In 1980, about 10,000 Cubans gained asylum in the United States during the brief six-month period when Fidel Castro let anyone who could get a welcome somewhere else to go there.
I’m Cuban, and I’m here to say that nobody — but nobody — hectored those Cubans who came to Miami in that time like the Cubans who were already in Miami.
The newly-arrived Cubans were dubbed Marielitos (because they left from the port of Mariel, just west of Havana). And if you were a Marielito, you were maligned. Were some released prisoners? Sure, but most were just folks looking to reunite with family and seek a better life. My own uncle, his four adult sons, and their children arrived in this way. The aspersions were so bad that my cousin would always issue a caveat: “I came through Mariel, but I’m not a Marielito.”
Yet, the Cubans who were already in Miami — many of whom had moved into positions of powers in banking, corporations, and politics — were alarmed. They squawked variations of “They’re going to think we’re all like that!” and freaked out. Those Cuban elite insisted that Marielitos be prosecuted to within an inch of their lives, including some because of crimes committed in Cuba. These “unacceptable” refugees would serve out their sentences, and then be held for deportation – even though Cuba had no intention of taking them back. Some rotted in prison in this limbo until 2016, decades later. And all that time — and up to even today — they were vilified.
That explains the reasoning of gay conservatives throwing trans kids under the bus. The most notable is disgraced former New York Times writer Bari Weiss, who’s married to another woman. However, there are plenty more: Dave Rubin, married to another man and with children; cross-dressing beauty guru Jeffree Star (who boasts his own grooming accusations); scandal-plagued beauty influencer James Charles.
The American Prospect dubs them “useful idiots,” a most apropos name. They apparently think that, if they can just vilify someone even more marginalized than they are, they’ll gain respectability, win acceptance from the Establishment, and ensure their own safety – or, at least, a lucrative gig selling out others. As if!
Rubin’s fellow right-winger Ben Shapiro threw cold water on that notion by deeming Rubin’s marriage as illegitimate. No amount of portraying yourself as the good kind of gay as opposed to these terrible, terrible trans people is going to change that.
You could almost feel sorry for Rubin, who was clearly gobsmacked that Shapiro didn’t see him as one of the “good ones.” You could almost pity him. Almost.