By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Afro-Americans are exposed for working so hard for everything they have and now disgracing themselves with their conduct during the Elian saga.
Do you realize how incredibly stupid you appeared at protest rallies waving the American flag right next to someone waving the Confederate flag? I don't get it. That's the same flag you wanted taken down from the South Carolina capitol. Do you think that those Cuban-hating Anglos actually like you? Perhaps you do agree with Janet Reno (though if Elian were Haitian, I'm sure it would be a different story), but do you agree with that disgusting flag? You've worked so hard against America to gain respect and now you're just doing the same thing that was done to you. All of a sudden you've been overcome with American pride. Give me a break.
Anglo Americans are exposed for hypocrisy and selfishness, especially you upper-class intellectuals who were holding up signs with great messages such as “Go home” and “One down, 800,000 to go.” Think about your own history. Places like Africa, India, and the Americas all have been fortunate enough to experience your plagues, greed, and genocide. But that's not enough. You want everyone to appreciate it. You expect that when a minority is wronged (more than likely by you) they should keep quiet and be grateful that you allow them to live here. I guess only you deserve wealth and fair treatment by the law.
The whole point of America is that everyone gets the opportunity to excel and be happy. If Afro-Americans had stayed quiet, they would still be lynched during your after-church picnics. Unfortunately here in America one has to yell in order to be heard. Respect must be demanded because it is not given as it should be. And in case you haven't noticed, minorities are excelling in business, politics, and are even marrying into your families. Pretty soon we'll all be of mixed race. The thought tickles me. I hope it does the same for you.
Here's something that confuses me. You claim to be so much more American than everyone else, yet the Confederate flag is most un-American. Those flags battled each other during the Civil War. It makes no sense. So I guess you're the ones who are anti-American. In that case why do you pout when you see someone waving the Cuban flag? Hypocritical, don't you think? And that lame excuse that the flag symbolizes your heritage? Give me a break! The only heritage that flag represents is slavery. You only parade it around to offend others.
Another thing that gets me is that you expect immigrants to drop their cultures and act like Anglos, or “real Americans.” You expect them to assimilate to your lifestyle and your way of thinking, though of course you would much rather have this place to yourselves. Believe me, even if they did everything your way, you would still find something to bitch about. You're just going to have to either pack your bags or learn to embrace the new cultures and new ideas. It's never again going to be like the good old days. But you have nothing to complain about. You're just reaping what you've sown.
The purpose of this letter is to show that we all carry blame and have no right to point fingers, because when we do, we'll have three pointing right back at us. We should see ourselves as humans first and not define or label ourselves by our race or ethnicity. Just because we are of a certain background doesn't mean we have to follow some doctrine. We should be seen as individuals and not be categorized by where we come from or by the color of our skin. The whole reason why this Elian thing is such a mess is because we've managed to turn a custody battle into a racial war.
Owing to a reporting error in Jacob Bernstein's article “Donkey Demise” (July 20), William Lehman was misidentified as the “late” William Lehman. The 86-year-old retired U.S. congressman is very much alive. New Timesregrets the error.