Things That Matter

When This Man At Walmart Told A Latina To Leave The US, She Told Him “This Is My Country, Too”

Another day, another Latina’s shopping experience ending in Donald Trump-inspired xenophobia.

While Dulce Nereyda, her daughter and mother were looking for baby shower gifts at an Arizona Walmart, they were interrupted by a bearded white man who didn’t like that she and her mom were speaking to each other in Spanish.

The Mexican-American woman, who didn’t get the entire encounter on camera, shared what she was able to record from the frightening verbal assault on Facebook.

“This ⬇️ man starts yelling, ‘I can’t wait until Trump does away with you all!’ I was like, ‘Excuse me.’ He yelled ‘Leave, just leave. YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!’ All because I was speaking Spanish to my mom,” she wrote of the unnamed man.

Dulce was stunned by the sudden display of racism and was unsure what to do. After seeing her daughter’s face, she felt like she couldn’t remain quiet, pulling out her phone to record the man harassing her and reminding him that she, too, belonged in the country.

So it really F*** happened 🤯😡!!! As my Beautiful mommi, JORDAN, and I are shopping for Beto Ramos baby shower tomorrow at Walmart on Huntington. This ⬇️ man starts yelling " I can't wait until Trump does away with you all!" I was like excuse me. He yelled "Leave just leave YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!" All because I was speaking Spanish to my mom. I was so caught off guard that I didn't even know what to do. I always thought what would I ever do if that happened to me or my mom and it did. I felt scared at first and then I saw the look on my baby girls face 😢😢😡. So if you know me I couldn't just leave it like that. I WANT TO EXPOSE THIS MAN FOR THE RACIST HE IS! And I assured my little Queen that this is her home and WE DO BELONG HERE🇲🇽🇺🇲!!!

Posted by Dulce Nereyda on Friday, March 15, 2019

“So do you want to tell me to get out again? Because this is my country, too,” she said as the camera faced the man.

While the man initially ignored her, it didn’t take long for him to continue with his bigoted, pro-Trump rant, saying, “I wish you guys would leave, and I can’t wait till we build the wall.”  

Making no indication that she had any intentions on leaving her country, Dulce once more asserted that she is American and that English is not the official language of the United States.

She says she posted the encounter on Facebook to both expose the man for the “racist he is” and also send an important message to her daughter.

“I assured my little queen that this is her home and we do belong,” she said.

Read: Study: While Whites Are Responsible For Most Air Pollution, Latinxs And Blacks Are The Most Negatively Impacted

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Jharrel Jerome Made History By Being The First Ever Afro-Latino To Win An Emmy For Acting And His Acceptance Speech Made Latinos Everywhere Cry Their Hearts Out

Entertainment

Jharrel Jerome Made History By Being The First Ever Afro-Latino To Win An Emmy For Acting And His Acceptance Speech Made Latinos Everywhere Cry Their Hearts Out

Jharrel Jerome - 71st Emmy Awards - Press Room / Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Another glass ceiling has finally been broken in Hollywood. On Sunday night, Dominican-American actor Jharrel Jerome became the first-ever Afro-Latino actor to win an Emmy for acting. Jerome won the award for his work in the Ava Duverney limited series “When They See Us”, where he portrayed the wrongly-convicted Korey Wise. 

“When They See Us” is a Netflix-helmed production that revolves around the case of Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam–a group of black and Latino young men who were wrongly convicted for the rape and assault of a female jogger. Jerome played the part of Korey Wise, the oldest of the group, and the only member who was forced to serve his term in the adult prison system. Years later, the true assailant admitted to the crime and the men were released from prison. 

The limited-series has been praised for “adding a necessary layer of humanity” to the boys’ stories and challenging viewers to “reconsider what it means to find justice in America.”

The win was one of the most emotional wins of the night, with the audience erupting into applause and getting to its feet when Jerome won.

Notably among the audience were the members of “The Central Park Five”, whom Jerome referred to in his speech as “The Exonerated Five”. The men gave Jerome a standing ovation along with the rest of the crowd, all of them visibly emotional. Korey Wise, the man Jerome portrayed, was shown with tears running down his face during Jerome’s acceptance speech.

Jerome started the speech saying that he feels he should be “in the Bronx right now, chillin,’ waiting for my mom’s cooking, but I’m here”. He then went on to thank his family for their support, including his mother and his father. He lapsed into Spanish at one point, pointing to the sky and telling his deceased grandfather “te quiero”. Finally, he dedicated his award “Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as The Exonerated Five. Thank you so much. It’s an honor and a blessing.”

The win was a shock to audience and critics alike, as the category was stacked with heavy-hitters.

The competition was stiff among the limited-series nominees, with household names like Benecio Del Toro, Hugh Grant, Mahershala Ali, and Jared Harris among the actors. Jerome thanked his fellow nominees at the beginning of his speech, saying that he was “here with his inspirations” with people he was “so motivated by”. The win was not only surprising because of Jerome’s status as a newcomer, but also his age–the youngest actor ever to win in this category. 

The significance of the occasion was not lost on Jerome, who said that he hoped it was a “step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos” in a backstage interview.

Backstage, Jerome was also candid about the impact of black and brown stories, and how their power lies in the truth they portray. “I think our strongest stories are the stories of pain, considering that’s what we go through on a regular basis,” he said. “I think the truth is our pain needs to be told.”

Always on board to celebrate the accomplishments of la Raza, Latinxs took to Twitter to express their joy at Jerome’s win. 

Naturally, the news is cause for celebration. After all, it’s not every day that a young Dominican Afro-Latino from the Bronx wins an Emmy. Especially when he’s pitted against Oscar-winners and industry favorites.

This Latina took to Twitter to emphasize the significance of this event:

With Jerome’s win, history was literally made on Sunday night–that fact can’t be stated enough.

Even Lin Manuel Miranda got in on the action, expressing his pride:

It turns out that Miranda and Jerome had met before. What a beautiful example of Latinos supporting other Latinos!

This Latino was overcome with all of the emotion he was feeling from Jerome’s win.

It’s hard to express the pride one feels when seeing someone from their tribe make an impact on the world. This is why representation on our screens is so important.

This Dominicana had a thing or two to say about black and Latinx intersectionality:

Jerome’s win is the perfect teachable moment for people (included Latinxs) who struggle with the fact that there are black Latinos out there. 

This Latina suggested a nation-wide day off for Dominican-Americans.

We don’t hate that idea. Every step forward should be celebrated. 

Congratulations to Jharrel Jerome for a much-deserved win. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing him on our screens for years to come.

New Safety Measures In The Dominican Republic Following American Deaths

Things That Matter

New Safety Measures In The Dominican Republic Following American Deaths

Joe deSousa / Flickr

It’s only common sense that tells you to watch your back when you travel, no matter where you go. After all, tourists are prime targets for scams, pickpockets, and the like. And sure, sometimes certain places give you a bad dose of something, which leaves you making best friends with the toilet bowl for a good 24 hours. But, what you most likely don’t anticipate is having to contend with death – and after the deaths of 11 American tourists in the Dominican Republic, officials have been scrambling to deal with the fallout.

New safety measures are being rolled out to protect and assist American tourists visiting the Dominican Republic.

Credit: Chrissy Anderson / Pinterest

The reason why we know this is because officials from the Dominican Republic, along with the US Ambassador, gathered in New York City to announce the new initiatives to be put in place. Talking to the media at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, the Dominican Republic’s Minister of Tourism, Javier Garcia, said that the proposed safety measures are designed to address safety issues reported to be at the center of the tourists’ deaths. Granted, even though the safety measures were only recently announced, it’s likely that these initiatives have been in the works for a while – so here’s hoping that they’ve hashed out all the little details, and see some success!

So what was said in the announcement?

Credit: YouTube / Daily Mail

Well, there were four main changes that are gonna be made in the Dominican Republic. Firstly, the plan is to reinforce mandates requiring that both emergency information and 911 be available in guest rooms. A new emergency tourist center, manned by multi-lingual staff, is to be constructed in Bávaro, Punta Cana. The aim behind this initiative is to ensure that, should there actually be an emergency, then there is plenty of help on hand. It’s great to see that they’ve considered language barriers, too, as navigating them can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

Improved access to emergency services is not all that’s been announced.

Credit: ecolab_inc / Instagram

The Ministry of Tourism also announced a partnership with Ecolab, a U.S.-based water, hygiene, and energy technology developer. Ecolab has been brought on board as a training and certification provider for current and would-be Department of Tourism, Services and Companies inspectors. The benefit of this partnership is that the U.S. tends to set acceptable standards for lots of industries, worldwide. Granted, we’re not here to go down that rabbit hole and judge whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Rather, it’s important to acknowledge the line of thinking that if inspectors from the Department of Tourism, Services, and Companies have been trained to what’s synonymous with a world-class standard, at what they do.

This means inspectors who are good at their job ensuring that accidents don’t happen.

Credit: hdcamerasusa / Instagram

In terms of more general security, our man Garcia also announced that 4,000 agents would be hired across the tourist security agency and the national police. Beyond manpower, 3,000 additional public security cameras are to be installed. On the one hand, this indicates a considerable boost to security resources within the Dominican Republic. On the other hand, not many specifics were mentioned around this new personnel and cameras. For example: where exactly would these agents and cameras be stationed? It’s no good if they’re just added to the current roster of security resources, without any thought about how they could make an impact. It’s no good placing a camera in a busy thoroughfare if it’s not really an area where any crime occurs in the first place, right?

The US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic was on board with the announcement.

Credit: lavozdegaliciard / Instagram

Robin Bernstein reminded the press that the U.S. State Department maintains a level-two advisory on travel to the Dominican Republic – a standard that’s also been applied to countries such as Spain, Denmark, and Belgium. In fact, she declared that the deaths of the American tourists in the Dominican Republic fueled an “unfounded negative campaign,” which has created a “tourism crisis” for the country. “American tourists should feel safe and secure,” Bernstein said. “I am totally comfortable with [the Dominican Republic’s] safety level, it is one of the safest tourist destinations I have ever visited. In fact, it has now become an even safer place to come because of the initiatives.”

The ambassador is cautiously optimistic about the long-term benefits of these safety measures.

Credit: asonahores / Instagram

While the Ambassador indicated that she has full faith in the safety standards of the Dominican Republic, she also addressed the reports that tainted alcohol had lead to the deaths of U.S. tourists. “If it was alcohol, people would be dropping like flies,” Bernstein said. “It is not alcohol.” However, she did not offer an alternative explanation as to why the deaths occurred.

Not all of the deaths have been attributed to compromised alcohol.

Credit: hrhcpuntacana / Instagram

That doesn’t mean that concerns haven’t been raised around the alcohol provided at hotels in the Caribbean country. Back in June, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino announced that it would remove liquor dispensers from the guest rooms at its Punta Cana location. Apparently, this was due to “guest feedback” and an effort to “enhance safety moving forward.” From there on in, all alcohol onsite would be brand-name and sourced from the U.S. – bar specialty beverages from the Dominican Republic. Hard Rock also announced that it would be contracting a U.S. third party organizations to assist with inspecting and testing the location’s food and beverages. Seems that it’s a bit of overkill for just merely responding to customer feedback.

Some think that the timing seems a little too coincidental to think otherwise.

Credit: av1ation / Instagram

In addition to the Hard Rock Hotel’s change in company policy, Delta Airlines also decided to give its customers a bit of leeway with their flights. The most recent death of 46-year-old Denver resident, Khalid Adkins, on July 25 triggered an announcement from Delta Airlines that the airline would allow travelers with tickets to Punta Cana to cancel or reschedule their flights “due to recent events” – a euphemism for the deaths that have occurred in the region. 

Despite the reactions of these companies to the deaths, the facts still say that the Dominican Republic is a relatively safe holiday destination.

Credit: artbyheathercutts / Instagram

For anyone who is planning to travel to the Dominican Republic, it’s worth thinking about this: last year, about 13 U.S. citizens died in the Dominican Republic. In 2017, the figure was 17 deaths. So, the rate of deaths is actually decreasing for U.S. citizens traveling to the Caribbean island. The Dominican Republic saw more than 2.7 million visitors from the U.S. in 2017.

Yet, it is always important to feel safe and comfortable when traveling.

Credit: airportag / Instagram

At the end of the day, there’s just not enough information out there to really say how many of the deaths could be connected – or if they were connected at all, save the fact that these US tourists traveled to the same place. Some of the US citizens who died did so due to car accidents, or heart conditions – things that, unfortunately, happen all too common in the US, too. However, some of the deaths are yet to have a particular cause attributed to them. A few of them have occurred after the tourist was drinking, exhibiting symptoms such as excessive vomiting. And, okay, entirely possible that authorities are genuinely still investigating the causes of the deaths, or even keeping the cause of the deaths quiet out of respect for the families of the victims. But, the moral of the story is that it never hurts to exercise caution when you’re in traveling overseas, babes.

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic