Author Archives: Lupe Hernandez

Seeing the Rights of the Transgender Community

June is Pride Month. As the Democrats retake office, many hope to see advances and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Though there have been setbacks, State and House officials have been more publicly open surrounding the community’s rights this year. 

“To all the transgender Americans watching at home, especially the young people who are so brave, I want you to know that your president has your back,” President Biden stated in an address to a joint session of Congress on Apr. 29. 

Transgender Visibility Day was on Mar. 31, and the Biden administration has made progress to ensure that there is a push for protecting and respecting the community’s rights. 

On May 10, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) released the following statement:

“The Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities.”

“It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.” as stated by HHS Secretary Xavier Barreca. 

Cases can now be investigated again in which individuals have been discriminated against due to sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Ricardo Alonzo-Zaldivar of LA Times described it as an act by the Biden administration to “strengthen and protect the rights of gay and transgender people across society, in such areas as military service, housing, and employment opportunities.” 

Alonzo Zaldivar’s article posted on Monday, “Biden Administration Restores Healthcare Protections for Transgender People,” refers back to when the Trump administration had tried to block protection against transgender people in health care, military aid programs, and homeless housing. 

The Trump administration tried to issue specific rules that “narrowly defined “sex” as biological gender,” Trump submitted a policy (which has now been withdrawn) that would have allowed taxpayer-funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people. 

As Alonzo-Zaldiva put it, “(Biden) officials (will) unwind the actions taken in the Trump years.”

On Mar. 23, 2016, North Carolina signed House Bill 2, stating transgender people are banned from using public restrooms with the gender they identify with. The bill came to a compromise the following year, but it’s just the beginning. 

A video went viral back in Mar. 3 of a Missouri citizen, Brandon Boulware, speaking on behalf of his transgender daughter and the rights she deserves as a human being. Boulware was present at a hearing surrounding whether or not to ban transgender students from participating in girl’s sports. 

“I had a child who did not smile, “Boulware stated in front of Missouri Lawmakers, expressing the pain his daughter went through when having to be someone she wasn’t.

Boulware’s daughter was compromising her identity to be treated like any other kid, “I was teaching her to deny who she is.” Boulware stated that wearing boy’s clothes was the only way she was allowed to interact with other kids. 

“Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are.” 

Boulware admits that while trying to protect his daughter and family, he was also trying to protect himself from dealing with others’ judgment. Boulware showed up to court on his daughter’s birthday to ask that she and many other girls be allowed to continue to play on their school’s sports teams. 

That day Missouri House representatives, in a 100-51 vote, proceeded with adding this provision to a bill prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girl’s high school sports teams. This doesn’t make it official until 2022, when Missouri voters decide this issue.

Representatives, House officials, and many other members of Congress are speaking out on the relationships of their loved ones and the injustice they faced due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Pushbacks cannot stop people from expressing who they truly are.

In Dec. 2020, award-winning actor Elliot Page came out on his Instagram page as a transgender male. Page was overwhelmingly happy to express himself and grateful for those who have supported him along the way.

“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” Page commented.

Oprah Winfrey sat down with Page to discuss his journey in an interview presented by Apple TV last month. Page described his time in isolation during the pandemic as an opportunity to separate himself from the world’s views and allow himself to come to his acceptance of his true identity. 

Page emphasized the importance to many, including himself, the ability to undergo top surgery as being lifesaving. He calls out the current state of transgender health care and the Missouri case taking away transgender girls’ right to play school sports. He calls lawmakers liars for their portrayal of health care for the trans community. 

“Children will die,” Page stated simply as a result of denying a generation their right to be who they know they are.

GameStop, AMC, and the Stock Market

GameStop Stock and AMC stocks seemed to skyrocket after a Reddit post began, now apps like Robinhood have set limits on the number of shares available for purchase. Small independent stock buyers are calling this unfair and only beneficial to the one percent. 

Companies such as GameStop and AMC were at a low in the market early in 2020, once the pandemic hit their values dropped. Gamestop locations are to this day closing their doors permanently, and AMC in most areas have not reopened their doors. 

A subreddit began by a group of the name the WallStreetBets, here anyone could discuss any information on stocks and investments. Here traders have been known to take a gamble on stocks and “meme stocks” quickly caught their attention. (Many of these meme stocks were in correlation with failing companies) 

Add the addition of Elon Musk simply tweeting out “Doge” on Feb 3, and “ur welcome” knowing it would gain major value for the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. 

Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that has mainly been seen as a joke in comparison to its top competitor, Bitcoin, has had a value typically under one penny for most of 2020. 

When the value of Dogecoin reached one penny, purchases skyrocketed. Cryptocurrency is a currency, that when purchased, can rise or fall in value, and can be resold for US currency without the effects of government regulation. (Some countries have banned cryptocurrency) 

Gamestop stocks increased over 400% within the last month according to Robinhood. Musk also tweeted out “Gamestonk!!” on Jan 26 with a direct link to the WallStreetbets. Though AMC has dropped down, most likely due to Robinhood’s (an online brokerage app for buying/selling stocks and cryptocurrency) limits on share buying, there is still talk of it increasing again. 

Jan 27 AMC stock values were rising, due to subreddits, and the next day was predicted to blow up. Whether a gain or rise in value, traders were ready to buy. But traders quickly realized their orders weren’t submitting on Robinhood, the app was extremely overwhelmed. 

On Jan 28 a message was sent to its users through the app, “Our mission at Robinhood is to democratize finance for all … In light of recent volatility, we restricted transactions for certain securities to the position closing only. We also raised margin requirements for certain securities.” 

The initial message didn’t give direct information on why certain shares (Gamestop and AMC) were taken off and left it’s users in a vague state. The message did state how the app has helped small traders learn about the stock market, “In 2020, more than 3.3 million people read out articles through Robinhood Learn.” Robinhood claims they’re determined to continue their work in making sure everyone has the help “for their long-term financial futures.”

Chris Cuomo of CNN spoke with the CEO of Robinhood, Vlad Tenev, on why they would limit shares on an app that supposedly is to “take from the rich and give to the poor” as Cuomo put it “starve the little guy.” on Jan 29. 

Cuomo’s main criticism surrounded the idea that the limitations only seemed to be placed because it had begun hurting large investors, including one of Robinhood’s main investors. 

Cuomo asks why should people believe Robinhood did this for the right reasons, Tenev responded, “We have no choice, we have to comply with all financial requirements,” Cuomo points out the (SCC) hasn’t declared any of Robinhoods actions as necessary. 

Tenev reinstates that certain brokers have to follow guidelines and regulations and it was in no intention to put anyone down, just necessary precautions. 

Planet Money, a podcast hosted by Nick Fountain and Mary Childs spoke with Annie Masa, an investing reporter at Bloomberg News, on Feb 3. Masa broke down why there are delays whenever purchasing from a brokerage app, and what that means for companies like Robinhood.

Masa starts off by comparing how buying stocks have changed. People would have to call their broker over the phone and place an order for their stock, the broker then would call over to someone who works on the trading floor, New York Stock Exchange for example, who is also making negotiation with yet a third person on the floor who sells the stock, and eventually gets back to the ordinal broker. 

Buyers not only would have to pay for the stock purchase but the broker for the labor. When online brokerage apps became available this cut out having to make calls and prices dropped immensely, but Masa explains that there is still a middleman when you submit an order from Robinhood. 

Robinhood sends your order over to other firms like Citadel Securities, “the company’s in the business of matching people who want to buy stock with people who wants to sell stock,” host Childs summarizes how Robinhood gets paid by Citadel to do this process, and in return, Citadel makes a small profit when there’s a small difference between what buyers are offering and what sellers asking. 

Citadel securities pay Robinhood to make sure that there are smaller traders buying because if there are only big companies selling stocks, Citadel would actually lose money. They need the back and forth trade to make a profit themselves.

Brokerages have to post money (to a clearinghouse) for stock purchases in between the waiting period before you own the stock to guarantee trades, in case buyers decide they want to opt-out. So when hundreds of thousands of people were trying to buy GameStop and AMC, Robinhood would have had to post 3 billion dollars. 

This was a heavy demand for Robinhood, “An order of magnitude,” Tenev stated on social media, one which they did not have. So when the limitations took place on those certain stocks, this was in order to not have to put up the entire 3 billion Robinhood did not have. 

Fountain and Childs make it clear that there is no evidence of market manipulation, however, at this point internet stock traders were wildly upset as they believed they were “pumping up the stock” as Fountain put it. 

On Feb 4, Robinhood had reopened trading for Gamestop and AMC, but the criticism has left a sour taste in most small traders’ mouths, many have now considered other options. 

On Feb 3 Investorjunkie put out its list for its top alternatives to use instead of Robinhood:

  1. Ally Invest 
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. E* TRADE
  4. Public
  5. Charles Schwab 
  6. WeBull 

While many brokerage apps went through similar approaches like Robinhood, the damage had been done, and although thousands still use the apps, others are starting to gain much more attraction as thousands continue to join the stock market.

Stand With Bre

On Oct. 12, bodycam footage was released of the Breonna Taylor shooting on Mar. 13, in Louisville, Kentucky. Protests have continued to soar through the nation as no officers have been charged for Taylor’s death.

Louisville had called a state of emergency on Sept. 23 as the decision for the Breonna Taylor case was underway. Protests emerged once declared that the former Louisville police detective, Brett Hankison, was charged for potentially harming others with the gunshots that went through Taylor’s apartment.

No officer has been charged for the death of Breonna Taylor. Black Lives Matter protesters emerged throughout the city of Louisville, where armed officers appeared on the scene. The national guard appeared on the scene after two officers were shot. Protests quickly railed in other cities, including Chicago, Los Angles, and New York City. 

An overwhelming amount of pain and injustice has been left in the Black community. Black artists have taken to their social media platforms to express their disappointment in the grand jury’s decision and the frustration of merely being Black under the law in America. 

Alica Keys tweeted, “This is a PRIME example of Rotten to the CORE!!! UnJust!!!! Disrespectful and BLATANT DISREGARD!!!! Infuriated!!!!!!!”

COMMON took to his Twitter to post a video of James Baldwin, author and activist born in 1924, speaking about his experience of being ripped away from his heritage and the reality of being black in the US. “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost all of the time.” 

Jessica Lussenhop of BBC News broke down “Why it’s hard to charge US police over shootings,” in her article on Breonna Taylor Sep. 24. Lussenhop stated that the main reason for holding officers accountable for shooting a person dead has to do with laws varying from state to state.

California has one of the stricter laws to hold officers accountable. A recent change in the wording of the law was made in August. In the state, an officer must believe that shooting is absolutely “necessary,” no longer just “reasonable.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation, Assembly Bill 392, into law on Aug. 17, “I’m ready to sign this damn thing,” Newsom stated at a ceremony held in Sacramento along with advocates for the law change standing beside him.

The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, and Gov. Newsom hopes this sets an example for other states. 

The author of the bill, California State Assemblymember Shirley Weber, believes AB 392 is necessary to protect people and human rights. Weber spoke alongside Gov. Newsom in Sacramento.

Weber spoke proudly at the ceremony, “Far too many days have gone by with far too many deaths because of the inactions of those who have the power to enact change.” She ends her speech by embracing the change AB 392 will have around the world.

Stand With Bre is the current campaign that is dedicated to bringing Breonna Taylor justice. The campaign welcomes people to sign the petition for:

  • The Department of Justice must take immediate action to bring charges against all LMPD officers involved in Breonna’s murder.
  • Full transparency from the grand jury and an independent overhaul of its findings, including a release of the transcripts from the proceedings as requested by Breonna’s family. 
  • Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine, who originally presided over Breonna’s case, must step down for his gross mishandling of the Louisville Police Department and the subsequent investigation of Breonna Taylor’s murder.
  • We must pass Breonna’s Law to ban no-knock warrants in cities across the country to prevent more murders like Breonna Taylor’s.
  • Support a new Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate for Louisville and for prosecutors’ offices across the country who can stand up for civilians against our criminal legal system’s brutality.

Stand with Bre will continue to fight not just for Breonna Taylor but also for the equality of all black lives under the law. They ask if anyone is able to give a donation at standwithbre.com.

TikTok Broadcasting Racism

On Aug. 23 in Kenosha, WI 29 Black male Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police officers. A video of the scene has gone viral showcasing Blake walking into a car as the officers pull out their weapons. Social media has opened opportunities for people to speak out on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Once the video was posted and had begun gaining attraction, within hours protests began through the city. Blake’s shooting added more to the injustice of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been occurring over the summer since the killing of Geroge Floyd. 

Twitter and Facebook have created a source for people to express their frustration with the lack of justice done in the US. With more people joining in on social media outlets, calls to action for the Black Lives Matter movement have reached people all over the world. 

TikTok is a relatively new app compared to its competitors but downloaded over 7.5 million times in the US within the month of June. Viral videos include people going out to peaceful protests, as well as discouraging acts of racism against black people. 

Sammy Hager lives from Meridian, ID. She’s a journalist and a civil rights activist. She has taken some of her work on her TikTok account @sammyhager2020. She has over 45k followers and continues to spread the reality of injustice done to marginalized groups in the US. 

When asked how social media has affected the  injustices in the US Hager said, “You can’t give people the ‘benefit of the doubt’ anymore and assume the white cop is telling the truth as a white privileged person when the videos clearly show otherwise.” Hager notes that it has become much easier to showcase systemic racism. 

Hagger grew up in Covina, CA. The settings from the two states are incredibly different. She notes that she has always been aware of racism but wasn’t as blatant as it is in Idaho. Hager describes racism as, “alive, unapologetic, and vile.” She adds that even in more progressive towns like Bosie, ID you still see Nazi flags and hear the N-word regularly. 

Hager started her account not really thinking anyone would notice or care. She was working on the Bernie Sanders campaign and calling out corruption in politics. Hager eventually gained the attention of Idaho Republicans and even police officers. 

All forms of threats have been made on her, from blackmail to guns being pulled out to her, to even political figures threatening her. The police have even been to Hager’s home. Articles have been written throughout the state comparing her to a terrorist. 

On Jul. 7 Hager shared in a TikTok video that she would never purposely harm herself, that’s she’s not depressed or would hurt anyone, “If any of those things happen to me, you know what happened to me,” referring to the fact that someone else must have been the reason for any physical harm done to her. 

Hager is running for election to the Idaho House of Representatives to represent District 20B under the Democratic party. Hager isn’t running for the sake of winning, but the message she wants to send out to her heavily red state. She wants the politicians of Idaho to know that their positions aren’t permanent, nor are they untouchable. 

Hager will proudly continue her videos,  “This is the largest protest (BLM) in American history and I only see it growing thanks to these videos of protestors being unjustly injured and BIPOC being discriminated against.” Hager believes apps like TikTok are key to the revolution she sees coming. 

Social Media Is Helping Bring Light to the Black Lives Matter Movement

On Aug. 23 in Kenosha, WI 29 Black male Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by police officers. A video of the scene has gone viral showcasing Blake walking into a car as the officers pull out their weapons. Social media has opened opportunities for people to speak out on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Once the video was posted and had begun gaining attraction, within hours protests began through the city. Blake’s shooting added more to the injustice of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been occurring over the summer since the killing of Geroge Floyd. 

Twitter and Facebook have created a source for people to express their frustration with the lack of justice done in the US. With more people joining in on social media outlets, calls to action for the Black Lives Matter movement have reached people all over the world. 

TikTok is a relatively new app compared to its competitors but downloaded over 7.5 million times in the US within the month of June. Viral videos include people going out to peaceful protests, as well as discouraging acts of racism against black people. 

Sammy Hager lives from Meridian, ID. She’s a journalist and a civil rights activist. She has taken some of her work on her TikTok account @sammyhager2020. She has over 45k followers and continues to spread the reality of injustice done to marginalized groups in the US. 

When asked how social media has affected the  injustices in the US Hager said, “You can’t give people the ‘benefit of the doubt’ anymore and assume the white cop is telling the truth as a white privileged person when the videos clearly show otherwise.” Hager notes that it has become much easier to showcase systemic racism. 

Hagger grew up in Covina, CA. The settings from the two states are incredibly different. She notes that she has always been aware of racism but wasn’t as blatant as it is in Idaho. Hager describes racism as, “alive, unapologetic, and vile.” She adds that even in more progressive towns like Bosie, ID you still see Nazi flags and hear the N-word regularly. 

Hager started her account not really thinking anyone would notice or care. She was working on the Bernie Sanders campaign and calling out corruption in politics. Hager eventually gained the attention of Idaho Republicans and even police officers. 

All forms of threats have been made on her, from blackmail to guns being pulled out to her, to even political figures threatening her. The police have even been to Hager’s home. Articles have been written throughout the state comparing her to a terrorist. 

On Jul. 7 Hager shared in a TikTok video that she would never purposely harm herself, that’s she’s not depressed or would hurt anyone, “If any of those things happen to me, you know what happened to me,” referring to the fact that someone else must have been the reason for any physical harm done to her. 

Hager is running for election to the Idaho House of Representatives to represent District 20B under the Democratic party. Hager isn’t running for the sake of winning, but the message she wants to send out to her heavily red state. She wants the politicians of Idaho to know that their positions aren’t permanent, nor are they untouchable. 

Hager will proudly continue her videos,  “This is the largest protest (BLM) in American history and I only see it growing thanks to these videos of protestors being unjustly injured and BIPOC being discriminated against.” Hager believes apps like TikTok are key to the revolution she sees coming. 

Joe Biden Speaks Alongside Hispanic Influencers to Rally the Us Hispanic Community to Vote

On Sep.15 Joe Biden spoke at a live broadcasted Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee, FL. Highly influential Hispanic artists joined Biden to reach out to the LatinX community for their support to the Democratic presidential party. 

Joe Biden was trending on twitter when viewers at home watched as Joe Biden took out his phone and began playing the popular song “Despacito” by Latin artist, Luis Fonsi, and Daddy Yankee. Though some saw it as cringy, it was an attempt of many to connect with all ranges of the Hispanic community. 

One thing that most people migrating to the United States has is, “Hope, and in so many ways that’s what makes us American.” as Biden stated. He wanted to connect the matter that everyone can connect to their ancestors, whether American or Hispanic, they’ve intertwined and flourished. 

Biden highlighted the importance of the Hispanic people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role they have taken in the working class, “for the first time recognized for what they truly are, essential.” He also mentions it’s not a matter of just thanking these people, but to pay them.

From the grocery store clerks to the nurses, the US is powered by working Hispanic people. Biden quotes his father, “A job is a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Hispanic share of the labor force is projected to grow from 17.5% in 2017 to 20.9% by 2028. 

Biden goes into exactly how he plans on helping the Hispanic community and how to integrate them better into the country. “We have to change our attitudes,”

Eva Longoria, an American actress of Mexican descent who opened the event, directly calls out President Trump in the racism, inhumanity, and stereotypes that Trump has continuously stated towards Mexican immigrants, “at the border he has ripped kids from the arms of their parents and has locked them in cages.” 

On Aug. 3, 2019, Patrick Crusius, a white man, walked into a Walmart in El Paso, TX shooting 22 people dead. Anthony Rivas of ABC News reported, the El Paso Police Department was told by Crusius that he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible. Far-right violence against minorities has been growing in the US since President Trump took office. 

Rivas states that although the President denies his effects in any form of violence, “ an ABC News investigation in November 2018 [found] multiple criminal cases involving mostly white men where Trump’s name or rhetoric was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.”

On Aug. 16, 2019, Longoria and fellow American-Hispanic actress, America Ferrera led a group for a letter of solitary to US Latinos. The group was made up of more than 150 artists, including Doreles Huerta, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ricky Martin, and many more. 

Longoria tweeted that day, “We will not be broken. We will not be silenced. We will continue to denounce any hateful and inhumane treatment of our community. We will demand dignity and justice.” Along with Ferrera, to ask the Hispanic community to bind together.

Biden wraps the speech up by describing the strength he carried during times of grief (the loss of his wife, son, and daughter), “Faith and family, it seems to me that the same strength that’s always animated the Hispanic community.” Biden encourages viewers that the Hispanic community holds so much power in shaping the future of the US, he encourages everyone to vote.

The Health of Small Businesses: Frodo Joe’s Follow Up

Frodo Joe’s, a cafe located in San Lorenzo, CA, though COVID-19 pandemic is still amongst the community, the small business is trying to preservice through the hardships. 

In March, Frodo Joes had to close its doors to indoor dining, just as many businesses had to across the country. In late June, the business opened up outdoor dining in their parking lot. A new experience for the cafe. 

Frodo Joe’s is a family-owned business with two locations, one in San Lorenzo and the other in Fremont. The business is most known for their delicious savory and dessert crepes. Togo orders continue, but now patrons can sit down for coffee and a fresh crepe.

The San Lorenzo location is managed by Emily, daughter of the owners, along with her staff behind her, young college students from the community. 

Emily expresses that the brightest side of the whole situation is the support from the community especially online, “A lot of my customers are posting to go and support Frodo Joe’s,” People have been posting to San Lorenzo’s Facebook to help keep business booming. 

New obstacles have popped up as the cafe tries to manage social distance guidelines outside. The landlord of the building granted the cafe four parking spaces for tables and chairs, all six feet apart from each other. “We can’t do parties more than six,” Emily expresses that she can move tables together, but has to stick to guidelines. 

Frodo Joe’s has always been a rather small space, and a seat at a table has always been a tricky task. However, Emily set new rules, “The customers have to pay for their food before they can get a table.” She understands that customers were used to saving their seats, “This way there won’t be any conflicts between customers.”

For the most part, people have been understanding as Emily puts it. Their business depends on being able to keep up with health and safety regulations, “We try to work as efficiently as possible. Inspectors do come to make sure tables are six feet apart, we sanitize all the tables and chairs.” 

Business overall is better, but there are setbacks that are unavoidable. Due to the wildfires that began early September, outside seating hasn’t been easy. On Sep. 9 the Bay Area skies were dark orange with a thick layer of smoke. The days following the air quality index (AQI) spiked over 200 categorized as very unhealthy. 

As of Sep. 21, the AQI is at 42 in San Lorenzo, categorized as Good. Emily says that slowly but surely business is building back up as the weather has improved. She expressed that the cafe is in a better position than before, “It’s better than nothing. At least right now I do have my supportive customers in the area.” 

Frodo Joe’s is located at 17665 Hesperian Blvd, San Lorenzo. The cafe opens at 6 am-5 pm Monday to Saturday and 8 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Emily and her staff are more than happy to see kind faces come by, with face masks while going inside. 

Boycott Mulan Hit Trending

The live-action remake of Mulan premiered on Disney+ On Sep. 4. While Disney attempted to make a more accurate telling of the story, fans were disappointed with every aspect that went into the making of this film.  

Parts of the movie were filmed in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, (XUAR) China, a southern region in the country where over 1mil Uyghur Muslims are currently being detained in concentration camps. Disney had even thanked the Turpan Public Safety Bureau that’s involved with the camps, in the Mulan end credits. 

#BoycottMulan has been all over the media, people are refusing to support the movie, and Disney as a whole. 

A letter has been sent to the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, by 19 bipartisan members of Congress to question Disney involvement with this region as reported by Axious news on Sep 12. 

Key aspects of the letter are highlighted in this article including: “that Disney explains its cooperation with XUAR authorities, including what contractual agreements were made, Disney executives’ awareness of the political complexities of the region, what local labor was used and what Disney policies exist on prohibiting relationships with human rights abusers.”

Disney has yet to make any public statement. 

Liu Yfiel 33 is a Chinese born-American actress who stars as the new Mulan. Liu has been under fire as she has been very public of her support for the Hong Kong police that has been on the scene as protests that began Aug. 2019.

Liu stated in her online post, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”

BBC News explained the extraction bill that started the protest, “the proposed changes would have allowed for the Hong Kong government to consider requests from any country for the extradition of criminal suspects, even countries with which it doesn’t have an extradition treaty and including mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau.” 

Liu’s statement left many upset and initially caused one of the first reasons why people wanted to boycott the 2020 Mulan. 

Everyone who worked to create the movie was white. Fans quickly realized that there weren’t any Chinese people telling a Chinese story. 

Disney has proven to be able to tell authentic stories focused on cultures. Pixar Studios (owned by Disney) received massive praise for its creation of the film Coco. The movie centered around Mexican culture and family values. While the film was directed by a white male, Lee Unkrich, he knew he couldn’t tell this story authentically without true representation. 

Unkrich thus brought along co-director Adrian Molina, a man of Mexican descent. The creators of Coco spent countless hours in Mexico, working with artists and musicians, to learn every aspect they could to achieve one of Pixar’s most celebrated films. 

 Mulan costs $29.99 to stream on Disney+. Although the film remains unlocked as long as you are a subscriber to the app, it will be available for free on Dec. 4. Many fans were upset with the pricing considering that they already have to pay to be a member and didn’t believe the film was worth the money. 

Paola Hernandez, a student at UC Berkeley and Disney superfan, was initially excited for the film when the first trailer was released. She was emotional and, “felt a little teary-eyed,” as Hernandez put it. The original Mulan is in Hernandez’s top five favorite Disney movies. 

Songs featured in the original include “Reflection” and “I’ll make a man out of you” which has over 124 mil views on Youtube. These are seen as Disney songs classics. 

The 2020 Mulan had no singing but did quote the lyrics throughout the movie. This left Hernandez unimpressed, “It felt cheesy. Why even use the line if they’re not gonna sing it?” Hernandez felt that all the aspects she enjoyed as a child were taken out of the movie. 

Hernandez does not recommend, and would rather stick to re-watching the original. 

A Battle for USPS

With the pandemic still upon us, mail-in voting is probably the safest method for voting this election. Still, President Trump is making it all the more difficult for the United States Postal Service to get the job done. 

On Jul. 19, Chris Wallace sat with President Trump on Fox News. “I think mail-in is going to rig the election,” Trump responded when Wallace asked if the President is a good loser.

Wallace questioned Trump, “Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results for the election?”

“I have to see,” Trump stated. 

Besides the spread of mail-in fraud by President Trump, he’s been attempting to block donation founds to the UPSP. 

New postmaster general, a top republican campaign donor, Louis Dejoy imposed cost-cutting measures that have pushed mail back by weeks. Dejoy donated over 1.5 million dollars to both of the Trump campaigns. 

On Sep. 4, the Texas Tribune reported on the hypocrisy of Texas republicans trying to stop the expansions of mail-in voting while at the same time encouraging his voters to use it. 

Early mail-in voting is ideal for making sure votes are received on time, especially with the mail’s larger expectancy due to the pandemic.

In the state of Texas, early mail-in voting is only permitted if you meet any of the following:

  • 65 years or older;
  • disabled;
  • out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

The article reports that Nathan Hecht, the chief of the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court stated citizens don’t need to prove their disability to request early mail-in voting, “all they have to do is say, ‘I want (a mail-in ballot) because in my view I need one.’”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the expansion of the mail-in voting as “A scam by the Democrats,” that would ultimately lead “To the end of America.” Texas Grand Old Party (GOP) spokesperson, Luke Twombly, confirmed to the Texas Tribune that they had sent out ballot applications. But didn’t answer the question of how they could determine that mail-in voting is fraudulent. 

The Texas Tribune wrapped up by stating that, “The Texas Democratic Party is still fighting in court to expand eligibility for mail-in voting for voters younger than 65, though it’s becoming increasingly unclear if that litigation will be resolved in time for the general election.”

The President’s attempts to stop the USPS has caused a large outpour of frustration from both Democrats and Republicans. On Aug. 13 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) tweeted to President Trump stating, “Let’s make a deal, Mr. President: You release your college transcript, I’ll release mine, and we’ll see who was the better student. Loser has to fund the Post Office.” 

This was tweeted out after a conference with President Trump was released with him staging, “AOC was a poor student … this is not even a smart person, other than she’s got a good line of stuff. I mean, she goes out and she yaps.” 

Republican Party chairman in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Rohn Bishop stated, “What the president is doing when he keeps saying that this mail-in balloting thing is fraudulent.” Bishops claim this only hurts themselves.

Social Distance for All

Despite proof that social distance guidelines have been effective with slowing the growth rate of the COVID-19 virus, Americans are protesting for stay at home orders to end.

On April 30, protesters gathered around the state capitol in Michigan after the news that Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to extend the stay at home order. Protestors also gathered around the Governor’s home right outside her driveway.

Protestors spoke and shared their concerns with their small business and the Governor’s lack of prioritizing them.

FOX News spoke with Charlie Hurt, opinion editor for the Washington Post and FOX News contributor. “The problem comes when you have politicians who appear to be acting in their political best interest.”

Hurt questions Gov. Whitmer’s true intention to extend the stay at home order and believes it’s a tactic for convincing Joe Biden to select her as his Vice President.

A study done at the University of Kentucky (UK) had been released by the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise suggests that social distancing and stay at home orders are working.

The report was done by professors of Gatton College of Business and Economics at the UK, as well as fellow professors working in the department of economics. 

The report, Did Social-Distancing Measures in Kentucky Help to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve?, takes confirmed cases of COVID-19 in counties of Kentucky, comparing them to neighboring counties, such as counties in Tennessee. 

The report describes the matters of how a region would have been affected by the virus with no official government restriction in place, with only strictly voluntary self-distancing, or if the region was put under restrictions. 

Aaron Yelowitz, one of the Kentucky professors who worked on the report spoke with LEX18 News on May 1. “The social distancing measures, the stay at home orders, the closing of dining at restaurants, dramatically bent the curve and saved lives,” Yelowitz stated in regards to the spread of COVID-19.

The report states that instead of 4,000 confirmed cases of the virus by April 26, it would have been up to 45,000 with an additional 2,000 deaths. 

Yelowitz told LEX18 News that there’s something to learn from neighboring states as Kentucky will begin to reopen business on May 11, “I think it’s too early.” 

On the widely known app TikTok, users are using this outlet to express their frustrations with people not wanting to comply with social distance guidelines. 

Samantha Lee Hager began her video by briefly explaining the Michigan protests, “but that’s not even the part that pisses me off,” the woman goes into listing peaceful protests against social injustice that were all shut down by police and or faced charges. 

Hager ends her video with her frustrations with the fact that Michigan protesters were being aggressive, ignoring social distance guidelines, forcing themselves into the capitol building while carrying firearms. 

“None of them are arrested and if that isn’t discrimination I don’t know what is,” Hager said. 

@lakewoodpapi shared his belief in the selfishness of the people wanting states to reopen, “it was to force everyone else to go back to work, so they (conservatives) could enjoy life again.” The young man also adds that the majority of the people who would be at risk of the reopenings would be people of color. 

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) have detailed tips on how to social distance:

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis, if possible.

More information on the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

Link for the full UK report: