Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of March 9, 2000

Waiter, bring me a Cuban sandwich and a cold Dos Equis. And could you have someone mail this for me? Gracias.

Jay A. Mack
via the Internet

Leisure Lives of Smart-Mouthed Bigots
As a pensioned military retiree who has lived in diverse parts of the country, from Colorado to New York to New Mexico to Arkansas and now Florida, I feel I am uniquely qualified to make certain observations. First of all, people, corruption and misuse of office are not uniquely Latin traits. You'd be surprised how old corruption is and how well it survives in non-Latin environments.

Second, those "Cubans" (and other Latins mistakenly saddled with the term) work at many jobs no "self-respecting" Anglo would even consider. They also pay taxes and disproportionately serve in the armed forces while native sons preserve their "political viability." In other words they occupy the lower pecking order so that smart-mouthed bigots can have free time to launch derisive comments at them through talk radio and local letters columns. In particular reference to Rob Boyte, his letter's headline just about says it all: "You Wouldn't Understand, It's an Anglo Thing." That kind of mindset is a dangerous sword that cuts both ways.

Those who zero-in on recent immigrants and delight in finding fault are truly ignorant of their own country's history. From the ingratitude of the English Pilgrims in their genocide of the very people who helped them survive and endure, to the Irish-American riots of New York when that city was nearly burned down in protest over how "Anglos" were able to buy their way out of Union Army service (no doubt preserving their political viability) while the Irish were drafted in disproportionate numbers, to the refusal of German immigrants to attend American schools and stop speaking their own language, to the dramatic rise in crime following the increased arrival of certain anarchists from Russia and certain bootleggers from Ireland and Italy, to the abuses committed against African Americans over hundreds of years and against Asian Americans during World War II -- and so on ad nauseam.

No one in this country is in any kind of position to be hurling derision at anyone else. We must find out what are our commonalties and build on those. They do outnumber our differences. Hate poisons. Hate kills. It destroys the immigrant as it destroys the native. And it destroys the innocent much more often than the guilty.

Chad Joseph
Miami

Creative Nepotism
How did Miami commission candidates spend their excess campaign funds? On family and friends, of course.
By Jose Luis Jiménez

Memo to Self: Miami Is Part of USA
I am truly appalled by the photograph that appeared with Jose Luis Jiménez's article "Creative Nepotism" (February 24). In this picture, featuring Miami City Commissioner Tomas Regalado in his office, a framed Cuban flag hangs on the wall. Therein lies a large part of the problem facing Miami.

These elected officials spend more time dealing with issues involving Cuba than they do with the real issues they were elected to deal with concerning the City of Miami. As a result you get what we have in Miami today, a derelict, bankrupt, pathetic trash-strewn city that is the laughingstock of the United States. (Yes, it's hard to believe but Miami is actually a part of the USA.)

To Mr. Regalado and the rest of the Cuban-flag-waving officials such as Mayor Carollo, Mayor Penelas, and Ileana Ros(anna-Danna)-Lehtinen, I say stop wasting taxpayers' time and money and get busy dealing with the issues involving the offices to which you've been elected. Either that or get your pathetic asses back to your beloved Cuba.

I'm pissed off as fucking hell and tired of the bullshit.

Mike Scott
Miami

Sister Jeanne: Doddering Old Fool?
I knew it! I predicted before Jim DeFede's article "The Flighty Nun" (February 24) that New Times would cover this obviously senile old woman's interview with the Miami Herald, in which she claimed to have talked privately to Elian's grandmothers, asserting that one of them wanted to defect. It seemed strange how little coverage there was after Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin denied her previous statements to reporter Meg Laughlin. As far as I could tell, TV coverage was noticeably absent, and I looked for it. Even the Miami Herald seemed to want to let her off the hook with a small article stating only that the paper stood by its story.

When I mentioned to friends that no one was exposing her for what she is, I predicted there would soon be something about it in New Times. Sure enough, Jim DeFede came through. Of course, even he was kind to her, describing her merely as a "flake." A malicious flake would be more accurate. I saw from the beginning of her involvement that she loved the attention of the cameras and the reporters who were sticking microphones in her face, asking her questions.

She had a chance to help the community by offering a neutral position and site for the parties to meet. But her credibility went downhill fast when she wanted more of the limelight and chose to side with the Miami relatives. Her trip to Washington to further influence one side over the other by imposing on her friendship with Attorney General Janet Reno was another sign of her wanting celebrity status.

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