By Jueseppi B.
Heidi Anne Wys, an adviser to Puerto Rico House Speaker Jenniffer González, has tweeted racist things about President Barack Obama over the course of the last month or two, and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is just not going to take it anymore.
“Wah! Wah! I feel like vomiting! Dinner with a guy borned in Kenya and claims he was borned in Hawaii!” Ms. Wys tweeted at the President offering contributors the chance of dining with him back in June, for example.
Another time, Mr. Obama tweeted a reference of his wife’s birthday, causing Ms. Wys to lash out with, “Who cares? Take her to Burger King, buy her a sundae with double banana, take her to your homeland, Kenya!”
Understandably, a number of folks found these comments offensive, including Ms. Mark-Viverito, who sent out the following press release earlier this afternoon condemning the tweets as “vile and disgusting, and represent the height of ignorance”:
NYC COUNCIL MEMBER MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO DENOUNCES RACIST ANTI-OBAMA TWEETS BY ADVISOR TO SPEAKER OF PUERTO RICO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
New York, NY – New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito has denounced racist tweets sent to President Obama by an advisor to the Speaker of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives named Heidi Wys (@HeidiWys) on July 26, 2012. In response to a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama holding a birthday cake, which was tweeted with the message “Someone has a birthday coming up,” Ms. Wys replied “Who cares? Take her to Burger King, buy her a sundae with double banana, take her to your homeland, Kenya.” Last month, Ms. Wys replied to a tweet regarding an Obama fundraiser saying, “Wah! Wah! I feel like vomiting! Dinner with a guy borned in Kenya and claims he was borned in Hawaii!”
She has sought to “defend” her comments by saying that she is not a racist since “mis sobrinas más queridas son prietas” (“my dearest nieces are dark skinned”) and that she is just anti-Obama. She tweeted yesterday, “Combato a Obama con todas las fuerzas de mi corazon y pasion como descendiente de alemanes!!” (“I am fighting Obama with all my heard and passion, as a descendent of Germans!!”). These tweets come just a few months after another set of racist Twitter attacks by Zaida “Cucusa” Hernández, a former Speaker of Puerto Rico’s House, against Rafael Cox-Alomar, a Democratic candidate for Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in the U.S. Congress.
“Heidi Wys’ comments against the President are vile and disgusting, and represent the height of ignorance,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am sickened by the continued racist attacks from prominent political figures in Puerto Rico. Instead of setting a civil tone and engaging in a responsible debate, Ms. Wys has stuck by comments that are inflammatory, highly offensive and continue to demonstrate the deep-seated racism that abounds in Puerto Rican political and social discourse. I call on Ms. Wys to retract her comments and issue a real apology. If she continues to spew this kind of hateful and ignorant diatribe, she should be fired. I also call on all Puerto Rican elected officials to denounce these racist statements.”
As her adviser (and Chief of Staff) continues to face a controversy for racist tweets she made about President Obama, Puerto Rico’s Speaker of the House Jenniffer González issued a statement suggesting that comments such as the ones Heidi Wys Toro’s made were “unacceptable.”
he statement does not specifically call out Wys Toro for the tweets, nor does it mention that Wys Toro will face any disciplinary action for what she tweeted. Here are are two screen captures of what Wys Toro has tweeted:
González says that people need to be careful on social media, and she can’t be overseeing the comments of others and how they behave on social media. Here is a of what González issued (with our English translation included):
Las expresiones que se difunden no son aceptables, no representan mi sentir y son responsabilidad exclusiva de quien las escribió. Esta Cámara y esta Presidenta no se solidarizan para nada con las mismas. Si alguien ha sido víctima de la burla he sido yo, si alguien ha tomado con mucha madurez y tolerancia el ataque bajo hacia mi persona he sido yo, si alguien ha tenido el aguante para llenarse de paz con una combinación de sentido del humor ante el ataque bajo de muchos y muchas, he sido yo. Jamás favorecería este u otro tipo de expresión que se aleja de mi estilo.
El pueblo sabe que no soy partidaria de este tipo de burla como tampoco la patrocino. Quien me conoce bien, sabe que no es mi forma de pensar.
Aprovecho la oportunidad para hacer un llamado a todos y a todas los empleados y contratistas de la Cámara de Representantes a ser prudentes en el uso de las redes sociales, lamentablemente, esto dejó de ser algo de uso personal y todos y todas nos exponemos al rebote de las mismas. Es imposible y no me corresponde monitorear las cuentas de cada contratista o empleado de la Cámara de Representantes, sea del partido que sea, porque algunos pudieran cuestionar su derecho a la libre expresión.
No obstante, es responsabilidad de cada cual medir su expresión respetando siempre los derechos que también sabemos exigir. Reitero mi pedido para modificar este tipo de expresión en beneficio de todos y todas.
Here is our English translation:
The opinions and expressions being shared in public are not acceptable. They do not represent my opinion and are the sole responsibility of the person who wrote them. This House and this President will not sympathize at all with them. If anyone has been the victim of jokes, it has been me, if someone has approached such attacks taken with great maturity and tolerance, it has been me, if anyone has had the stamina for peace filled with a combination of humor to the under attack from many and many, it has been me. Never would I favor this or any other type of expression. That is just not my style
The people know that I am not in favor of this type of ridicule nor do I sponsor it. Anyone who knows me knows that’s not my way of thinking.
I take this opportunity to appeal to each and all employees and contractors of the House of Representatives to be prudent in the use of social networks. Unfortunately, this was no longer something personal and everyone we expose ourselves to will come back to us. It is impossible for me to monitor the accounts of each contractor or employee of the House of Representatives, nor matter what party they belong to, because some might question his or her right to free expression.
However, it is the responsibility of each person to monitor their opinions while respecting the rights that we know we should all adhere to. I reiterate my request to modify this type of opinion for the benefit of all.
“BARACK” The Vote
Filed under: 2012 Election, Causes, Democrats/Democratic, Michelle Obama, News, Politics, POTUS Obama, Race, Racism, The White House Tagged: | Barack Obama, Heidi Anne Wys, Jenniffer González, Kenya, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Michelle Obama, New York City, Obama, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's Speaker of the House, Twitter