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realclearworld

Richard Blanco, the First Hispanic Inaugural Poet

Barack Obama Sworn In As U.S. President For A Second Term

Richard Blanco – the first Hispanic, the first openly gay person, and the youngest person to be the U.S. inaugural poet. He was the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. For a brief seven minutes in January 2013, Blanco was center stage before a national TV, radio, and online audience of 20 million – and countless more worldwide – when he recited his poem “One Today.”

Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1968, to Cuban parents who fled the Castro regime. Raised and educated in Miami.

I’ve written before about Richard Blanco on babalublog. There is not much known about him until he became the U.S. inaugural poet. About his past, there are more questions than answers.

There is not a lot written about his background. Until Gregg Barrios – a writer and critic in San Antonio, Texas -- did an exhaustive interview with Blanco.

To read or listen to the interview, click on http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/conversation-richard-blanco-one-today-one-year-later

4 comments to Richard Blanco, the First Hispanic Inaugural Poet

  • asombra

    Thanks, but I'll pass. I can't imagine it'd be worth the time. The thing is, even someone with a FAR more promising background can turn out badly, such as the recently deceased Cuban prelate Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who was a major disgrace to his forebears, to the church and religion he claimed to serve, and obviously to Cuba. In the context of being a practiced apologist for the Castro regime, his most "notable" deed took place in 2008, when he became the first important Cuban RCC figure in half a century to be granted a platform in the official organ of the regime, the propaganda rag "Granma." Obviously he didn't get that "honor" for nothing, and he repaid his patrons handsomely with a grotesquely mendacious and suspiciously admiring paean to Che Guevara. I cannot help recalling the incident involving the homosexual poet Allen Ginsberg, whose, uh, admiration for Che was more overt. Blanco was not tapped by the Obama crew for nothing, either, and he duly danced with the one that brung him (not that I expect that was any problem for him). I mean, I'm sorry, but I think we've heard enough about this guy. If nothing else, I find his visage oddly unpleasant, like there's a kind of deadness there, and while appearances can be misleading, they can also be rather telling.

  • jorge

    Her mother was born "cheap poor", however they left castrolandia as "Middle Class". I wonder how will he had ended in the social scale in the Castro Farm, if his parents did not emigrate?

    Same BS about the "Social Accomplishments of the Castro Robolucion"

  • asombra

    Social accomplishments? Like rampant prostitution, including males and minors, on a scale utterly inconceivable before Castro? Like people on every block of every town and city in Cuba spying and reporting on their neighbors for the state, so the regime can maintain complete control of people's lives? Like defenseless women being harassed and physically attacked by mobs? Like even schoolchildren participating in "actos de repudio" against anyone who dares to dissent? Like said children being blatantly indoctrinated throughout the entire course of their education to believe a perverse and false political ideology? Like a pervasive culture of having two faces, of pretending to be what one is not for the sake of getting by and avoiding trouble? Like the very widespread practice of emotionally blackmailing relatives and friends abroad and living off them parasitically, just as the state itself has always been a parasite? Are those the kinds of accomplishments Blanco is referring to? Or is he merely satisfied with the fact that it's now OK to be a drag queen in public as long as one is pro-regime?

    I should be quite hardened to this sort of thing by now, since it's nothing new and hardly rare. It should barely register, like seeing flies hovering over dog shit on a sidewalk, but flies can't help it. Lord, the nausea.

  • asombra

    If Blanco's talking "social accomplishments," he's either painfully and shamefully ignorant, which is bad enough, or he's not, in which case I consider him much worse: a Cubanoid who's sold out, Esau-like, for a plate of liberal lentils.