Saturday, January 13, 2018

Atonement ... by gimleteye

A young Cuban driving Uber gave me a lift this morning. He's been in Miami for a year and was happy to practice his English. He lives in Hialeah, drives at night and works days in a warehouse. He works two jobs so his wife can attend college, where she will graduate with a business degree. What will she do? He has no idea, but he is sacrificing everything for her and their young son. He's in his mid-30s. No family in Miami. Just wife and child. He had been a marine engineer and eventually captain of big ships. He sailed the world and saved. A year ago, he purchased their way to Mexico. The cost, $5000 for each. Once there, they bought bus tickets and made their way to the border. Then they crossed by foot. It was dangerous, he said, because his wife and child are blond. Not dark complexion like him. They were vulnerable to robbery because of the color of their skin and hair. Here, he tried to get a job that utilized his skill and expertise, but he is not legal and besides, he said the US Coast Guard doesn't recognize qualifications from Cuba. He would have to start from the ground. So he is working in a Hialeah warehouse. And driving Uber. It had been a very slow night, he said. I tipped him $100. I tipped him $100 because I believed his story. That he was honest. And trying. And I could. I tipped him because my father and mother had been immigrants. My father came by ship through New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty. I tipped him $100 because the president of the United States Donald Trump made me ashamed yesterday, calling countries who suffer one form of disaster -- corruption, dictatorship -- "shitholes". What is the difference between Haiti and Cuba or the broken place my father fled? I suppose there are differences, but one way they are the same: their people look to the United States as a beacon of democracy and freedom. I really am not sure what Donald Trump thinks he is doing in the White House. He is leading from a place of base instincts, fear and vilification. Sitting there with crossed arms and all hunched up, he is a nightmare. He never believed he would win the White House. It was all a scheme to cash in from the division and distraction he stirred. If he lost he would have won, but he won and we all lost. Both political parties have their weaknesses, but Trump is a fatal weakness to the Republican Party. So I gave $100 to the Cuban kid trying to make it, because he needs encouragement. Just like Republican voters need encouragement to vote Democrat in November. Think of it as atonement.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Uber driver Cuban immigrant fights to survive every day working two jobs. Meanwhile, the Cuban American Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, born in the U.S. with a silver spoon in his mouth, stands by in a room and let's Trump pop off about "shithole countries" and then lacks the cojones to even admit what he heard. My money is on the immigrant Cuban being the better man since in the case of Diaz-Balart, he has already been corrupted by "success" and wealth.

Anonymous said...

Didn't your parents immigrate at a time the US was still living well within its ecocapacity and because they wanted to live in a nation governed by law, not anarchy?

Anonymous said...

Way to not make this about yourself.....smh

Anonymous said...

Sure hope the atonement that will be due one Day, may be soon, does not exceed 100 bucks a head.

Eduardo Varona said...

A beautiful post. Nothing else needs said.

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Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
Maybe you could space it out better?

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