[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Vamos a Cuba, The Sequel?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vamos a Cuba, The Sequel?

This post at Stuck on the Palmetto has generated a lot of discussion today, as I thought it would once I saw it pop up on my computer screen this morning. In the post, Rick draws a comparison between the Vigilia Mambisa members who charged after a group of Bolivarian Youths last month in Little Havana and a group of Cuban-American parents who have removed a book in a similar vein of Vamos A Cuba from a local public school and promise not to return it.

What's the similarity between the two groups? Miguel Saavedra, who is a member of both Vigilia Mambisa and the parents organization that removed the books from the school library shelves.

Saavedra is not the focus of this post, however.

Several of the comments left to Rick's post were quite interesting and thought provoking, and I will mentioned these in a second.

First, I want to comment on Val's response post "Vamos a Selma" which theorizes what would happen if he had the nerve to publish a book that denigrates the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. My first reaction upon reading it was...uh oh. Val and others will have to excuse me for that initial reaction because I am usually quite leery when moral equivalence arguments are made. I guess that's a result of too much MSM exposure.

However, upon thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that a good comparison can be made between the two causes. Both deal with injustices and violation of human rights. No problem there. As such, Val makes a good point: the average person would be understandably outraged by a book that would gloss over or ignore the injustices committed against blacks in the American South of the 1950s. So then, why isn't there similar reaction by the masses to a book which glosses over the injustices of present-day Cuba?

The only 2 reasons I could think of are:

- The civil rights movement occurred in this country, and the human rights violations in Cuba are happening in a foreign country.

- Cuban-Americans are perceived as the big dogs in town, thus non-Cubans may tend to have little sympathy for them and their causes, no matter how just the causes are.

The first reason doesn't hold much water because the average American would reaction strongly against a book which ignored the Holocaust or apartheid in South Africa.

The second reason...hmmm. We may be on to something here.

I do have to admit, the methods employed by certain members of the Cuban-American community aren't exactly conducive to generating much sympathy. Then again, the civil disobedience employed by blacks in the 50s and 60s probably didn't either, at least at the time.

On to some of the comments left to Rick's post before I conclude.

Rick comments on my assertion that C-As should not have to make a public apology for these past couple of controversial events:

Rick: It's not a question of your integrity, it is a question of why these extremists are allowed to grab the headlines time after time after time after time without anyone speaking out.

Where we diverge is mainstream C-A's "responsibility" to say something loud and clear to denounce these radicals. You say the mainstreams have no obligation to anyone to say anything. That may be true, but don't expect the guy from Wichita or Salt Lake City or Birmingham to realize that when picks up the local rag and sees these stories and believes that C-A's are C-A's.

It's up to people in Wichita or Salt Lake City or Birmingham to have informed opinions. If they arrive at the wrong conclusion, I don't think that's the fault of C-As.

Equality-7-2521: Who's the official spokesman for the 'C-A community'?

I think what rick is pointing out is that most C-A's don't speak up and rather take the politically correct course and say nothing.

As americans we need to stand against this type of activities regardless of the group involved.

This post pretty much sums up the answer to who speaks for the C-A community.

None E. Moose (no relation to Moose A. Moose): Where, in fact are all the A-A's denouncing the Pharaoh-khan? Where are all the Anglo's denouncing... Barbra? The fact is that in neither case (even a hypothetical one), is the expectation even considered, but as an absurdity. Then why the expectation for the mainstream (normal, job, kids, too little sleep, thinks C-pep was a mistake-- you know, normal) C-A to do anything more than your mainstream ABC would do in the same situation? That is, think "what a bunch of shitheads," and go back to lugging the day's credit card offers out to the dumpster...
If you (Rick) believe what you say, why dont YOU step up and set people who would get a false generalization of C-A's straight? You can show us how we do things here in America.
Yes, there are people who suffered loss. If you (Val) understand their frustration, believe me, I can understand it too. But frustration is not an airtight defense. And if you raise their suffering and loss as an excuse for or justification of certain behavior, then you enable an attitude that will one day affect you and your children in ways you can't even predict now (and mine as well).

I think None misunderstood Val in the last paragraph, but otherwise makes a solid point about the absurdity of expecting some sort of official C-A reaction from the mainstream.

None's second paragraph in response to Rick was excellent and I will use it as part of my conclusion: If more non-Cubans were as vocal and fervent about understanding and advocating the plight of Cubans as they can be in criticizing the methods in which some C-As protest, bloggers such as myself wouldn't sit here scratching our heads and wondering why people don't understand our cause. Who knows, perhaps even the MSM would catch on.

It doesn't mean that they have to agree with the methods used. I sure don't. But sometimes we can get so lost in the weeds that we lose sight of what's really important here.


Blogger Rick said...

Yes, Robert, I need to spend more time trying to understand why stealing books from public schools somehow advances your "cause" and why I'm totally off base criticizing it.

Where is Rod Serling at? I know he has to be here somewhere.

9:43 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


It's more complex than how you just put it, you know that.

9:47 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

To "Anonymous" from Stuck on the Palmetto who is confused as to whether I belong in the Stuck On or Babalu camps:

This is an open invitation to come in here and debate your points with me here.

Of course, you have to give your name...even a fake one will do.

9:50 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

Not really. Oh, I could write probably write 3 or 4 paragraphs, but in the end, that's the conclusion I come to in regards to this specific issue.

It's sort of like trying to understand Muslims. Mainstream Muslim clerics sit off to the side muttering to themselves that the extremists don't represent their views but all the world knows is that "Muslims" keep blowing things up.

I suppose what we all need to do, at least according to your theory, is spend a lot more time trying to understand Muslims as a whole while the extremists do their dirty work and the mainstream clerics sit around scratching their heads wondering why people don't understand them.

10:18 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

And one more thing: Val better pop in here and accuse you of padding your stats talking about this subject. If he doesn't, I'll be totally devastated.


10:26 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Well, there is a difference between what the extremist Muslims are doing and what the so-called C-A extremists are doing with regards to the books and the protest last month. That diffuses any reasonable parallels that can be made between the two.

As I mentioned in the last paragraph and alluded to elsewhere in the post, one can definitely disagree with the methods used.
That shouldn't trump the positive contributions made by most people to bring greater awareness to the issue of Cuba. Sometimes I get the general feeling that it does, and that's not fair in my book.

This brings me back to my point, which is that it's not hard to understand why C-As feels the way they do about fidel, the revolution, etc., and THAT'S what needs to be brought to the forefront by more than just C-As.

10:39 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Val Prieto said...


For the record, I didnt write the Vamos a Selma post as an exercize in moral equivalence. If it reads that way, then it was not my intention.

7:21 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

I have stopped leaving comments at StuckOnStupid. Trying to reason with the two Bolivarian Youth supporters who write for that blog is akin to trying to teach a dog to operate a bulldozer. Needless to say, Rick is a bigoted piece of shit who has a way over-inflated opinion of himself; giving him any credence (or traffic) whatsoever is foolish, at best.

And before you respond, Rick, F you and your fellow lefty buttlick Gansibele a/k/a Alex.

8:53 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...


I wasn't trying to be critical. I just expressed my initial reaction which you later dispelled.

I know you didn't intend to write it that way. But I could see where it could be viewed as an attempt at moral equivalence...which by the way is perfectly OK as long as it makes sense. So often you see where people make moral equivalence arguments that make no sense whatsoever.

In the case of Vamos A Selma, it makes sense, and I reflected that in this post.

10:16 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Rick said...

I have stopped leaving comments at StuckOnStupid.

As Shrub would say: "Mission Accomplished!"

Well, sorta. Truth be known, everyone, including you, George, has an IP address. And I noted yours long, long ago.


10:59 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Alex said...

Yeah poodle, your droppings are unmistakable. I liked you better when you signed your name.

Robert, aside from all the arguments; don't you think it's a little misguided to say "It's up to people in Wichita or Salt Lake City or Birmingham to have informed opinions. If they arrive at the wrong conclusion, I don't think that's the fault of C-As."

If we need people in the US to recognize who is the villain in this story, then why isn't incumbent to us to clarify perceptions? That part of the argument I have never understood, and it smacks of stubborness. I always say CAs cede the PR war to Castro way too often. As a matter of principle you may be right, but as a matter of practicality you'll be alone.

1:32 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger The Universal Spectator said...

Rick, ever heard of DHCP? Moron.

1:15 AM, March 03, 2007  

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