Calladitas No More

Emma González Says She Identifies As A Cuban Bisexual Who Has Had It With The Gun Control Discussion

In the weeks following the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Emma González, one of the survivors, has emerged as the face of a growing movement that has declared themselves officially done with gun violence. She’s delivered a series of impassioned speeches that have ripped the NRA and its ties to Donald Trump, publically denounced an NRA representative to her face, and rallied behind an upcoming nation-wide march.

In a new essay published by Harper’s Bazaar, González paints herself as a teen who claims various identities and backdrops. In the opening line of her personal account of what it has been like to fight for gun reform, she matter-of-factly labels herself as an 18-year-old, Cuban bisexual who is “so indecisive that I can’t pick a favorite color.”

She also describes herself as someone who is sorely disappointed in adults.

González wrote of her frustration with being forced to grow up too soon at the hands of adults and their inaction.

All this, she says, despite the fact that teens like her are under constant adult scrutiny. “When did children become such a dirty word? Adults are saying that children are lazy, meanwhile Jaclyn Corin organized an entire trip to Tallahassee, three busses stuffed with 100 kids and reporters who went to discuss our pitiful firearm legislation with the people who can—but won’t—do something about it…” González wrote. “Adults are saying that children are emotional. I should hope so—some of our closest friends were taken before their time because of a senseless act of violence that should never have occurred.”

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the school where the Parkland shooting took place, is the 17th school shooting in 2018 alone. Since the attack, González and other student activists have rallied and called on lawmakers to push for gun reform.

She also emphasized how she and fellow shooting survivors are done with being ignored.

“We are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it just yet, and for those who will never speak again,” she wrote. “We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and this happening again.”

The essay worked to send a clear message to any adult hoping to diminish the efforts of shooting survivors by calling them disrespectful.

In the wake of the shooting, González and her fellow peers have been lambasted by Right-wing conspiracy theorists who have criticized their activism and made false claims that they are crisis actors.

“Adults are saying that children are disrespectful.” González wrote. “But how can we respect people who don’t respect us? We have always been told that if we see something wrong, we need to speak up; but now that we are, all we’re getting is disrespect from the people who made the rules in the first place. Adults like us when we have strong test scores, but they hate us when we have strong opinions.”

In perhaps one of the most significant points in her essay, González noted her greatest hope for the survivors of the Parkland tragedy is to be able to return to school and continue to pursue their education and lives.

“We want to know that when we walk onto campus, we won’t have to worry about the possibility of staring down the barrel of a gun. We want to fix this problem so it doesn’t occur again, but mostly we want people to forget about us once this is over,” González wrote. “We want to go back to our lives and live them to the fullest in respect for the dead.”

González essay finished with a call to action for readers: join March for Our Lives on March 24 to protest gun violence and vote for gun reform.

Read: Emma González Opened Up To Ellen DeGeneres About Why She Chose To Call Out B.S. To ‘Get The Job Done Properly’

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Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day


Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

American labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávezhas become a major historical icon for the Latino community. Streets, parks, and schools have been named after him, a film about his life garnered international acclaim and every year on March 31, millions across the country celebrate César Chávez Day.

While Chávez did so much to secure right for our community, it’s important to remember hat Latina activists also had a huge hand in changing the course of our history.

Here’s a look at seven of some of history’s most powerful Latina activists who led marches and fought for your civil rights.

Sylvia Mendez

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When it comes to the desegregation of schools in the country, American history often credits the case of Brown v. Board of Education for the changes. Barbara Rose Johns is also the one who is most typically considered to be the face of that movement after she led a 450-student walkout at a high school in Virginia in 1951. But history has largely written out the work of Sylvia Mendez an American civil rights activists of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent who played a key role in the integration movement back in 1946. Mendez v. Westminster was a case sparked by Mendez’s rejection from an all-white school in California back in 1943 when she was just eight years old. Mendez’s parents sued the school district and the landmark case which was ultimately settled in 1947 successfully desegregated public schools in California making it the first U.S. state to do so.

Dolores Huerta

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As a fierce civil rights activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta became a tireless advocate of the United Farm Workers union. The American-born Latina of Mexican descent originally started out her career as an elementary school teacher. After seeing kids in her class come to school hungry and in need of new shoes, she decided she would help organize their parents. She started to fight for economic improvements for Latino farm workers and pressed local government organizations to improve barrio conditions. In 1962, she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) with César Chávez. Her non-violent strikes and protests led to her 22 arrests. In 1997 she was named one of the three most important women of the year in by Ms. magazine.

Carmen Perez

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In 2017, Perez helped lead the country in its largest protest in U.S. history as a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. In her 20 year career as an activist, Perez has dedicated her advocacy to some of today’s most important civil rights issues including violence against women, mass incarceration, gender inequality and community policing. Before the Women’s March she helped launch a 9-day 250-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC called March2Justice which implored congressional lawmakers to turn their attention to the nation’s police justice crisis.

Berta Cáceres

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Best known for leading a campaign that opposed a dam on the Gualcarque River, Cáceres was an award-winning Indigenous environmental activist. In 2015, the Honduran environmentalist received the Goldman Environmental Prize for helming the grassroots effort that pushed the world’s largest dam builder to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Because of her efforts the river that was saved and considered to be sacred by the Lenca people, was still able to provide the nearby tribe access to water, food, and medicine. On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for her activism when two assailants broke into her home and shot her. Her murder sparked international outrage and brought attention to the fact that Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world for activists who fight to protect forests and rivers.

The Mirabal Sisters

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Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who ferociously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and became known as Las Mariposas. In 1959, after witnessing a = massacre executed by the Trujillo regime the sisters were sparked into activism and rallied communities into public protests that renounced Trujillo’s rule. Three of the sisters, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria, were murdered for their advocacy when they were beaten to death by associates of the government. Following the death of Las Mariposas, Dominicans across the island decided they had had enough. Six months later, Trujillo’s dictatorship was brought down when he was assassinated.

Sylvia Rivera 

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Well before activists like Harvey Milk and figures like Caitlyn Jenner made waves, there was Sylvia Rivera. The Latina born and raised in New York City had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan roots and a tragic story when she first began to carve out a place for trans people in the American gay liberation movement. Rivera was a self-identified drag queen and transwoman who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and soon after founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Marsha P. Johnson. In 1970 she led trans activists in the country’s first Gay Pride march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day March and in the years after she delivered fervent speeches that called for the support of LGBTQ people of color and who were homeless.

Read: Here’s How To Prepare For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

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Austin Council Member Delia Garza Just Became The City’s First-Ever Latina Mayor Pro Tem


Austin Council Member Delia Garza Just Became The City’s First-Ever Latina Mayor Pro Tem

In Austin, Texas, city council member Delia Garza was elected mayor pro tem on Monday, making her the first Latina to serve in the role in the city’s history.

But this isn’t the only time Garza, who represents southeast Austin’s District 2, has broken barriers. In 2014, the Mexican-American politico became the first Latina elected to Austin City Council, currently serving in year three of her second term.

Following the unanimous appointment from her council colleagues, Garza, 42, stressed the need for more Latina representation in Austin’s city government, where 36 percent of its estimated 885,000 population is Latinx.

“I want young Latinas in Austin to look at our leadership and see themselves and know that they can serve in this capacity or achieve whatever goals they set their minds to,” Garza, a Democrat, said, according to ABC affiliate KVUE. “I’m proud to be the first Latina elected to this council, but I’m also saddened that it’s taken us this long to have a Latina on council.”

In the new position, Garza will be required to run city council meetings in the absence of Mayor Steve Adler.

“Delia’s passion and caring for the people of Austin has moved the council forward. I look forward to her leadership as mayor pro tem as we take on the difficult challenges facing the city,” Council Member Ann Kitchen, of District 5, said.

District 4 Council Member Greg Casar also shared his support. “Since before we were on council, I have known council member Garza as a progressive leader who never forgets who she is or where she came from,” he said. “As our city’s first ever Latina mayor pro tem, I am confident that she will continue her advocacy and leadership for those who need it most across our city.”

Before entering elected office, Garza, who holds a law degree, was a firefighter with the Austin Fire Department and an assistant attorney general in the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General.

Read: Like Every Congressional Freshman, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Making Some Beginner’s Mistakes

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