15 June 2007

Censorship and Tolerance in South Florida

As a Cuban in Broward County, I get to hear all sorts of Cubanophobic diatribes against the authoritarian tendencies of my fellow exiles in the Banana Republic a few miles to the South who have absolutely no tolerance for opposing views or respect for freedom of expression.

Recently, those Miami-Cubans have been berated in the MSM for speaking out and exercising their rights as taxpayers for refusing that their children be subjected to lies and propaganda in the Miami-Dade public school system by trying to get a couple of truth challenged books out of the public school libraries.

Rather than being praised as a minority for their effective political empowerment, parental involvement and activism for truth, these concerned citizens are accused of being “book banners” and of promoting censorship.

Offending books get pulled from school systems all the time. Down here though, it’s acceptable to offend Cubans. Hell, the only real newspaper in town makes a sport of it.

So, this week in Broward County we had an instance where the County Commission came close to committing and act against the press reminiscent of Hugo Chavez’s bullying of those in the press that he doesn’t agree with.

Commissioner Stacy Ritter lead a group of commissioners who balked at renewing Broward County’s contract with WIOD to broadcast emergency Hurricane information because according to commissioner Ritter:

she did not want to support a station that's out of step with Broward politics. Ritter cited talk shows hosted by Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and WIOD's partnership with Fox News. "They have every right to speak, but we don't have to do business with them," she said.

After being “deluged with complaints”, the county commission will most likely renew
its contract with WIOD.

But those who do business with Broward County have been put on notice that their personal politics and ideology are very important considerations in the County Commission’s decision making criteria.

Very interesting - coming from a bunch of who is always exhorting tolerance and diversity. Yet the local press isn’t calling this shameful exercise in political bullying censorship, rather they view it as petty envy, a misstep, disappointing and smacking of hypocrisy.
They're lucky their not Cuban or the ACLU woud be dragging their public servant butts in front of ajudge ASAP and the press would be calling them intolerant censors.


Anonymous said...

Threatening not to do business just because of someone's talk show that might conflict with their political views is sad in my opinion. Not everyone thinks the same way or has the same views. You're right, they're lucky they weren't Cuban, lest they stand tall before the man.

Agustin Farinas said...

this is a typical case of "what is good for the goose is not good for the gander". The criticize Cubans for being intolerant, but they turn around and do one better. They actually tried to stop a renewal of the contract because of the radio show contents they dislike. Goes to show you, as the old saying goes:
do what I say but no what I do. What hipocrisy.!!

Anonymous said...

I do not think that this is complete hypocrisy. There is only one radio station where the weather service gets broadcasted and they are advertised in the government website. This radio station is very right winged. It is unfortunate that they can't do it either in all radio stations or one left and one right winged station, but right now it means that the goverment is giving free advertising to a station with a particular view. The last time I checked that was not legal or ethical.

As a fellow Cuban I am aware that the view points we have are not always popular within the majority of the US but to imply in any way that we don't basically hold a majority power within certain parts of FL, or NJ is actually kind of silly. I have American friends who learned Spanish in the streets of Miami and many visitors and immigrants of FL who speak of the great power of Cubans within FL.