Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, immigration, Uncategorized

NBC’s Tom Brokaw insults the Hispanic community, apologizes, and then claims, “I got your attention”

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“it worked! i got your attention. ‘night,” that’s how Tom Brokaw ended his day on Sunday after he angered many around the country.  His tweet makes you wonder does this former NBC anchorman even understand the magnitude of his insults on “Meet the Press.” He revealed his real feelings about Hispanics and mix marriages.

As usual, there were no Hispanic commentators or journalists at the table to push back. This is something I have addressed with moderator, Chuck Todd when I saw him in person at the Excellence in Journalism conference in September 2018. Fortunately,“PBS NewsHour” White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor was there to respond to Brokaw’s comments.

 

Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro tweeted his disappointment at Brokaw, and gave him some history about “assimilating.”

 

Brokaw apologized on Twitter and kept tweeting. “My tweet portal is whack…”

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Tom Brokaw wanted our attention and he got it. Now, it’s time for NBC to let him retire for good. He’s out of touch with the Hispanic and immigrant community. Please don’t blame it on his old age.  It’s also time for NBC and “Meet the Press” to get serious about including Hispanic/Latinos in the conversation. With 58 MILLION Hispanics in this country, we should not be missing from the round table.

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Posted in Animal Cruelty, Breaking News

You’re fired! Arkansas deputy gets his walking papers after caught on video shooting a dog

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Screenshot: Twitter @CatieJWoodson

Fox 16 is reporting that Faulkner County’s Sheriff has fired the deputy who was caught on video shooting a small dog in Arkansas. If you haven’t seen the video you may not want to see it, because it’s hard to watch.

Here is the other shocker in this story. The deputy, Keenan Wallace, was on the K9 Unit and had a police dog assigned to him.

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Screenshot: KATV 

Sheriff Tim Ryals issued a statement Saturday night about the firing of Wallace. The sheriff said the deputy had numerous opportunities to de-escalate the situation.  Ryals said:

“As a result of the incident that occurred on January 4, 2019, in the Shiloh Estates Subdivision, Deputy Keenan Wallace has been relieved of his duties at the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.”

 

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Facebook Screenshot

Did the public’s outcry and anger on social media play a part in the Sheriff’s decision? We will never know, but no law enforcement agency likes bad press or an employee that puts them in a bad light.

Sheriff Ryals apologized to the public in his statement:

“Our Department is sadden about this incident and apologize for any distress and disappointment this incident has caused anyone who was affected by this disheartening event. We will keep Reeses inour thoughts through the recovery process.”

Now the District Attorney’s office will investigate and decide if Wallace faces any criminal charges.

The dog called “Reeses” survived. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for his medical care. The Sheriff said in his statement, “We will keep Reeses in our thoughts through the recovery process.”

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Screenshot: GoFundMe
Posted in Breaking News, women's rights

Pregnant and disabled employees were fired or denied accommodations on the job, The Cato Corporation agrees to pay $3.5 million to settle EEOC case

catoThe Cato Corporation makes money off women who buy their clothing and accessories, but now they have to pay $3.5 million for mistreating pregnant employees and those with disabilities.  An EEOC investigation found the retailer of women’s fashion and accessories denied accommodations to certain pregnant employees or those with disabilities. The EEOC said Cato made employees take unpaid leaves of absence, and or fired them because of their disabilities.

According to the EEOC,

Failing to accommodate pregnant women with restrictions and limitations violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Denying employees with disabilities job modifications, leaves of absence or returns to work as reasonable accommodations violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The North Carolina company has agreed to pay $3.5 million. According to the EECO, the money will be distributed to employees who were fired because they were pregnant or had disabilities. The company has also agreed to revise its employment policies to more fully consider whether medical restrictions of its pregnant employees or those with disabilities can be reasonably accommodated.

The company will also conducted training to more than 10,000 employees and report to the EEOC for three years.  Julianne Bowman is the EEOC Chicago District Director. She said, ” Giving employees a job modification that allows them to continue working can be a critical reasonable accommodation for pregnant women or people with disabilities when they really need that paycheck.”eeoc

The EEOC said that this was a voluntary settlement by the Cato Corporation. Read more on the case at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Interesting facts about CATO Corporation:

  • The top executives are men and the majority of their board members are men too. >> Corporate Governance
  • The company made $842 million in sales in 2017 according to a letter to shareholders from John Cato, Chairman, President and CEO of the company.  2017 Annual Report 
  • Sales are down according to the company website’s News Releases:

    The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the four weeks ended December 1, 2018 of $59.4 million, down 4% compared to sales of $62.2 million for the four week period ended November 25, 2017.  Same-store sales for the month decreased 6% compared to the four weeks ended December 2, 2017.

 

Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, Trending

National Adoption Day: Hundreds of children finally get a forever family

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Image Courtesy NationalAdoptionDay.org

Today judges are granting adoptions around the country.  On this National Adoption Day hundreds of children who have been waiting for a forever family finally have their wish come true.  Here are some of the tweets celebrating this special day.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, 156 children were adopted by 120 families this year in Mecklenburg County.

 

In Massachusetts, 136 children in foster homes got adopted.

 

In Dallas, 40 children were adopted and now have a forever family.

In Fulton County, Georgia there were 12 adoptions.

 

An adoption changes a child’s life. Listen to these children who found happiness when they were adopted.

Here are many more happy forever families.

 

 

 

 

While we celebrate all the adoptions today and this month, we must not forget that more than 400,000 children remain in foster homes around the country. Some may never have a forever family.

If you are interested in adopting a child, please head over to NationalAdoptionDay.org for more information and resources.

Posted in Breaking News, farm workers, migrant workers

Farmworkers work the fields in California’s Central Coast area while toxic smoke fills the air and raging fires surround them

This photo in my Twitter feed caught my attention. Farmworkers working the fields in California’s Central Coast region while toxic smoke filled the air and raging fires surrounded the area.

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Photo courtesy: causenow.org

CAUSE is a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants and farmworkers in California’s Central Coast region. Six days ago, members of CAUSE arrived at the fields to hand out masks to the workers. They needed masks to help filter out the smoke.

 

Handing out N95 masks with @MICOP805 to farmworkers working during the #Hillfire Please help out by donating to 805undocufund, to aid farmworkers that lose time off work and are often unable to apply for federal assistance because of immigration status.

Were the farmworkers forced to stay by the growers or did they choose to stay because they would lose pay for the day? I don’t know the answer yet, but I have asked CAUSE to give me some background.  I’ve been told the farmworkers are still out there today working the fields and conditions are not better.

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Photo courtesy: CauseOxnard

In one photo, you can see they pick artichokes for Ocean Mist Farms. I’ve sent Ocean Mist a tweet and Facebook message to find out who made the decision to keep the workers out in the fields under these conditions. I’ll let you know if and when the company responds.

Here’s more about CAUSE and its mission:

CAUSE’s mission is to build grassroots power to invoke social, economic and environmental justice for the people of California’s Central Coast Region through policy research, leadership development, organizing, and advocacy. CAUSE defines the Central Coast Region as the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito.

Meanwhile, CAUSE is working with MICOP , also known as The Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project. Both organizations are helping raise money for the farmworkers. The 805 Undocufund Donations will help immigrant families who are not covered by the federal government for disaster aid. Here’s more:

The 805 UndocuFund is a joint effort of immigrant-serving organizations in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties to provide disaster relief to local immigrant families who are excluded from federal aid programs like FEMA and Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Many immigrant families were affected including loss of homes and essential belongings with the destruction of farmworker housing and apartments, lost jobs as the houses where they cleaned, gardened, cooked, or cared for children were evacuated or destroyed, and lost wages as the only freeway between Ventura and Santa Barbara was severed by mudslides and outdoor air quality was hazardous for outdoor workers like farmworkers, landscapers and day laborers.

 

If you’re interested in donating please head over to 805 UNDOCUFUND DONATIONS.

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Screenshot: Instagram 
Posted in Breaking News

Border Patrol agent is a suspected serial killer, victim’s niece says ‘She was murdered by a monster’

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Claudine Anne Luera

Karina Ramos wants the world to know about her aunt, Claudine Anne Luera.  The Laredo mother of five was found murdered on Thursday, September 13. Two days later, Border Patrol agent Jose Ortiz confessed to killing three people in Laredo including Luera.

Investigators told KRGV that Ortiz committed the murders over a two-week span. Today he sits in a Laredo jail on a bonds totaling $2.5 million.

Ramos talked opening about her aunt in a Facebook post.  She gave me permission to share her Facebook message. Her aunt struggled with drug addiction, tried to stay clean, made small bad decisions that snowballed. But as Ramos puts it what was most important was that “she was loved.”  Here is the post.

She was killed on Thursday, September 13th.

We’ve lost loved ones before, but nothing prepares you for the pain and pure rage you feel when someone you love is murdered. Nothing prepares you for waking up with swollen eyes from crying and squinting at a phone screen that shows an article for ABC News about your aunts murder. Nothing prepares you for the violent details of your loved ones murder being thrust into the public. Everyone you know learning, as you do, what her last moments were like. But there are some things no one will learn from the headlines, and articles, and Facebook posts.

She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a cousin, and a friend. Most of all SHE WAS LOVED. She was murdered by a monster who murdered 3 others, luckily the 5th woman got away. The fact that there’s a “serial killer” in a small Texas town is big news, and the one thing all the articles mention is the victims were PROSTITUTES. As if that makes her less of a victim. As if that makes him less of a monster. As if she deserved what she got. As if it makes any difference at all.

Her name was Claudine Anne Luera and let me repeat myself: SHE WAS LOVED, so let me add some more details to the narrative. She was the daughter of a beautiful Scottish mother and grumpy Mexican father.

She was the mother of 2 sets of twins and a hardworking, wonderful daughter. Two of her children are autistic, and we are a proud autism family full of love and support for them.

She has 3 sisters with the biggest hearts you’ve ever seen. She was always considered beautiful when she was young and always will be to us.

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When she was winning her fight against drug abuse, she was a wonderful thriving mother. She loved her kids fiercely and navigated life as a stay at home mom to 2 sets of twins born within a year of each other, as well as, their older sister.

It couldn’t have been easy for her. She held out as long as she could, but seemingly small bad decisions snowballed. We don’t know why she fell off the wagon. We wished and prayed she’d overcome her demons and go back to who we knew she could be. But even when she lost everything because of her drug dependence, SHE WAS LOVED.

We took in her children, provided them with safe homes and waited. And waited. She always proclaimed her love for her kids and I know they’ll always know how much she loved them. If only that were enough.

And now we’ll have to wait for another lifetime to see that version of Claudine again. Our hope for her rehabilitation will never come to pass because a monster took away that chance from us.

We had to break it to her 5 children that their mother is gone forever. We had to hear their agonized cries and screams. It’s not something I’ll ever forget, ever. The only silver lining is that her killer was found less than 2 days after he attacked her. By that time, he had killed 2 others already.

Our family is devastated and reading articles about the “prostitutes” or “sex workers” being killed by the serial killer just rubs salt in our wounds. These women were brutally killed and nothing they did made them deserve that.

I’m thankful for the woman that got away and alerted authorities immediately. Without her we might be sitting around for weeks, months, even years waiting for some closure. So in that sense we consider ourselves lucky.

This monster has been caught and we can bury our aunt knowing , full well, he’ll pay for what he did. That lifts our broken hearts a little BECAUSE SHE WAS LOVED. So we’ll remember her as she was and try to get these headlines out of our minds.

Claudine_2Claudine was beautiful, she was kind, and she was loving. SHE WAS LOVED.

We couldn’t get through this difficult time without the love and support of all of our wonderful friends, family, and coworkers. Your kind words and thoughtful gestures have been absolutely heart warming. We’ll get through this.

My thoughts are with all families of the other victims that are struggling through what we are right now. My heart goes out to all families that are dealing with substance abuse. To those of you fighting her fight, don’t give up.

Rest In Peace Claudine❤️ give Grandma Ann and Sean Brandon a hug for me.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE. ❤️

https://www.gofundme.com/in-memoriam-of-claudine-a-luera

Because of posts I’ve seen on FB I did find it important to add that we hold NO animosity whatsoever towards Border Patrol. We’ve got friends and family in the Border Patrol (and other law enforcement) and we love and respect them.

That man’s profession did not make him commit these evil crimes and this evil does not represent all Border Patrol as a whole. HE is solely to blame. And I don’t want to take away from that fact.

http://www.krgv.com/…/laredo-border-patrol-agent-accused-in…

Funeral arrangements are still being made and announcements are to come.

Photo courtesy also goes to Karina Ramos who shared several photos of her aunt on her Facebook post.

Posted in Breaking News, Discrimination, Human Interest

How the Washington Post’s ‘White, and in the minority’ fuels racial divide, and more anger and hate against immigrants and Latinos

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Screenshot: Washington Post Website

 

It’s nothing new to most of us that President Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants has fueled anger and hate against Latinos and people south of the border. So when I saw a recent story by The Washington Post, I thought when did the media get into the business of creating stories that fuel the same hate and division between the two sides: White people and immigrants.

The Washington Post has some of the best reporters in the country. No doubt about it. But the story by Terrence McCoy took the Post’s journalistic standards to a new low.

“White, and in the minority” is a story about a White couple who currently works in a chicken factory in Pennsylvania. The majority of their coworkers are Dominican and Puerto Rican. If McCoy was out to make the White people appear as victims and outsiders, mission accomplished. If the reporter was out to make immigrants appear like threatening, menacing thugs; once again, mission accomplished.

McCoy’s entire story was framed to put immigrants and Puerto Ricans in a bad light and make readers feel sorry for the young White couple.

“Heaven often feels alienated and frustrated…”

McCoy peppered his story with loaded words and phrases that only create fear among readers, especially those who are White.

“In a country where Whites will lose majority status in about a quarter-century…”

Journalist are taught when you make a statement, you should have attribution. McCoy made this statement, but never said who said “Whites will lose majority status?”

“Seven minutes left: Employees gathered around Heaven, first three, then four, then six.”

This phrase alone made it appear like the immigrants were ganging up on the White female. All they did was show up for work at the same time.

“Studies have shown how some whites, who are dying faster than they’re being born in 26 states…”

Again a statement made with no attribution. Who said this? What study revealed this information?

“Heaven, looking at the floor, heard laughter and jokes exchanged in the rapid Spanish of the Dominican Republic.”

This sentence made it appear like the immigrants were laughing at the young white female. The reporter only perpetuated the stereotype that Spanish-speaking people only speak in Spanish to talk about White people who don’t understand what is being said.

“They feel threatened, even if not directly affected by change…”

McCoy got this statement from a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but did not bother to ask the professor to speculate how the immigrants feel?

“She felt more alone than she’d ever thought possible.”

Once again, McCoy made it appear the immigrants purposely isolated the woman. Did he share this with the immigrant workers? Do they have any idea she feels “alone?”

“There were days when Venson imagined what might await America. This would be a nation where whites weren’t only a minority, but disadvantaged.”

Another loaded statement that makes it appear like the couple will be stripped away of a good life and should fear minorities.

If the chicken factory was full of immigrants and Puerto Ricans, why didn’t McCoy ask them how they felt being the majority.  Do they know that Heaven and her boyfriend  feel “threatened?”

The couple’s story is important, but so is the point of view of their coworkers.

BACKLASH COMES FROM EVERYWHERE

This story is not sitting well with a lot of people.  Latino Rebels posted “Why The Washington Post’s ‘White, and the minority’ Story is So Damn Dangerous.” The author of the blog said,

McCoy makes us all want to take out the tissues and cry for our two white tragic heroes (seriously, that’s how it reads), but it’s McCoy’s ridiculous depictions of the “foreign” Latino workers (who lack any humanity in any part of the piece) that stand out, while Engle and Heim (even with their racism) come across as these misunderstood figures who need sympathy.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists issued a statement on Friday morning. NAHJ President Hugo Balta hopes to meet with the Post’s Editor-in-Chief to discuss the issue. The organization’s statement partly read:

The story, ‘White, and in the minority’ published on July 30, does not provide a variety of viewpoints at the center of the topic, but instead leaves readers focused almost entirely on one viewpoint. The national board has discussed the danger this poses and questions the journalism of the story.

McCOY DEFENDS HIS STORY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF IS STANDING BY REPORTER AND HIS WORK
Despite all the backlash, Terrence McCoy continues to defend his story via Twitter.  He also continues to stick to the narrative about the poor, poor White couple.

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A source who contacted Marty Baron, told me the Post’s Editor-in-Chief is standing by the reporter and the story, and even said that the story was approved by an editor who is a person of color.

I’d like to know how many Latinos or immigrants are part of the editorial staff.

As journalists, our job is to inform the public. It is not our job to create a racial divide and peg one group of people against another.  The Washington Post failed the immigrant and Latino community. Let’s hope decision makers at the Post open their minds and look at it from our point of view.

SOURCES

Latino Rebels
NAHJ