I'm trying to put my finger on what exactly it is about this article that's made me so infuriated
On one hand, there is an incredibly imbalance between portrayals of Cuban-American exiles and Cubans who are still in Cuba,1
in that pretty much no article I have ever seen in the Washington Post has both addressed the fact that 1. Cuba is poor, and 2. it is pretty much the fault of the US embargo
. There are many articles that talk about how third-world it is in an oh, isn't it sad, this is what Communism does to a country, but very few that acknowledge that a good part of why Cuba can't get products is because of the embargo. So seeing yet another article that is all about the Cuban-American exile experience is not putting me in a good mood in the first place.
On the other hand, the article implies that somehow, Rubio isn't Cuban-American enough
. He's the wrong kind of Cuban-American because his parents emigrated at the wrong time. He's Cuban-American, but he doesn't really
count because his family wasn't really
exiled. Look at him pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, getting the support of the Cuban-American exile community when he isn't even one of them! What a fraud.
To which I say: bullshit. The Washington Post does not get to determine who is or isn't Cuban-American. As another Cuban-American whose entire Cuban-American experience pretty much consists of feeling not-Cuban-enough because I didn't grow up speaking Spanish in Miami, I find this utterly revolting.
I disagree with his politics, and I would vote for him right after Hell froze over, but he is still Cuban-American and the Washington Post has no right to wink-wink-nudge-nudge imply that he isn't
Also, something about this seems slightly racist to me, in that if he were a white man from a European country of similar background, I can't imagine that public sympathy would have turned against him so fast.
And finally, while I believe that all public figures (and all people, for that matter) are subject to having their statements fact-checked, right now it looks like Rubio is guilty of getting some dates wrong. Some important dates, yes, but I'm inclined to believe that he was basing what he said off his family's oral histories, and I can sympathize with that - oral histories are all that I have of my mom's family history.2
Hopefully now that this is out of my system I'll be able to go to bed.1 I should also add that there are very few stories about Cubans in Cuba in general. You'd think that after 1960, the island was empty except for Fidel chewing on a cigar in his military uniform and plotting eeeeevil Communist things to himself. Sidenote: This exact stereotype (plus, you know, all the sketchy gender and racial politics) is why X-Men: First Class irritates me so damn much.2 And my mom has the same kind of year slippage. She always said that she left Cuba when she was about eight, but when we dug out the documents, it was closer to when she was six or seven. It happens.