People Are Rallying Behind LA Street Vendors Who Are Being Harassed

Lead Photo: Photo by Getty Images
Photo by Getty Images
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It’s been an extremely difficult time for brown and black communities, especially immigrants, as the Coronavirus crisis continues to sweep the country. COVID-19 is hurting and killing Latinos and Black people at disproportionately high rates, as the majority of essential workers on the frontlines are people of color, and the economic and healthcare systems that have failed us for years only worsens.

Latinos are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Since they are not being offered resources and support, they continue to risk their lives at sites (fields or factories) that require them to be in close quarters to others, in order to continue to support and maintain their families. On top of that, those undocumented are not eligible to receive a stimulus check from the government; meanwhile, the majority of the 400,000 farmworkers in California are undocumented and lack health insurance, and yet are expected to work through the pandemic.

Among those affected by the pandemic are street vendors, who on top of being in danger from being outside, are also being harassed. A new, disturbing social media trend shows people harassing and harming street vendors who are primarily Latino. Amaris Mendez, a Mexican native residing in Los Angeles, was assaulted and robbed by two teens in March. The men took the elotera’s purse, which contained $80—her earnings for the day. Most recently, Mexican L.A. resident Jacobo was assaulted by two young men while selling raspados.

When Jimmy Humilde, CEO of Ranch Humilde Records, found out about the incident he launched a GoFundMe account to donate to Jacobo, and offered him $5,000 out of his own pocket. Humilde suggested he stay in the safety of his home for at least a day. Not even 24 hours after it launched, $21,568 of the $25,000 goal has been raised. Humilde went on Instagram Live to talk to Jacobo about the incident and update him on the donations. Humilde fought through tears as he commended Jacobo for being “un gran hombre” and asked him and other Latinos to stay strong.

Just last month, various organizations came together to create a fund to support LA’s beloved street vendors.