[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Video: Miami in the Early 80s

Monday, July 21, 2008

Video: Miami in the Early 80s

I received this interesting and very disturbing video below via e-mail several days. The 6+ minute video looks back at the crime wave which hit Miami in the late 70s and early 80s, right around the time of the infamous Time Magazine article "Paradise Lost". A central theme of the video is the supposed role played by Colombian drug traffickers and people who came to Miami via the Mariel boatlift of 1980 in the sharp increase in homicides during that era.

A little context: the video was posted by a group called Immigration Control Florida (ICF), whose opening paragraph on their website states:
ImmigrationControlFlorida.com / ICF requests that Americans join our group to support our stated goals to save America. Our group worked to stop the 125,000 Mariel Cuban refugees that illegally invaded Miami-Dade County that destroyed Miami with 50,000 murderers, psychopaths, criminals, criminally insane, hitmen, drug pushers, and enforcers making "Miami the murder capital of the world" with 615 murders in only 1 year with so many bodies that the Miami Medical Examiner had to rent a refrigerated truck to store the excess bodies at a cost of $150 million in 1 year making "Miami a 3rd World Country" ! (U.S.News & World Report -Jan.16, 1984 - page 29).
Let me make something totally clear: I am against illegal immigration, but ICF doesn't even try to conceal their disdain for any immigrant group, in particular Cubans from Mariel. Yes, there were criminals mixed in with regular folks who came over via Mariel. Yes, there was a strain on the services the Miami community could provide, but I don't know where and how ICF got the "50,000" number they use to slime an entire community. As we know, the collective group from Mariel has turned out to be yet another in the long tradition of Cuban-American success stories, despite the initial shock of Miami having to absorb 125,000 new arrivals in Miami in only a few short months.

In short, ICF sounds like nothing more than a bunch of bigots and racists who give reasonable folks' objections to illegal immigration a bad name (as well as provide unnecessary fodder to those who feel naturally inclined to bash anything resembling securing borders).

Some of the quotes in the video are quite over-the-top and no doubt representative of the ethnic conflict which gripped Miami during that time. Riots in Liberty City in 1980, Mariel a few months later, passing of "English Only" ordinances in Miami, huge law enforcement scandals. It was a pretty turbulent time. For those of you who weren't here during that time, it's worth your time to view the video below. For those of you who feel that Miami and South Florida are currently living through bad times never seen before, the video offers some much needed perspective.

H/T Rubio for the video.

(Note: make sure to identify the journalists in the video. It's a who's-who of local and national personalities).


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