calling Rogen a “moron” and saying that the Democratic party believes in the government power to “shut your business, to oppress your faith & to censor your speech.” And added: “Anyone who disagrees, they try to cancel.”

The plot got even thicker, with Rogen doubling down on his claims, this time calling Sen. Cruz a “fascist piece of s–t” with the topper: “Your lies got people killed. You have blood on your hands.”

And in the most bizarre turn of events, the so-called feud (a label that Rogen takes exception to) took an odd detour when the two men began to argue about…Disney’s “Fantasia”?

In an unrelated tweet, Cruz told his Twitter followers that the first film he saw in theatres was “Fantasia”, to which Rogen responded: “Everyone who made that film would hate you.” (Okay, you had to have laughed a little bit, right??)

Ever the one to get the last word in (and apparently having nothing better to do than argue with an actor on the internet?), Sen. Cruz tweeted out: “They’re all dead. So I think we’re good. And Walt Disney was a Republican. Even though you behave online like a Marxist with Tourette’s (screaming “F U! F U!” is really, really clever), your movies are typically pretty funny. I’m sure you hate that I enjoy them.”

To which Rogen revealed that he actually does, indeed, have a mild form of Tourette’s syndrome that just causes twitching, not swearing (plot twist?)

He also chastised Cruz for making light of the syndrome that afflicts many people–including people in Rogen’s family.

And of course, a public Twitter spat wouldn’t be a public Twitter spat without other bloodthirsty spectators jumping into the fray.

Like failed Pennsylvania congressional candidate Dean Browning, who tried to burn Rogen by asking why a “Canadian is so deeply obsessed with American men like @TedCruz”. The “obvious explanation” being that “#SethRogenLovesTedCruz”. Because homophobic jokes are so clever.

Seth Rogen took this as the perfect opportunity to educate Mr. Browning on the little-known birthplace of Senator Cruz. He tweeted: “Ted Cruz is Canadian you stupid f–k.” Well said.

To read the entire, sprawling Twitter exchange, head over to Seth Rogen’s Twitter account. You won’t be disappointed.

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President Joe Biden Ends Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

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President Joe Biden Ends Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump and his administration have a long track record of attacking LGBTQ+ votes. One of the first attacks was to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Years later, President Joe Biden has reversed the hateful order.

President Joe Biden has ended the trans military ban.

Former President Trump left behind a trail of destruction and pain with his administration. One of the first LGBTQ+ attacks was banning trans people from joining and serving in the military. The policy, which was created via a tweet, caused unnecessary pain to trans military members both current and retired. Many lost benefits and others were discharged for being who they are.

The order is a welcomed change to the military.

“This is reinstating a position that previous commanders and — as well as the Secretaries have supported,” President Biden said about the order. “And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform, and essentially restoring the situation as it existed before, with transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military.”

LGBTQ+ people and allies are celebrating the end of the discriminatory policy.

The policy banning trans members from the military served no purpose other than singling out people for who they are. For years, the military has accepted LGBTQ+ people and former President Trump’s anti-trans policy was damaging and unnecessarily harmful to servicemembers.

President Biden’s plan will tackle the legacy of disenfranchisement in three steps:

  • Directs the secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security to implement this order.
  • Immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity.
  • Requires an initial report from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security be made to the President within 60 days on their progress in implementing the directives and policy included in today’s Executive Order.

READ: Amelio Robles Ávila Was Mexico’s First Trans Soldier And A Revolutionary Hero, More Than 100 Years Ago

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