#40 - Elian and the flag in South Carolina
The big current issues in the United States are coming to a head currently. Should Elian Gonzalez be returned to his father to Cuba and should the Confederate flag be move from the South Carolina capitol dome to the Confederate memorial on the capitol grounds?
These two cases have drawn very parallel.
In the Elian case I believe that he should be returned to his father and they be allowed to return to Cuba. Elian will be treated as a hero there and will not be mistreated. He can tell a new generation how great things such as Disney World are in the US. If Congress wishes to give him and his father duel citizenship, that is fine. The strange thing in this case is that his father's US family is trying to take custody instead of the father. In any other custody case like this we would all say the boy belongs with the father, not the father's uncle. However politics has raised its evil head.(No I don't mean all politics is evil).
Up to very recently the US relatives said they would hand over the boy if his father came to the US. He did and now they claim he is unfit. Then a psychological interview was planned and they agreed on location and time, and when others showed, they said they could not leave other hospital. The US relatives have clearly made their intent now that they are not giving up the boy. They need to give him up immediately.
The US relatives have apparently never told Elian his mother is dead, but that she is lost in the US. Saturday's Augusta paper quoted them as saying they did not want him to go to Cuba because Castro would indoctrinate him to believe his mother was a traitor to the revolution. And exactly what are they indoctrinating him with in the US but that his mother was a traitor to the Castro revolution and had the sense to flee. What's the difference?
The NAACP called for a boycott in South Carolina this year demanding they take the Confederate flag off the dome. Their view is that it is a symbol of racism and slavery. The proponents for keeping the flag view it just as strongly as a memorial to war heroes and their heritage. South Carolina legislature appears to have reached a compromise with the flag off the dome and out of the legislative chambers and putting it on the grounds with the Confederate memorial.
Now the NAACP says either the flag leaves the capitol grounds entirely or the boycott is still on. The NAACP will have achieved their original demand with this compromise. Not only that MLK Jr. birthday is made a state holiday in parallel legislation along with Confederate Memorial Day. The NAACP needs to use some common sense and accept a compromise that meets their original demand. This is not a issue of separate facilities, or sitting at the back of the bus where there was no need for a compromise. This all people learning to live together.
In both cases, Elian and the flag, both groups made an original demand. Now that demand is being met, they are moving the target. Elian's relatives need to shut up and hand him over to his father immediately. The NAACP needs to fully back the compromise and prepare to call off the boycott when Governor Hodges signs the legislature. Even though Elian's relatives and the NAACP will not be on the front page any longer, they need to do the correct things.
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