I've been thinking a lot about the bravery of these young folks who literally risked their lives last weekend in Miami by daring to brandish a sign opposing the release of a known Cuban-American terrorist (Luis Posada Carriles) onto US soil (see below).
While the event served to shine a light on the hatred and violence that is commonplace among a sector of the Miami community, it has also provided an insight into the context that allows this to thrive.
Consider the Miami Herald piecethat followed, with the headline "Bolivarian Youth Speak Out; Victims or Provocateurs?" Beyond giving creedence to the attackers' justification that they were mere provacatuers (who deserved it), the article practicaly mocks their idealism, calling them (amongst other slights) "a throwback to a more, well, unwashed time." It does allow the students to defend themselves, though it seems to print only their more controvertial remarks - likely to inflame many readers. And then the piece closes with an "expert" telling readers that the episode actully "shows a diversity of opinion can be tolerated." Ahh, isn't that nice...
Then we move over to the blogopshere, led by the "top 2006 Latin American weblog" Babalublog.com - where I have been banned for 2 years now (they only like free speech in theory I and many others have found fast). Here is just a smattering of the vile comments you can read there there, regarding the students:
I just want to my fist through that asshole's face: Henry "Conductor" Gomez
The have the right to freedom of speech and we have the right to shut them up: Vedado
If I lived in Miami I would expose and protest these communists. Personally find who is renting them space for their meetings and boycott them dry. But I am a bit militany when it comes to opposing communists: Pototo
Because if you really stood there and thought about it for very long, you'd probably knock the living @#$#%$ out of that dude, as I would have: (Our friend) JSB