BELatina’s Weekend Recap: Desmond Tutu, J Balvin, And More

Desmond Tutu Financial Times BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the Financial Times.

Happy last Monday of the year!

At BELatina, we still have the blankets wrapped around us after a quiet weekend, at home, and responsibly celebrating Christmas. The accelerated increase in Omicron infections has forced us to put the health of our loved ones first.

Also, as we celebrated with hot chocolate and our favorite Christmas movie, many things happened this weekend.

From the passing of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu to J Balvin’s incongruous award, here’s the weekend news you need to know.

Farewell to Desmond tutu, the powerful anti-apartheid voice

Desmond Tutu BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a powerful force for nonviolence in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, died last Sunday at 90. The cleric used his pulpit and energetic oratory to help bring down apartheid in South Africa. He became the leading advocate for peaceful reconciliation under black majority rule. Tutu died Sunday in Cape Town of cancer.

Bad Bunny conquers the Simpsons universe

Bad Bunny joined The Simpsons in Springfield for his new video “Te Deseo Lo Mejor.” The Puerto Rican artist shared the video for his latest single, in which he enters the animated world to help rekindle the flame between Homer and Marge.

The clip begins with Marge leaving Homer when he finds more interest in his phone than her. Homer quickly realizes that he is miserable in Marge’s absence and makes an effort to woo her at a concert Bad Bunny is giving at the Aztec Theater.

Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won the Roe v Wade abortion case, dies

Sarah Weddington BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Getty.

Sarah Weddington, a lawyer who argued and won the supreme court case Roe v Wade, which established abortion rights in the United States, has died. She was 76.

Susan Hays, a Democratic candidate for Texas agriculture commissioner, announced the news on Twitter on Sunday. The Dallas Morning News confirmed it.

“Sarah Weddington died this morning after a series of health issues,” Hays wrote. “With Linda Coffee, she filed the first case of her legal career, Roe v Wade, fresh out of law school. She was my professor … the best writing instructor I ever had, and a great mentor.

“At 27, she argued Roe to [the supreme court] (a fact that always made me feel like a gross underachiever). Ironically, she worked on the case because law firms would not hire women in the early 70s, leaving her with lots of time for good trouble.”

J Balvin’s award for best Afro-Latino artist of the year from the AEA is a slap in the face to Afro-Latinos

This weekend, the African Entertainment Awards named the Jose album creator as Afro-Latin Artist of the Year 2021.

In response, J Balvin began trending on Twitter as some social media users took issue with him receiving the honor. Many of the complaints centered on Balvin’s race and ethnicity.

Some people also pointed out that J Balvin faced adverse reactions for his controversial “Perra” music video earlier this year. Critics accused the reggaeton artist of racism and misogyny because the visuals depicted black women as dogs on leashes.

The wave of Omicron contagions causes airline staffing problems

Omicron airlines BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Politico.

Airlines continued to cancel hundreds of flights Saturday as Covid-19-related staffing problems disrupted holiday celebrations during one of the busiest times of the year.

FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, noted the cancellation of 941 flights into, out of, or within the United States on Saturday, up from 690 on Friday. More than 200 more flights were canceled for Sunday. FlightAware did not indicate the reason for the flight cancellations.

Delta, United, and JetBlue had said Friday that the omicron variant was causing staffing problems that led to flight cancellations. United spokeswoman Maddie King said staffing shortages were still causing cancellations, and it was unclear when normal operations would return. “This was unexpected,” she said of Omicron’s impact on staffing. Delta and JetBlue did not immediately respond to questions Saturday.

Eréndira Ibarra wins audience’s hearts as first Latina in ‘Matrix’ franchise

Eréndira Ibarra BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Forbes.

Born in Mexico and raised in San Jose, California, Eréndira Ibarra’s career has been primarily in Spanish film and television, such as recent roles in Netflix’s NFLX 0.0% Ingobernable and El Candidato, produced by Televisa for Amazon Prime Video. But landing her first English-language role in the sci-fi drama Sense8, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski for Netflix, was a turning point. She established solid relationships that paved the way for new opportunities in Hollywood.

Ibarra currently stars in Matrix Resurrections as Lexy. She is the first Latina actress to land a role in the Wachowski’s mind-blowing sci-fi series. The film reunites her with Lana Wachowski and several of her Sense8 castmates.

James Webb Space Telescope successfully launched

James Webb Space Telescope BELatina Latinx
An artist’s impression of the James Webb Space Telescope folded and stowed inside its Ariane 5 rocket shortly after launching from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. Credit: ESA/D. Ducros.

At 7:20 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, the rocket carrying the largest and most ambitious space telescope in history left the launch pad in French Guiana. Members of mission control at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore roared with jubilation.

The suspense was not quite over. Half an hour after launch, the telescope still had to undock from its host rocket, after which it had to deploy solar panels to partially power its journey.

Astronomers have more at stake for the rocket than the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Also at risk is the viability of NASA’s vast space science portfolio, if not the future of astronomy itself. As the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the JWST is one of those one-of-a-kind science projects that may test the patience of government benefactors, as well as the credibility of the agency responsible, but also define a field for decades to come, and possibly redefine it forever.