Add another one to the list

Add another group to the list of individuals that do not have a high regard for the Cuban exile community or Cuban Americans in South Florida: Car race promoters.

It seems that South Florida, with its rich and diverse cultural flair, is a little too Cuban for Bruton Smith, a race promoter that owns eight NASCAR racetracks throughout the U.S. He is none too happy about NASCAR holding its Sprint Cup Series finale at the Homestead Miami Speedway.

Smith likened Homestead Miami Speedway to “North Cuba,” arguing it is not the “proper place” for the Sprint Cup series to end the Chase for the championship.

“If you’re going to do a championship, you’ve got to do it at the proper place, and I don’t think North Cuba is the proper place,” Smith said.

Nothing like some good ole’ boy bigotry to help promote a sport.

But Smith is not the only race promoter that doesn’t give a lick about Cubans. There is also Jay Lamm, the founder and administrator of the “24 Hours of LeMons,” a series of parody races where contestants attempt to race clunkers around a track for 24 hours. One of the races will be held at the Palm Beach International Raceway, and it is being billed as the “24 Horas de Cuba del Norte,” the “24 hours of North Cuba.” Apparently, the title was not insulting enough for Lamm, so he added the image of Che Guevarra to the logo of the event.

A joke of a car race in Palm Beach County is falling flat with some South Florida race fans and drivers for using the image of Che Guevara in its logo.

The tongue-in-cheek 24 Hours of LeMons racing circuit challenges drivers to buy, repair and transport a broken-down car – decked out to look like a Halloween parade float – for $500 or less and try to keep the thing together for a 24-hour endurance race.


Lamm, who was at a Le-Mons race in Omaha, Neb., last weekend, responded via e-mail that he had received only “about a dozen” complaints and responded to “the few that seemed to be thoughtfully written.” He does not intend to change the race logo or name.

“If some people take offense at an icon we’re using sarcastically, that’s an unfortunate but natural byproduct of humor; if they don’t understand that we’re on the same side as they are, I can’t help that,” he wrote. “I would note, however, that these are often the very same people who (are) offended by other images we’ve used (Appalachians, Coloradoans and recovering alcoholics, to name just a few) (and) that America was not founded on political correctness, nor on a reluctance to offend certain parties.

“Being an American means that you won’t get every joke, and you won’t like every image. Fortunately, since this is America – not Cuba – you’re free not to participate in anything you don’t get or agree with.”

Mr. Lamm is correct; this is America and he is free to say and do whatever he likes within the law. There is no law against disparaging and insulting the memory of the thousands that were executed because of Che Guevarra. That is just one of the many freedoms we have guaranteed in our constitution.

Another freedom Mr. Lamm has the right to exercise — and one he obviously exercises with vigor — is the right to be the monumental a-hole that he is.

11 thoughts on “Add another one to the list”

  1. These attitudes and remarks don’t surprise me at all. We are Cuban-Americans after all and it’s politically correct to insult us.

    Problem is that we get it from both sides: the conservative right wingers and the left. To the left, we’re right-winged fanatics, crazed republicans and ex-batistianos who want to go back to our mansions in Havana, and to many right winged conservatives we are no different than our dear latino brothers and sisters. Take Patrick Buchanan for instance: some years ago he wrote a book in which he laments how the US is becoming a minority country. In this book, he compares the mass migration of Europeans in the turn-of-the-last century [that he lauds] to the unfettered migration of “latinos” in the present [that he blasts]. Without making any distinction, he puts Miami, L.A., New York and other cities with large “latino” communities in the same boat and laments how the “latinos” that have moved to these cities have been detrimental.

  2. Perhaps Mr. Lamm can hold his next event in Miami Beach. I would suggest that he add for his next logo a nice Hitler image. Let’s see how he to the Jewish community when they complain. I don’t think that his statement “If some people take offense at an icon we’re using sarcastically, that’s an unfortunate but natural byproduct of humor; if they don’t understand that we’re on the same side as they are, I can’t help that,” work out for him.

  3. Well, “North Cuba” happens to be the biggest, most affluent, and most vivid city in all of Florida. Hell, it is one of the richest cities in the entire south; and granted, it wasn’t until Cubans got there that it became a metropolis. What was there has not only stayed there but it has grown. Cubans did not destroy Miami, all the contrary. Today not only does every one with money want a residence in “North Cuba”, from Hollywood celebrities and fashion designers to average Joe millionaires, people from all over the world have invested in “North Cuba” and come each year to visit “North Cuba” as it has become a high-end tourist mecca on par with Rio de Janeiro. I must also add that “North Cuba” has proudly hosted a much bigger event, the Super Bowl, more than any other city without any problem.

    But yeah, he can take his fat ass to the dump of Tampa, middle of nowhere Mississippi, or wherever the hell, who gives a crap. I dare anyone to ask this ignorant fat-ass anything about geography, history, culture, and not related to cars and BBQ sauce to see how much he knows.

  4. “”The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” raved Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1961. “Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination. We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! We must keep our hatred against them (the U.S.) alive and fan it to paroxysms!….If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City!”

    Forget the Cuban-American angle. Wonder how Nascar-ites would “get” the “joke” Che prescribed for THEM?

    Would an Osama bin Laden image pass muster with this crowd? In fact, Che hated Americans as much as bin Laden did and Che came close to making the future 9/11 look like a minor mishap.

    Ha-ha! Get-it? Mr Lamm?


  5. Ditto Gallardo,

    These Mr. Lamm characters are jealous of our success and what the Cuban-American community that came to Miami penniless built out of this city.

    Unfortunately I had to deal with quite a few of these racist characters when I lived up in the NY suburbs many years ago.

    For many years I have tried to rationalize their mentality to no avail. After much soul searching I have come to understand that the Mr. Lamms of this world are just a bunch of imbecilic, ignorant, jealous and stupid idiots; their judgment being clouded by prejudice.

    In other words these individuals are a bunch of assholes and unfortunately you cannot take any shit from them. These days whenever you have the misfortune of running into these characters you are left with no other choice but to stand-up to them in no uncertain terms.

  6. Unfortunately every now and then a few rednecks on the “right” remind us Cuban-Americans, that despite the fact that we are more Conservative than any other ethnic group, in their eyes, many of us are still “spics”. 🙁

    + Homestead can’t be North Cuba … because they HAVE TOILET PAPER !!!

  7. One reason Cuban-Americans get so little respect is that they put up with too much shit, which only encourages more shit. A classic example is the Herald newspapers in Miami, which have long been notoriously insensitive and at times seriously offensive, yet the Cuban community has not stopped buying the damn rags, which are NOT indispensable by any means. Of course the Herald people have obvious “issues,” but why should Cubans enable them in any way? And why should the Herald keep its nose clean if it doesn’t have to? Because it would be the right thing to do? Please. This is the media we’re talking about; for all their high-toned posturing, they’re scarcely better than politicians. I actually find it distasteful to physically pick up a Herald (in either language), so you can imagine how I feel about spending so much as a penny on one. I don’t do either.

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