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

Fashion Institute of Technology Had An Anti-Black Fashion Show That Displayed ‘Ugly Features’

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Fashion Institute of Technology Had An Anti-Black Fashion Show That Displayed ‘Ugly Features’

dietprada/ Instagram

Anti-blackness has proven to be sorely out of style in the past few decades but the fashion world seems to be behind the times on this one. We’ve told you this story time and time again but somehow the presence of racism, anti-Blackness and cultural appropriation has endured on the runways. Even at institutes of learning where you’d think things like this would now be 101.

So here’s the story once again.

The Fashion Institute of Technology is under fire after they allowed a graduate student to send a racist body of work down the runway.

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It shouldn’t be down to the models to have to refuse wearing blatantly racist accessories on the runway, especially not in a show thrown by an institution like @fitnyc. In an alumni show celebrating their 75th anniversary, MFA graduate Junkai Huang showed a collection that was meant to highlight the “ugly features of the body”. The choice of exaggerated bright red fake lips and “monkey ears”, as well as the school’s response, are leaving us shaking our heads. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nearing a breakdown, African-American model Amy Lefevre (@lefevrediary ) spoke up about the accessories, but was told by staff it was “ok to be uncomfortable for only 45 seconds”. It’s one thing when it’s a pair of tricky heels, but quite another when you’re made up to look like racist caricatures from the not-so-distant past. Multiple complaints had been made in the days leading up to the show as well, with several people objecting. One anonymous student who was witness backstage, said the show’s producer @richardthornn told the group to “back down and get away” when they brought up the issue again. The accessories didn’t end up making it onto Lefevre, but that didn’t stop them from going down the runway on other models. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a statement to the NY Post, FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown emphasized allowing the students the “freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative”, but said they would investigate further. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In a time when luxury brands are taking swift action by pulling offensive products and implementing diversity councils in response to similar scandals, it’s a shame to see a learning institution dragging their feet. Shouldn’t they be the ones broadening insights for the ones who will lead fashion in the future and not reinforcing the same aspects that have made the industry notoriously problematic? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • #fit #fitnyc #suny #cuny #fashionschool #college #mfa #mastersdegree #alumni #fitalumni #fashiondesigner #design #designer #runway #model #blackface #racism #monkey #grotesque #sexdoll #bodyimage #lumpsandbumps #wiwt #ootd #runwaymodel #nyfw #fashionweek #dietprada

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For the FIT’s presentation which showcased the designers from their first MFA Fashion Design class, students sent models down the runway with thier own collections. FIT alum Junkai Huang was part of the bunch but his line stood out in particular because of its blatant racism. The FIT alum sent models down the runway wearing “large prosthetic ears and lips and bushy eyebrows.” Now people are saying that the images looked quite a bit like racist caricatures.  

On Monday, Diet Prada shared images from the show on Instagram after someone who had gone to the event told the New York Post that the designer aimed to showcase and highlight “ugly features of the body” using props that had been sourced from sex toys.

Amy Lefévre was a model meant to take part in the event but decided to walk out when she saw the props.

“I stood there almost ready to break down, telling the staff that I felt incredibly uncomfortable with having to wear these pieces and that they were clearly racist,” Lefévre told the Post in an interview. According to Lefévre she made the decion to not take part when someone had told her that it was “fine to feel uncomfortable for only 45 seconds.”

“I was literally shaking. I could not control my emotions,” Lefévre said “My whole body was shaking. I have never felt like that in my life. People of color are struggling too much in 2020 for the promoters not to have vetted and cleared accessories for the shows.”

Diet Prada later took to Instagram to share the situation, sparking outrage from many in the fashion community. “Sad times we live in when designers aren’t confident enough to have the clothing sell themselves,” wrote Olivia Dope while another commenter added, “When will this stop? Designers are hung up on controversy to sell cause these pieces can’t sell themselves, clearly.”

In a statement published by the Post, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, said that it would do its best to right the situation.

“This program protects a student’s freedom to craft their own personal and unique artistic perspectives as designers, to be even what some would consider to be provocative, so that they find that voice,” Dr. Brown said. “However provocative design and fashion might be though, my commitment to ensure that people are not made to feel uncomfortable, offended, or intimidated is also of the utmost importance not only to me personally but to the college community as well,” they added. “We take this obligation very, very seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action regarding any complaint or concern that is made in this situation.”

In a separate statement to the Pst FIT also issued an apology.

“Currently it does not appear that the original intent of the design, the use of accessories or the creative direction of the show was to make a statement about race; however, it is now glaringly obvious that has been the outcome. For that, we apologize — to those who participated in the show, to students, and to anybody who has been offended by what they saw.”

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

Things That Matter

Conservatives Are Furious That AOC Called Out Rush Limbaugh’s Racist Past

aoc / Instagram / Rush Limbaugh / Facebook

During the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump broke protocol and norms by awarding a “surprise” Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former winners of the award are Ellen DeGeneres, Rosa Parks, Toni Morrison, Isabella Allende, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The newest recipient is conservative and extreme radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh is the latest recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Credit: @Acosta / Twitter

Rush Limbaugh is a Conservative radio host who is known to use racist, sexist, and xenophobic language during his shows. He has used his platform to slut-shame women fighting for affordable access to birth control and once referred to a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton to a dog. During one show, Limbaugh sang a song to perform a racist rant against then-President Barack Obama.

His racist, sexist, and xenophobic rantings are all documented because of his radio show.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” has been nationally syndicated since 1988 and boasts 25 million listeners monthly. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks are among the honorees of the award.

A lot of people don’t agree that Limbaugh deserves the honor.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is supposed to be reserved for civilians who have made major contributions to society. The contributions can be through the arts, philanthropy, science, etc. Many are wondering what Limbaugh has done to further society in a positive way. In a clip from “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Limbaugh is seen making fun of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease.

Conservatives and Limbaugh fans are most upset with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s take on the medal.

It was recently revealed to the public that Limbaugh was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Many of the AOC critics have held tight to this fact when attacked the Congresswoman.

Some have gone strong against the New York Congresswoman.

Credit: @marklevinshow / Twitter

Conservatives on Twitter are up in arms about AOC calling out a man’s racist, sexist, and xenophobic past. They aren’t mad that the man said and did those things, just that a Latina Congresswoman reminded people of those comments. Think about that.

READ: AOC Said In Any Other Country She And Joe Biden Would Not Even Be In The Same Party