No Mask No Ride Miami

This article was conceived in Miami, beginning with a Proud Boys posting at the bus stop as I was about to ride the S bus to Lincoln Avenue close to the beach. This effort developed later thinking about my own past on the Lower East Side. There were three Cubans to tell about, Meir Kahane, and more including those hostile years in District 1 Schools.
Before picking up the phone to write, the Latina who took my breakfast order told me that she came from Honduras and it made me recall the hours that I spent in Roatan. Her comment was “a beautiful place” as I shared my visit there with her. Had there been jobs there, I assume that she would never had come to America.
Those Proud Boys are still around, even after some of them were arrested, just before and after the violence in The Capitol. We shall learn much more about its members and determine later what they actually stand for.
Before getting to the Lower East Side back around 1969 or so, I must comment on my reading about John F. Kennedy as told by Jia Lynn Yang in One Mighty and Irresistible Tide about immigration from 1924-1965. After knowing what I had already known about the anti-Semitism of his father and more, I had to ask myself why the Democrats nominated him. And those Southern Democrats along with their Republican allies were harmful to our nation, including the aspirations of the Jewish people. Cubans are still thinking about Back to Cuba, Venezuelans about going back to their country, and others as well. The world continues to be a mess. It was America First in 1960 but with a hint of change fought for in Congress and fortunately and finally JFK did help.
Kennedy started to get his feet wet helping people from the Azores in Portugal as a result of a volcanic eruption.World War Ii.the Holocaust, and more had not fully sunk in yet as racism and anti-communism ruled the minds of people. Fascism was preferred over communism and fear was everywhere as no real progress was made in Washington to help others.
Those three Cubans were teachers, a music teacher, a Jew whose family lost its business to Castro, and a Communist. I had signed on to the Junior Achievement program which ended up with the students eating in the executive dining room of Goldman Sacks with founding partner John Whitehead greeting them. Whitehead later became owner of the New York Islanders and in charge of restoring downtown after 9-11. The Cuban Jew started a wonderful Career Education Day and Goldman Sacks was in attendance to present the positive aspects of working for the company.
My readings last night took me to articles about Rabbi Meir Kahane and zionist aspects during the Ottoman Empire.
The article about Kahane appeared in TRT World and it mentioned lots of material, including Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin and Baruch Goldstein who massacred Muslims in Hebron. Kahane’s message of hate resonated back then and still does. He, like the Proud Boys today, was financed to accomplish his extremism
We heard about this man on the Lower East Side and his celebrity as it appeared that he was concerned about all Jews as New York City was experiencing racial traumas, violence, and rioting. A youth that I knew got into a fight on the basketball court in a school playground and I later learned that he had been killed, having his throat slashed.
The article cited the racial divisions resulting from the decentralization of schools and District 1 was one of a few hotseats of contention. I was there! Kahane disrupted school board meetings (Brooklyn) and considered Blacks and Puerto Ricans an enemy. The article neeeded some balancing and here it is. True there were tensions that we all felt as people fought over school board elections. The school district hired a dean to take over the job of principal and he concluded his first meeting by telling the staff if we didn’t like what he was going to do we could hang up our keys and leave. So he threw down the gauntlet. Some time later, he learned from one of the secretaries who I had played golf with and he asked if we could play together. Noooo thank you! He had to hang up his keys after a school board election.
But there were also Puerto Ricans who were fired for anti-Semitism which resulted from a meeting in the district office. The information was provided by Miguel Levarie, a Mexican who attended the meeting. As he sat there listening, there was a Jewish star under his garment, something that he had not revealed on purpose. After the news was published, I spoke with him briefly, listening to his words about leaving our school. His mission was done and it was like watching the end of an episode of The Lone Ranger on a black and white television set. Perhaps you have heard the words of his partner “Qui me sabe.” Oh well! Those Puerto Ricans did not know that Levarie in Hebrew means Lion Hearted. We knew! The hate was not just one-sided hate. It permeated various groups. And the article in Turkey can easily be misconstrued to portray the situation as just Jews against other minorities. There were Jews on the other side way back then just as there are divisions now, but the truth has to told. Among other things that I did included taking a class trip to the showroom of the best known Puerto Rican fashion designer in New York, Betsy Gonzalez, taking students in the evening to Broadway shows and Lincoln Center, recommending a textbook bought in the hundreds with lots of Black history, and teaching tennis to dozens of students at the courts on the FDR Drive. And this was done with love and not with the motive to keep them away from criminal court and the school to prison pipeline.
Yang’s book is loaded with great material. Among powerful facts is this, thinking about the Proud Boys and Trump’s America First which cannot hold up. Immigrant restrictions in the repugnant days in the book from 1924-1965 had three groups in mind. This affect immigrants from all nations as those more than forty years kept out people of other races and southern and eastern Europeans. Three categories: idiots, imbeciles, and morons. Here are matching characteristics for each group. Adults that have to wear diapers, those who can’t be trained to work, and those with “the bodies of adults but the minds of 9 and 10 year old children.” That last part has been well documented by some senior staff in the White House. This fact alone should cause the Proud Boys to disband immediately. Upon reading this it should take only 45 seconds to achieve.
Most of the immigrants in Florida never would have made it here before 1960. Immigrants everywhere should take note of this history.