The "Cuban Boy" and American Hypocricy

(Note: This one is about Elian Gonzales, and I wrote it shortly after he was plucked
from the waters off the coast of Florida in late 1999.)

I'm so sick of hearing about the damn Cuban boy--the one found clinging to a tire in the middle of the ocean after his mother drowned trying to bring him the the USA. All the outrage and hooplah being expressed is ethnocentric hypocricy, pure and simple.

Countless people, from lawyers to politicians, have been on TV blathering about how we owe this child the chance to grow up with the freedom and opportunity of American life...that we have an obligation to save him from the toil and suffering of Cuban oppression. Bullshit! Double-bullshit!

I'm not even going to delve into the us-them ideology, the outdated belief that everyone in a communist country lives in abject squalor and prays for the day when they can reach the promiseland of the USA. I don't know what conditions in Cuba are like since I've never been there, so I'm not going to get into all that. The simple fact is this: if we as a country want to talk about conditions under which children are raised, then we need to START by looking here at home. If we're going to say each child deserves a minimum set of basic rights and opportunity--and I think we should--then we have plenty of needy, impoverished, abused, unloved children right here in the USA that need serious attention.

Anyone in this country can have kids. Murderers, rapists, child molesters, people who've had their other kids taken away by the courts, teen-aged drug addicts, homeless people, hate-mongers, violent alcoholics...they can all pump out baby after baby, and no one raises any stir about the fact that their children are being deprived basic needs.
According to the Children's Defense Fund, in 1997 one in four children born in America were born into poverty. One in seven had no health insurance. These stats don't measure many elements of parent-worthiness: anger management, capacity for unconditional love, patience.

There are absolutely NO measures in effect in this country to regulate who can have kids...we regulate who can drive, who can own weapons (sort of), even who can fish...but any idiot with seed can breed...and proceed to raise those kids in any screwed up way they want. And we're going to tell this Cuban boy's father he can't have his son back just because we don't like Cuba's dictator? It's absolute CRAP! Just imagine the outrage that would occur if a woman kidnapped her son and took him to another country...say she lived in Miami or LA and fled to Denmark so that her son could grow up without the fear of being gunned down by some NRA thug. The USA would DEMAND that Denmark return that boy to his father. But we're going to turn around and deny the Cuban boy's father his parental rights? It's CRAP! Pure hypocritical crap.

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