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Zoe Saldana's response to anti-immigration hate is a must-read.

Zoe Saldana doesn't pull any punches in her latest interview with Latina magazine.

Can we talk about how much of a badass Zoe Saldana is?

The 37-year-old star of the upcoming Nina Simone biopic "Nina" recently talked about body positivity, being a mother, her marriage to Marco Perego-Saldana, and work-life balance with Latina magazine. And everything she had to say was ... yep, you guessed it: pretty badass.


But it was in response to questions about culture and immigration where Saldana really dug in.

She was born in New Jersey. At age 10, her family moved to the Dominican Republic. At 17, she returned to the U.S. to pursue her dreams of working in the entertainment industry. Growing up her whole life as the daughter of immigrants gives her a unique insight into the complexity of the immigrant experience in America. And she's not interested in beating around the bush.


Her response to people who are afraid of the "Latinization of America"? "Shut up and just deal with it," she says.

It's estimated that by 2044, the white population in the U.S. will — for the first time in the country's history — be in the minority. That is, there'll still be more white people than any other individual group, but collectively whites will make up less than 50% of the country.

This has some white people a little freaked out and feeling as though "our" country is being taken over by "others." But that's a load of nonsense.

Or as Saldana put it, "The only true American here is the Native American. Everyone else is a transplant. We're going through the exact same thing the Italians went through, the Irish, the Jews, and the Asians. In different ways, but it's been very similar."

The days of immigrant assimilation for the sake of the status quo have come to an end.

Culture has shifted away from shame of one's heritage. It's 2015, folks. You can be American while still embracing the culture of your country of origin.

"Latinos are overall very respectful," she said when asked about the evolution of Latino culture. "Once we started being discriminated against, we chose the high road: Keep quiet. Keep working. Don't teach our kids Spanish because we don't want them to get picked on." But after generations of keeping their heads down and trying to blend in with white American culture for so many years, Latinos are tired of feeling ashamed of their heritage.

"Now we're entering that phase where the first and the second generations are so in love with our ancestry and want to keep it alive in the best possible way."

On immigration, Saldana says, we need less rhetoric and more action; less vitriol and more compassion.

Those most affected by political gridlock are those who've become unwitting pawns in a game they never signed up for. Nowhere is this truer than on the topic of immigration, where rhetoric runs especially hot — from presidential candidates accusing people trying to immigrate to the U.S. of being criminals to legislators vowing not to take action reforming the system, things are rough.

The daughter of two immigrants, Saldana seems exhausted by the whole debate, saying, "I'm kind of embarrassed when you see all of these people talking [about immigration] on national television."

Hopefully, a day will come when politicians understand that we can't ignore 11 million undocumented immigrants.

And that starts by accepting the fact that what's happening today is no different than when so many of our relatives first came to the U.S. People are just trying to find a better life, and it's time we let them.

But if you choose not to acknowledge that, then maybe you need to follow Saldana's advice: "just shut up and deal with it."

Her full interview is available over at Latina magazine's website and is worth the read.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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