Calladitas No More

Twitter Is On Fire With The ‘Me Too’ Hashtag And Latinas Refuse To Be Forgotten

In recent years, hashtags on Twitter have acted a megaphone for feminist battlecries. “Hashtivism” as it has come to be known, has opened up an online space for feminist discourse and propelled the way we’re talking about feminist issues online. In recent years, various hashtags have fueled conversations surrounding women’s issues and feminism. Hashtags like #BindersFullOfWomen,  #RapeCultureIsWhen, and #YesAllWomen caught on like wildfire when they were first launched. Yet, most of the voices that get lost in Twitter’s throng of vocalization are those that come from women of color. Women whose accounts of sexual abuse ought to be heard because of the very different conversations they spur.

In the latest feminist hashtag to go viral on Twitter, Latinas are speaking up and refusing to not be heard.

Over the weekend, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note encouraging women to speak up about their assault stories.

In a tweet on Sunday, Milano sparked further online discussion about the recently pried open Harvey Weinstein scandal. While Milano’s tweet sparked the viral hashtag, social justice leader Tarana Burke has been getting credit on Twitter for starting the hashtag years ago. Since Milano’s tweet, thousands of women who are of color and not, are sharing their experiences. The result has been a passionate onslaught of diverse voices.

And while it’s sad to see so many women how similar stories of assault to share, it’s empowering to see the number of Latinas coming forward with their own stories.

The number of Latinas tweeting with the hashtag is particularly empowering to see considering how many are have felt pressure to stay silent.

Even celebrities are stepping in to share that they’ve endured the same.

Milano’s call to action quickly took off with retweets and posts by celebs like Rosario Dawson, Debra Messing, Gabrielle Union, and Lady Gaga.

Most of the hashtags were filled with words of support and love.

140 characters can’t do these women and their stories justice. Still there’s hope that the hashtag will bring about some forms of healing.

Unlike previous hashtag trends which have encouraged women to tell their stories, #metoo allows women privacy and empowerment.

Previous hashtags that touched on assault might have dissuaded users to participate in the viral trend. With the new hashtag women are able to take part in an effort that amplifies the voices of all women.

Latinas aren’t the only ones using the hashtag to tell their stories either. Fortunately, Latinos are using it too.

And we’re so grateful to see that all Latinos want to share their story because sexual harassment should not happen to anyone. Punto.

The #MeToo movement is unique in its effort to show the scale of women who’ve endured sexual abuse. The hashtag is not so much about the story, it’s about revealing a real problem all women have to deal with. If you’re not ready to share your story, you don’t have to. And that’s okay, the rest of us have your back!


Read: With #WOCAffirmation, Women of Color On Twitter Are Empowering Themselves

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When Emma Gonzalez Leads The March For Our Lives, She’ll Be Following In The Footsteps Of These Latina Civil Rights Leaders

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When Emma Gonzalez Leads The March For Our Lives, She’ll Be Following In The Footsteps Of These Latina Civil Rights Leaders

As you gear up and rally to march for our lives this weekend, you might be completely in awe of the power and effect of Emma Gonzalez. The high school student from Parkland, Fl has, along with the great efforts of her peers, rallied cities and communities across the globe to fight back against the NRA and the inaction of political leaders who have long held the power to put an end to gun violence. For many of us, it’s exciting to see a Latina show the world that once again we are forces to be reckoned with. But long before Gonzalez called B.S. and became the face of a growing national movement, other Latina activists 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Twitter’s Latest Hashtag Fights Back Against The Normalization Of Death And Violence Against Migrant Youth

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Twitter’s Latest Hashtag Fights Back Against The Normalization Of Death And Violence Against Migrant Youth

Migrant children deserve childhoods, but increasingly under the Trump administration’s stridency on immigration, their prepubescence is being robbed from them.

In the past month, two child migrants have died under the custody of U.S. border officials. On December 8, 7-year-old Jakelin Call Maquin died of Septic shock, fever and dehydration in a hospital just two days after the young Guatemalan girl was taken to a Border Patrol station. More recently, on Christmas Eve, Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, 8, past away, only six days after the Guatemalan boy and his father were apprehended at the border in El Paso, Texas.

Officials have referred to both deaths as “tragedies” but have absolved themselves of responsibility, placing blame instead on parents who journey north in an attempt to escape violence and poverty in their home countries as well as Congress for under-funding the agency.

“Does the administration take responsibility for a parent taking a child on a trek through Mexico to get to this country? No,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley after Maquin’s death.

While authorities place guilt on the victims of the country’s violent and stringent immigration laws for their own deaths, activists believe that media also induce harm by predominantly reporting tragic stories of migrant youth that rob them of their humanity.

“There is a saturation of photos depicting migrant and refugee children in anguish and terror, and that is one of the problems. There is a high urgency to illustrate the harsh conditions and mistreatment that is happening at the border and in detention centers because the larger society should know what is happening. However, when there is only those depictions plus the monstrosity of hate by this administration, then we are doing an injustice,” Sonia Guinansaca, the managing director of CultureStrike, a network of cultural workers who fight anti-migrant hate with art, writing, music and films about immigrants and migrants, told FIERCE. “ … The impact that these images and stories have on migrant communities are long-lasting. It leaves no room to show the complexity of migrant folks, and many times, it robs these children of their childhood.”

Guinansaca, who migrated to the U.S. from Ecuador when they were a kid, believes that by only focusing on tragic stories, media are helping to normalize death and violence against migrant youth. Hoping to instead center these children’s innocence, Guinansaca started #MigrantChildrenAreChildren, a hashtag that attempts to shift the way migrant children are being imagined and archived by allowing those who immigrated to the U.S. in their youth to share images and stories of themselves in their own words.

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#MigrantChildrenAreChildren…. migrant children deserve childhoods… migrant children are children… migrant children deserve childhoods…. sending love to all of us who were children when we migrated and sending love and prayers to all the children crossing now / in detention centers/left behind…Because we be children, we were children… and we deserve childhoods… we deserve to exist! Justice for Jakelin Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin! ????????????[I’m asking migrant folks/artists to share childhood photo with the above caption for us to take back our childhood and be in solidarity with migrant children every where] #qtpoc #latinx #migrant #queer #papifemme #gendernonconforming #femmesofcolorvisibility

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“This country continues to murder indigenous, brown and Black children, so here was a gentle reminder, a gentle calling for our tiny selves and the many tiny migrant children everywhere dealing with this border-immigration nightmare, that we deserve and have a right to a childhood, that we be children, too, and that being a ‘child’ is not reserved for white American children, that being a child is not dependent on some ‘papers.’ Migrant children are children even when this country tries to rob them of that, even when the government tries to label them ‘undocumented,’ ‘illegal,’ a ‘casualty’ or just ‘data.’ These migrant children never stopped being children,” Guinansaca said.

Since starting #MigrantChildrenAreChildren on December 15, more than 140 people from across the nation have participated, flooding the hashtag with beautiful Black and brown faces and stories that the creator says both affirms the participants’ shared experiences and their own humanity.

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#MigrantChildrenAreChildren I came to this country when I was 7 years old. I was a kid, doing what my parents thought was best. I was also a kid who had things like Hepatitis in Nicaragua, as well as Varicella, and probably had head lice at least once a week because I attended a public school (plus a shit ton of other shit) and still I deserved to be here and I deserved humane treatment by anyone and everyone who came into contact with me. I dunno how we are forgetting that and I dunno why we are conveniently overlooking the basic principle of saving and protecting our next generations. shout out to @thesoniag for making this hashtag so those of us who were children when we migrated can help highlight what’s happening at the border rn. en solidaridad.

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“It’s been 20-plus years since I migrated to this country and, upon arrival, these borders robbed me of my childhood. So much trauma happened because of this immigration system. To see these childhood photos coming into our timeline was a way of getting an affirmation that I was not alone, that many of us were going through the same experience,” Guinansaca said.

Read: 7-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant Jackeline Caal Dies In Border Patrol Custody

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