OK, I'll be honest. It was hard logging onto my computer last week and seeing Mayor Tomás Regalado's face pop up withan article
listing ten reasons why he should be recalled.
Every time his kindly mug cycled on the homepage rotator, I thought about my uncles and older cousins, the ones who fought at the Bay of Pigs and penned treatises against El Tirano and sang the Cuban national anthem in our living room every New Year at midnight, shouting "¡Vive Cuba libre!" Next year, they would vow, we'd be back on the island.
Regalado would have fit right in.
But I stopped feeling sorry for the mayor when I heard about the comments he submitted to WQBA 1140 AM after refusing to appear with our staff writer Tim Elfrink, who penned the story that led the Miami police and fire departments to join our call to boot the mayor.
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Miami New Times, Regalado said, is known to be racist toward Cubans. I wasn't quite sure what to make of that. Heck, if you go by Regalado's criteria -- that we expose corruption involving members of particular ethnic groups -- we're anti-Haitian, anti-Nicaraguan, anti-Jamaican, anti-Irish, anti-Russian, anti-Romanian, anti-black, anti-white, anti-Semitic, as well as, of course, anti-Cuban. In fact, we're anti-everybody (anti-Hispanic, anti-non-Hispanic). Heck, we're even anti-old people.
It's a shame Regalado feels that way, because last fall I enjoyed an afternoon stroll with him to preview the sculpture exhibit that lined Bayfront Park. He shared his thoughts about the artwork and indicated he had a grudging respect for our hard-hitting investigations. New Times, he said, is one paper where you don't want to see your name in print.
Well, the mayor finally made it on our cover. And he deserved it.