Things That Matter

The White House’s Halloween Party Had A Station For Kids To ‘Build The Wall’

Just when you thought life at the Trump-occupied White House couldn’t get scarier, the president of the United States decided to hold an actual party for kids there. As reported by Yahoo News, children in attendance at the party which took place on October 25th were encouraged to take part in a build the wall” activity.

For the White House’s big Halloween bash, children were encouraged to take part in Trump’s politics by constructing a wall.

Those who were invited to the event were families of executive-branch employees and VIP guests. Children were instructed to write their names on brick-colored paper cards and then asked to tape their cards to a wall located on the first floor of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. In photos published by Yahoo News, dozens of red card with the names of the children who participated can be seen plastered to the walls of the Eisenhower offering building. 

According to a spokesperson for Vice-President Mike Pence, each office in the Eisenhower building put up decorations. One of the decorations included a construction-themed display that according to Yahoo “had a sign that read ‘Trump’s Crew.’”  The Hill reported that close to the display was a sign that read “America First,” the very slogan Trump has received backlash and criticism for using because of its close associations with the Ku Klux Klan.

Other activities reportedly included paper plane construction workshops, carnival, and candy games as well as activities that prompted the children to explore what they would do when they grew up. 

According to reports, not every parent was impressed by the decorations so much as they were “horrified.” 

Yahoo News reported that an anonymous attendee of the activities said that they were “Horrified. We were horrified.” Yahoo also interviewed others who attended and weren’t bothered at all. One Trump administration worker said that “everyone loses their minds over everything, and nothing can be funny anymore.”

Ben Rohrbaugh, a former Border Security director in the White House National Security Council who served during the President Obama-era described the wall display to Yahoo News as a “gross thing” to have kids do. “To the extent it’s a representation of an actual wall on the southwest border, the kids have made nearly as much progress as the president has since 2017.”

Immigration activists have been quick to slam the wall display underlining its cruelty and crossing of a line. 

 “I don’t think they understand the amount of pain that people are going through at the border for them to make a joke out of it,” Erika Andiola, the chief advocacy officer for RAICES told the Cut in an interview. “We still are dealing with children in cages even if people are not calling it that, so it’s not a joke.”

Though the White House has not commented on the Halloween border wall activity, Vice President Mike Pence that he had not been aware of it.

“I have no idea. I’m not aware of it,” Pence told Yahoo! News.

Erica Castro, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, slammed the activity on Twitter.

“This is not the example we should be leading for our children,” she tweeted in response to the activity. “During Halloween 2021, we will invite all children and families to the White House with the spirit of unity, joy and celebration.”

Twitter users were quick to respond to the contentious Halloween activity.

Erica Castro, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, also criticized the activity on Twitter.

In a series of posts to her Twitter account, Castro condemned the event and shared that under a Castro administration, “everyone matters. Everyone is welcome.”

“This is not the example we should be leading for our children,” she tweeted. “During Halloween 2021, we will invite all children and families to the White House with the spirit of unity, joy and celebration.”

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

Things That Matter

Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

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Twitter’s AIs Prefer Ted Cruz With Boobs And White Skin Over Black

Ever notice how on some social platforms like Twitter or Instagram that you yourself are mysteriously unable to crop your display images on your own? That’s because Twitter prefers to let their algorithms make the decision. Over the weekend users on Twitter discovered the surprising dangers of letting algorithms crop your own images.

Education tech researcher Colin Madland drew attention to the issue while speaking out about how the video-calling program Zoom, often crops the head out of his black person coworker while on calls.

It didn’t take long for Madland and other users to discover that Twitter’s AIs use discriminatory equations to prioritize certain faces as well. In short, the social platform’s AIs prefer white faces over Black ones.

In response to the discoveries, a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged that the company was looking into the issue “Our team did test for bias before shipping the model and did not find evidence of racial or gender bias in our testing. But it’s clear from these examples that we’ve got more analysis to do. We’re looking into this and will continue to share what we learn and what actions we take,” they stated.

Of course, Madland’s discovery is nothing new. In 2019, test results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology revealed that some of the strongest algorithms online were much more likely to confuse the faces of Black women than those of white women, or Black or white men. “The NIST test challenged algorithms to verify that two photos showed the same face, similar to how a border agent would check passports,” Wired points out. “At sensitivity settings where Idemia’s algorithms falsely matched different white women’s faces at a rate of one in 10,000, it falsely matched black women’s faces about once in 1,000—10 times more frequently. A one in 10,000 false match rate is often used to evaluate facial recognition systems.”

Still, it didn’t take long for users on the platform to ask what other physical preferences Twitter has.

Turns out the AIs prefer Ted Cruz with large anime breasts over a normal-looking Ted Cruz.

(To better understand this Tweet, click the link above)

The user who tested the image of Cruz, found that Twitter’s algorithm on the back end selected what part of the picture it would showcase in the preview and ultimately chose both images of Cruz with a large anime chest.

It’s nothing new that Twitter has its massive problems.

For a platform that so controls and oversees so much of what we consume and how we now operate, it’s scary to know how Twitter chooses to display people with different skin tones. The round of jokes and Twitter experiments by users has only revived concerns on how “learning” computer algorithms fuel real-world biases like racism and sexism.

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