Yesterday, Babalu Blog's Alberto de la Cruz decided that the ongoing Ozzie Guillen dust up is not really about Ozzie but, rather, Cuban-Americans and their place as victims in today's America.
This controversy brings back to the surface the contemptuous perception of the Cuban exile community held by many in this country. While other embattled minority groups are treated with deference, Cuban exiles are all too often treated with disdain. They find nothing wrong with poking fun at the tragedy and suffering we have endured. It is alright to insult Cuban Americans because they are, after all, only Cuban Americans. They are not Puerto Ricans, or Mexicans, and to some, they are not even worthy of the "Latino" label (which is fine by me). Their bad fortune and suffering is all their fault, not the fault of the vile and brutal dictator who victimized them. Like the repugnant premise that a rape victim brought sexual assault upon herself for dressing too provocatively, Cubans exiles brought murder and the destruction of millions of lives upon themselves for being too uppity and apparently, too willing to express their opinions.In this paragraph of abject self pity, Alberto definitely gets something right: Cubans are not like Mexicans. Mexicans get deported as soon as they're found in this country without the proper paperwork. Cubans get a ride to Hialeah or Calle Ocho by a relative.
And speaking of being treated with disdain, let's not forget to mention the parade of politicians that pass through Versailles during election time sipping cafecito and stumbling through Spanish in their attempts to get a few votes from those folks that they deride and scorn so, so very much.
Let's also not fail to mention the sneering that The Ladies in White have to endure from the current administration or the talented Cuban-Americans who have been insulted. Oh, and the Senator that the entire State of Florida voted for and placed into office and the congressional representatives that have been selected time after time by a diverse group of voters and have been serving South Florida. Of course, I don't have time to list all the Cuban-American politicians, entertainers and businessmen who have enjoyed success in this country.
These are the Cuban-American "victims" that de la Cruz refers to, I suppose. Such a deplorable bunch. They get no respect.
Yeah, and I call bullshit.
Just like de la Cruz and his pals have the right to criticize Ozzie, Gloria Estefan, Muhammad Ali [yes they went there because he once shook the hand of Castro] and anyone else they perceive as a Castro sympathizer, there are people out there who have the right to criticize their comments and opinions in turn. And given the above, that criticism is clearly not an indicator of some deep-seated resentment of their Cuban heritage, rather, it's all about their opinions...as fellow Americans.
I would suggest that Alberto and those like him abandon the "victim card." It's inaccurate and totally out-of-step with the independent, determined and self-sufficient nature of the Cuban-American exile. Most importantly, it's unneeded. Cuban-Americans have been playing on a level field for quite some time now, especially in South Florida, and have done just fine, thank you.