Carlos Eire takes on the New York Times and Bigotry

Carlos Eire, author of Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, and the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History at Yale University, was recently asked by the NYT to critique the Miami anti-castro exiles celebration of the dictator’s possible demise. The esteemed professor shared his experience with Jonathan Kay at Political Mavens.
You can imagine what the Times editors had in mind. Here’s an excerpt of what Prof. Eire has to say about the encounter:

The worst thing about being a Cuban exile, at least for me, is having to field proposals such as that pitched at me by the New York Times, which display utter disdain for us exiles.. Why is it, I ask myself, that any editor at the Times should look down her nose at Cuban exiles who rejoice at Fidel’s demise, and then look for some Cuban who will confirm her bigotry?

Why should any well-educated North American utter a contemptuous remark reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake” to me, hoping that I will agree with such inane and contemptible prejudice? Does she not know that every freedom she enjoys in the United States is illegal in Cuba? Does she not know that all those Cubans on Calle Ocho are jumping for joy at the thought their country might be able to enjoy the same freedoms she takes for granted? Does she care? Even worse, why is it that my opinion should have to pass some test before it is expressed?

How can this be?

Professor Eire provides the answer to his question here.

14 thoughts on “Carlos Eire takes on the New York Times and Bigotry”

  1. OMG! That is an incredibily revealing article! So now we clearly see the dynamics of how the NYTs works. Thank God that Eire is a man of integrity and conviction and turned down the NYTs. Undoubtedly, this will cost him dearly! No more awards from the NYTs for his excellent books! Unfortunately, other Cuban writers without conviction consumed by nothing more than ambition have succumbed to the temptation of writing an opinion piece or an article for the NYT’s. They have sold their own people not for 30 gold pieces, but for the prestige and exposure of writing in the NYTs. The Cuban writer that immediately comes to mind is Mirta Ojito; the former NYT’s pliable and token Cuban writer.

  2. Ziva, thank you so much for sharing this piece. As another Cuban-American living in a small New England town, I think I have a special appreciation for Prof. Eire’s take on the subject. I too experienced the scrutiny from friends and acquaintances wanting to know what the local Cuban thought about the SOB’s apparent demise. Since, in my experience, the bigotry Prof. Eire refers to is all too common, I had generally resorted to deflecting the questions by pointing to Mike Lowell’s (current Red Sox third baseman, ex-Marlin, and all-around great guy) well publicized statements to the local press as an example of how many Cubans feel. Prof. Eire’s piece will now become a homework assignment for anyone that broaches the subject. I’ve already e-mailed it to a couple of people. Thanks again!

  3. WOW … Outstanding!!! I highly recommend his book … I’m sure that he made his mother (“Que Dios la tenga en su gloria”) smile from above … with pride.

    🙂 Melek

    “When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny.” ~ Jefferson

  4. Excellent article by Carlos Eire!!!

    George, we have many more eloquent advocates it is just that the MSM mostly ignores them! Carlos Alberto Montaner and Zoe Valdes come to mind, just to name two more!

  5. I’m not Cuban, but my father grew up in Bolshevik Russia, so I can empathize with the sufferings that your countrymen are facing. Carlos Eire is an eloquent spokesman and I look forward to reading his book.

  6. That was brilliant! In tech support, we’d call that a LART.

    It makes you want to go, “Hey, idiots! Cuba was on its way to being a First World country all on its lonesome before Castro came around. Quit acting like Cubans were living in mud huts and wearing loincloths while slaving away in sugar plantations.”

    I mean, that’s what these “anti-racist” Leftists imply, isn’t it? That a nation that is mostly Hispanic and Black could not have possibly built themselves a nation that could be mentioned in the same breath as Europe and the United States.


  7. George, you would enjoy reading some of Zoe’s books, she’s an excellent Cuban writer that went into exile in Paris over 10 years ago. She is very vocal in expressing her anticastro views and has helped to open many eyes in the European capitals. I guess you can google her if interested.

    Un abrazo, Jose

  8. I received an email from Asia asking me if I was Miguel-o-matic because I could have written his comment about Carlos Erie. Since I also live in a little town in New England (norh-central massachusetts)can Miguel-O-Matic contact me? Thanks

  9. Hi All:

    Just wanted to comment on the Carlos Eire article to the NY Post. It was vintage Carlos!
    I was so proud to read his take on the NY Times.
    I also was asked what I thought about the Cuban exiles dancing in the street in Miami (by neighbors) and they were in shock when I said that I would be probably doing the same thing if I were there!! They were shocked. So it goes…

  10. Incredible how many lemmings there are! You’re all brainwashed!

    “Brilliant”??? You people are intellectually stunted if that article counts as brilliant to you!

    You are the kind of people, in fact I’m sure you actually also hold the view itself, but you are at least the kind of people, that smear any critique or critic of Israel as anti-semitic.

    I mean the idea that he pulls completely out of his anus, that any defender of Fidel or anyone who praises anything he’s done, or in this case someone that isn’t willing to be as one sided and propagandistically against him in the specific context of discussing the vicious right wing exiles blood lusty holy rolleristic spasms of celebration at his presumed demise must assuredly be that way out of a bigoted and racist assumption that Cubans are a primitive people!!!! That’s the largest load of bull excrement ever uttered in human history!!!! And you fools all buy it!!!!

    What a joke!

    In fact it’s downright George Bushian in its near total diametric opposition to the truth and reality! I don’t think there’s a single Castro supporter in the entire world that doesn’t acknowledge, admire, and praise the intellect, the education, the skills, creativity, ability, and, something the anti-Castro exiles almost uniformly seem to lack, HUMANITY, of the Cuban people!!!!

    But don’t worry your little heads over any of this, I’m sure the day won’t be long before Fidel is gone and Cuba will return to it’s past that you all miss so much when it was the playground of the mafia and western aristocracy that would flick the ashes of their Cohibas on the heads of the peasants and servants while they raped the resources from the people under a compliant (to the US)brutally bloody right wing dictator…. that’s what the dancing was about, and you know it and I know it, but don’t worry, the New York Times will never spill your secret about that.

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