BY SAM FIELDS
Senator Marco Rubio is being attacked for misstating the circumstances under which his parents emigrated to the U.S. Was it before or after the rise of Castro?
For many non-Cubans, it seems like “much ado about nothing”.
For Cubans, who daily live a Fidel-driven Diaspora, it’s everything. When you escaped from the island defines your life.
But, before you laugh at this as silly, overblown infighting, consider that all groups have similar subdivisions that outsiders are unaware of or see as trivial.
It was not until 1968, when I moved to Washington D.C., and went over to Howard University, did I realize how obsessed Black people were with shades of their skin color. Group photos of sororities and fraternities made it perfectly clear that they self-divided in fashion that would have brought a smile to the racist Apartheid government of South Africa.
How many white people know about the “brown paper bag test”?
Even less known is the division of Ashkenazi Jews (European) and Sephardic Jews (Middle Eastern). These groups even further subdivide with German Jews looking down their nose at East European Jews..my peeps.
Go one step further.
Before the Holocaust, Russian Jews (Litvacks) thought that Jews from Galacia–the Polish/ Ukraine border and known as Galitzianas–were a bunch of country rubes.
Before the Iraqi war, how many of us knew about the division of Sunni and Shiite Muslims?
You know all those Polish jokes? In South America, they’re Bolivian jokes.
In Central America the question is: How many Guatemalans does it take to screw in a light bulb? In Scandinavia, it’s Norwegians?
Here in America, all Protestants are created equal. It’s just that some Protestants (Episcopalians) are a bit more equal than others (Baptists).
Mandarin-speaking Chinese don’t want their daughters marrying someone with Cantonese accent.
I guess it boils down to this: As long as there is someone out there to piss on, we can all feel better about ourselves.
And so it goes.