MSNBC host Joy Reid, on her official Facebook and Instagram accounts, personally libeled a white California woman in a MAGA hat who was photographed at a Simi Valley City Council meeting on illegal immigration engaged in a “spirited discussion” with a Latino-American teenage boy. Reid falsely accused the woman of calling the boy a “dirty Mexican” and likened the woman to the 1950s anti-desegregation racists, adding, “hate is real, y’all”.
The woman, Rosalyn La Liberte, was photographed on June 25 in an unflattering pose debating 14-year-old Joseph Luevanos. Both have denied any ugliness in their debate which remained “civil” according to young Joseph. Joseph and his mother said some other people said mean things to him, but not La Liberte.
The original photo with caption by Joe Lumaya, Ventura County Star, dated June 25, only described a “spirited discussion” between the two. The Star’s report on the meeting can be read at this link.
Rosalyn La Liberte and Joseph Luevanos, screen images via Fox 11 LA.
Alan Vargas, a 17-year-old March for Our Lives student activist from Corona, California posted to twitter on June 28 the photo, uncredited, with a made up caption that falsely accused the woman of calling the boy a “dirty Mexican” and saying he would be among “the first deported”.
Vargas encouraged people to, “Spread this far and wide this woman needs to be put on blast.”
And they did. There’s just one problem. The boy and the woman both say their discussion was civil.
“He showed up to a rally to defend immigrants. … She showed up too, in her MAGA hat, and screamed, “You are going to be the first deported” … ” dirty Mexican!” He is 14 years old. She is an adult. Make the picture black and white and it could be the 1950s and the desegregation of a school. Hate is real, y’all. It hasn’t even really gone away.”
Facebook screen image (almost 80,000 shares):
Instagram in two parts (over 14,000 likes):
Fox 11 in Los Angeles spoke to La Liberte and Luevanos about the photo for a report published Friday night.
A photo taken by the Ventura County Star that’s been making the social media rounds has become twisted as it churns its way through the internet. Activists have been spinning it in different directions. Some have even alerted companies doing business with Rosalyn La Liberte’s contracting company that they should boycott her firm. In the photo she LOOKS like she’s verbally attacking a 14-year old boy. Now, the two people in the photo are speaking out!
La Liberte tells FOX 11 News, “I’m not an evil person. I’m a mother of five… a Grandma of four.”
But, in a tweeted-photo that’s raced through social media like a wildfire that’s exactly how it looks. Looks can be deceiving. La Liberte doesn’t live in Simi Valley but went to this past week’s city council meeting because she says she’s passionate about the Federal Government’s fight against California’s sanctuary state status.
14-year old Joseph Luevanos was there to take the other side.
During a recess in the meeting the teenager says he started a conversation with the woman to try and understand her feelings, “but, I felt like she was still trying to keep it civil which I appreciate .”
Both he and his mom say there were rude people saying ugly things like the teen would be the first to be deported. For the record, he was born and raised in this part of Southern California and he didn’t like that. But, he says, what you see in the photo isn’t a confrontation but a conversation
La Liberte says, I never said anything disparaging. I never did.”
Fox 11 video report:
As Joy Reid says, “Hate is real, ya’ll”
And it resides in her heart.