BELatina’s Weekend Briefing: Gaza, Elections in Puerto Rico, and More

BELatina's Weekend Briefing BELatina Latinx
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BELatina’s Weekend Briefing is a weekly summary of the most important news you should know before starting the week.

This has definitely been one of the most bizarre weekends in a long time.

The situation in Gaza has become a dynamo for the colonial issue and racism in every corner of the globe, but especially within the progressive Democratic wing; the University of California will no longer consider SATs and ACT scores and congressional elections in Puerto Rico. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo courtesy of New York Times (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)
Photo courtesy of New York Times (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

An Unusual Deal at the University of California

As reported by The New York Times, the University of California will no longer consider SAT and ACT scores in admissions or scholarship decisions for its 10-school system.

The decision follows a lawsuit filed by students against the standardized testing system that critics say puts students of color and those with disabilities at a disadvantage.

The plaintiffs said the college entrance tests are biased against poor and primarily black and Hispanic students — and by basing admissions decisions on those tests, the system illegally discriminates against applicants based on race, wealth, and disability.

Some 225,000 undergraduates attend University of California schools. This week’s agreement makes the system the largest and best-known U.S. institution of higher education to distance itself from the use of the two major standardized tests.

Photo Courtesy of El Nuevo Dia (Ramon
Photo Courtesy of El Nuevo Dia (Ramon “Tonito” Zayas)

Elections Begin in Puerto Rico for Congressional Delegates

Last Sunday, elections began to choose the six delegates who will go to the U.S. Congress to lobby for statehood, as established by Act 167 of 2020.

According to El Vocero, among the ten candidates for the posts are: former legislator Melinda Romero; former Ponce Mayor María ‘Mayita’ Meléndez and former Corrections Secretary Zoraida Buzó. Also in the race are Elizabeth Torres, Víctor Pérez, Jorge Iván Rodríguez, Roberto López, Roberto Lefranc Fortuño, Ricardo Marrero and Adriel Jared Vélez.

To the surprise of many, one of the nominees by direct nomination (‘write-in’) is none other than former Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who was ousted in 2019 after scandalous conversations he had with his close circle were leaked.

Progressive Democrats Call Out Attacks Against Palestine By Name

While the Biden administration remains wary of Israel’s violence against Palestine, perceiving it as a highly sensitive diplomatic challenge involving a longtime ally, progressives in the party see it as “a racial justice issue” deeply intertwined with U.S. policy, The New York Times reported.

Representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have linked the decades-long conflict over land in the Middle East to causes such as police brutality and migrant conditions at the Southern border.

AOC directly challenged the president, who claimed Israel had a right to defend itself.

“Do Palestinians have a right to survive?” she asked in an impassioned address. “Do we believe that? And if so, we have a responsibility to that as well.”

Mexican Software Engineer, Andrea Meza, is Crowned Miss Universe 2021

“Viva Mexico!” shouted Mario Lopez last Sunday night as he celebrated the election of Andrea Meza as the new Miss Universe 2021.

Meza, a software engineering graduate, beat Miss Brazil to the crown and received the crown from Zozibini Tunzi, a public relations professional who in 2019 became the first black woman from South Africa to win the pageant.

Photo Courtesy of NBC Chicago
Photo Courtesy of NBC Chicago

Last year’s ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic.