Things That Matter

A White Man In Vermont Was Arrested For Exposing Himself To A Latino Family While Telling Them To ‘Go Back’

As our surprise continues to lessen to hear reports of hate crimes like this, our nausea just seems to rise. The forecast for hate crimes isn’t showing any signs of relief anytime soon. Recent FBI data shows an increase in hate crimes by 22 percent in the last few years–a sharp turn from the years-long decrease in hate crimes. In 2017, Vermont saw nearly three times as many hate crimes report than it did in 2013. Only Wyoming and Georgia beat Bernie Sander’s home state in the number of hate crimes.

The most recent incident is traumatizing on several levels. Stuart Rollins, a 58-year-old man from Barre, Vermont allegedly stood outside a Latino family’s home, pulled down his pants and exposed his genitals to them and their 3-year-old child while shouting, “Go back to your country!”

Sturat Rallins, 58, has pleaded not guilty to a felony count and several misdemeanor counts.

Credit: @MrsVTInternat15 / Twitter

He pleaded “not guilty” in Washington County Superior Criminal Court to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct, several misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, mischief and criminal threatening. Two of those misdemeanor counts include hate crime enhancements. 

Barre City Police released a summarized report that said they initially responded to a reported fight on Hillside Avenue in Barre at 2:48 p.m. Monday. They arrived at the scene to take witness reports but were called back at 4:11 p.m. when Rollins allegedly pulled down his pants and exposed himself to a Latino family and their 3-year-old child.

Witnesses said he was yelling “Go back to Mexico,” as he flashed the family.

Credit: @notcomey / Twitter

The police weren’t able to locate Rollins until the next morning but took down some interesting witness statements. That day, Rollins had also been reportedly standing in the middle of the road, laughing and telling a woman and her mother-in-law- in their flower garden that he forgot something. Then, he dropped his pants and flashed them all. The woman told police that he was “saying things about Mexicans,” as he walked away back to his home. 

Rollins also allegedly called a woman a “f***ing Spanish b*tch” as he threatened to set her and her house on fire. He was released on bail.

Credit: @H0t31y0rb4 / Twitter

Rollins did admit to police that he knocked down the family’s mailbox because he alleges that a man in the family had assaulted him. Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault asked for a $5,000 secured appearance bond with a $500 deposit be imposed for bail. Rollins was released on conditions that he follows a curfew and stays away from witnesses in his case–all of whom are his direct neighbors.

If convicted of all charges, Rollins would go to prison for 10 years.

Credit: @BeRightWithGod / Twitter

Meanwhile, some people are defending Rollins’ hate speech as protected by the first amendment. According to @BeRightWithGod, Rollins’ telling the family to “go back to Mexico” and calling a woman a “f***ing Spanish bitch” while threatening to set her on fire is just free speech. This Twitter user is wrong. It is perfectly legal to fire an employee for telling a co-worker to “go back to your country” on the grounds of discrimination.

Some are pointing to Trump’s own rhetoric for the rise in hate crimes. Others think this police-reported incident is “propaganda.”

Credit: @eleuther0mania_ / Twitter

We can confirm that the details of this incident are directly from police reports and local news coverage. While there have been no direct links between Rollins’ choice of words and Trump’s very similar rhetoric, the rise in hate crimes against Latinos has skyrocketed since Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

Others are calling on headlines to reflect the racial identity of the alleged assailant, just as they would if he was black or brown.

Credit: @PAVH48 / Twitter

Newsweek‘s headline read, “Barre man accused of harassing Hispanic family faces hate crime charges.” In a growing demand that the media address the common denominator of hate crimes being primarily white men, some are calling the outlets out on Twitter. A white man allegedly sexually violated the sense of safety for an entire Latino family among others and did so while spewing anti-Latino slurs. This is America.

READ: A Black Woman And Her Fiancé Sadly Had Their Proposal Interrupted By Racists Who Refused To Check White Customers

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Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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