2021 Won’t Soon be Forgotten

2021 Won’t Soon be Forgotten

The year is fastly wrapping up and we couldn’t help but look back at this s**tshow of a year. Yeah we said it. We took a look at the topics that interested you all the most, and here’s what we found.

From overworked teachers to once again arguing (debating maybe?) about Latino identity, to J Balvin demonstrating not once, but several times, that he refuses to do anything about his anti-Blackness, 2021 had you all (and us) trying to digest all the things.

But let’s not blame the year. After all, it’s the humans who are doing all the things, not the calendar year. And here’s what they did in 2021:

America Prefers Teachers Who Offer Themselves as Tribute. And That Needs to Stop

Luz’s unabashed contributor Myriam Gurba, tackled the over the top expectations that American society places on teachers, expecting them to sacrifice and strain themselves physically and emotionally for the greater good instead of recognizing the hard work they do and treating them as human beings instead of sacrificial martyrs and educational heroes. During a time when so many parents were forced to become teachers themselves through homeschooling, the often horrific treatment of teachers resonated in a viral way.

Dear J Balvin We’re Trying to Enjoy Your Album Pero…

We’re reggaeton fans and generally have been J Balvin fans too, but after Balvin released a video that included scenes of him walking around Black women as dogs, amongst many other troublesome scenes, we had to point out the obvious: J Balvin has anti-Black beliefs that have manifested themselves on more than a few occasions. Listen mi gente, we love it when Latinos are winning, but we also have to hold our own accountable for their behavior. It’s up to the entire Latino community to say no to racism and anti-Blackness in our culture.

j balvin - cancelled

9 of the Best Telenovelas of All Time

We. Love. Telenovelas. So of course, we had to pick our favoritas to lay around and binge-watch. Whether it’s a throwback to when you were a kid forced to watch with your family or as an adult who’s still a fan of drool-worthy men and wild no-way-this-is-possible plotlines, the reasons don’t matter. Novelas are a part of our culture and we’re here for it. On to the switched-at-birth-babies and fairytale happy-endings.

3 Reasons to Consider Dual American/Mexican Citizenship and How to do it.

With the state of the affairs in the U.S., packing up our bags and leaving has been pretty tempting for many. We looked at the reasons why Mexico is slowly convincing Mexican-Americans that maybe getting dual citizenship might be a pretty great option, and how to get it done if that’s the case. With endless societal curve-balls, what better time than now to consider dual citizenship?

Latinas Discuss Race, Identity, and the term BIPOC

Latinas are diverse, and identity is always a complicated topic. Tackling Latino complexity deserves more than just published thought pieces. We need to have real conversation, nuanced discussion, and time to figure it all out. Tamarindo Podcast contributed their thoughts on the topic with deep and enriching conversation and you all were here for it. Check it out.

Is Rosalia Taking Advantage of Latinx Culture?

Gone are the days when Latinos were so underrepresented and misunderstood that the community was willing to accept anything it could get. The Latin revolution populated with mostly white European Spaniards is now a thing of the past and Latinos are now demanding representation of their own. So we asked, do Spanish artists like Rosalia still get to lead the mantle for Latinas as a white Spanish artist from Barcelona?

The History of Hoops and What They Mean to Latinas

We’re all about hoops and the way they make us feel when we put them on. But how and why did hoop earrings become a way of making bold statements with the mere presence of them on our ears? Turns out wearing them has a deeper meaning than just being a fashion accessory and it’s no surprise that women of color embody their power in a way that does their history justice.

Labels 101: Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and More

The decades-old debate about Latino labels reared its ugly head in a big way in 2021. Latinx led the way in proving to be a generational marker of sorts with older people disliking the term, and younger people embracing the inclusive nature of it, though the term remains highly unliked or otherwise unknown with the majority of the U.S. based Latino population. How to categorize over 60 million people with roots from 33 Latin-American countries is no small task but it’s worth knowing where our labels came from so we can have an idea of where we’re going.

Happy 2022, familia!

vibrant graphic design featuring two female wrestlers in action

Picture this: the grand arena hums with the electricity of expectation and the clamor of a thousand voices, all waiting for the spectacle of the age-old Mexican tradition of Lucha Libre, a wrestling style born in the heart of Mexico in the early 20th century.

The combatants aren’t mere wrestlers; they are luchadores, artists of acrobatics and theatricality, their faces hidden behind vibrant masks that carry stories older than the very sport they represent, stories rooted in the legacy of the ancient Aztecs.

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.

graphic design highlighting Dolores Huerta 94 birthday, the iconic civil rights activist and labor leader.

Today, Dolores Huerta, one of the most important Latino icons within civil rights, is turning 94 years old. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate not only her robust life but also her immense contributions as a social justice champion. Huerta is a living legend whose tireless efforts have helped transform the landscape of civil rights, feminism, labor rights, farmworkers’ rights, and even environmental justice.

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