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Paul-Robert von Brendel, Miami
Once again a moron has come out of the (bigoted) closet to express his ignorant views of Cubans, assimilation, the "official language," Third World minorities, and the horrors of shopping in South Miami drugstores. I am referring to the letter written by Paul-Robert von Brendel.
Let me begin by congratulating Mr. von Brendel's parents for successfully assimilating in the U.S. I only hope that in their attempt to assimilate, they continued to encourage teaching their children "their" native tongue. Encouraged to become like white Anglo-Saxons, part of the immigration-assimilation process of the Twenties (remember the "melting pot" theory), many Polish-Americans and Italian-Americans were denied the right to express and live their rich cultures and speak their native languages, because it was an insult and an outrage to nonspeakers. Generations later the descendants of these immigrants do not speak their native tongue. (That is not to mention the raping African-Americans endured.) This is a great loss for both the people it affected and to this country's ethnically diverse culture, and it's a big price to pay for "assimilation."
It behooves everyone to learn English; it is the popular language of this country, but not the "official" language of this country. Mr. "This is America and if you don't speak the language you can go back where you came from" von Brendel must not be confused by the Dade County ordinance that passed last year. His attitude matches that of the people he is complaining about. He is just as wrong for using stereotypes to cluster a whole nationality as the alleged "Cubans" are for being insensitive to his needs in that South Miami
Language is the basic form of communication for most people. The more languages one speaks, the more one will be able to communicate with others. It's sad that Mr. von Brendel and G. Wulf prefer to waste energy bitching about Cubans speaking Spanish to them rather than devoting that energy to learning Spanish so they can communicate with non-English speakers in this city. Miami is the gateway to the Caribbean and South America. Spanish will always be a popular language in this city because of the constant influx of refugees and immigrants. Stop the childish name calling, stop using stereotypes to belittle us, stop Cuban bashing and learn about us. Take advantage of our rich culture, music, dance, and food, which is at your disposal. Enjoy it. Don't fear it because it's different from your own. Keep your ethnic ignorance in check; someone may confuse it with racism. Remember, ignorance equals bigotry.Freddy RodriguezWest Kendall
G. Wulf's comments only illustrate the immense ignorance envious "Americans" possess regarding Cubans and their adoption of the good ole USA as their new country.
While most "Americans" recognize and welcome the undying efforts of Cubans and their awesome contributions to Miami's economy, and in turn most Cubans respect and appreciate the opportunities they've received, foolish people such as G. Wulf continue to run their mouths.G. Wulf spent a great deal of her letter detailing the criminal actions of certain Cubans, suggesting that the vast majority of Cubans follow suit, but provided no evidence to support such a claim. Meanwhile, Cubans have the highest percentage of students who graduate from high school and go on to college among all Hispanics.
The greatest factor separating Cubans from the rest of Hispanics is that Miami Cuban-Americans did not enter this country into an Anglo-dominant area. "Your" people failed to create such a power structure, unlike California, New York, and Chicago, and so Cubans had the opportunity to assimilate and dominate while retaining their culture. Cubans were not internally colonized. They get out and vote, engage in politics, and actively lobby for policies that reflect their wishes. Cubans don't sit on their butts, they kick butts. God bless America.Rene V. Mesa, Hialeah
It is U.S. citizens like G. Wulf who are Cuban haters, to the point they hate any minority, even their own. They created all the regimes that are leaving our homelands poor, ignorant, deprived. It's they I hold responsible for the situation in Cuba.
Spanish is not a secret language, and not everybody who speaks Spanish is Cuban - and she had better believe me. She should study, learn, improve herself. And then she'll realize that she is the problem.
Andrea Castillo, Miami Beach
Freddy Rodriguez has got it so wrong that he could be George Bush's press secretary. Rodriguez asserts that in America, many ethnic groups are being denied their "rights" - especially Cubans. The only group that has denied Cubans their rights are other Cubans. The hysterical right - pompous, puffed-up old farts - has threatened museums that dare exhibit Cuban artists with a different perspective. Musicians have been threatened and boycotted by the Cuban right merely for shaking Castro's hand - Cuban athletes as well. These jerks aren't hurting Castro; they are hurting freedom. Freddy says we should enjoy the rich Cuban culture. I would if it weren't being suppressed so the only "approved" culture we get is Radio Marti, Calle Ocho, polyester, neon TV shows, and car bombings. (This is what the Cuban right reflects.)Freddy cites that other cultures are being denied "cultural rights." Not true. Many groups from other countries have kept the cultural dowry of their homeland. In ethnic neighborhoods, customs, language, theater, and newspapers thrive as witness of the right to practice a culture. In New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, the sounds of many languages exist side by side: Chinese, Italian, Polish, Spanish. However, on common ground, in neutral territory, in business, in government, English is spoken, and every immigrant did his utmost to learn it. They learned Anglo-speak and took pride in their efforts - not as a kowtow, but out of gratitude to be in a country that once was fertile with promise and where effort, not caste, counted.