American way is not best for everyone, for Elian
Letter to the Editor
For the most part, Americans accept differences in opinion, lifestyle and ideology; however, there are those in our nation who believe that the American way is the right way and the only way. These Americans disregard the foundations of our country based on freedom of speech, thought and religion and condemn and punish those whose political and social views differ from their own. These Americans would tear a family apart through their prejudicial disposition. These people have, for over five months, kept a father and son apart due to politics and ideological differences.
Elian Gonzalez became separated from his father last Thanksgiving when Elian's late mother tired to reach America and took Elian along for the ride. Now Elian remains locked in the home of his Miami relatives who adamantly refuse to either return Elian to Cuba or to his own father. The Miami family's reluctance to return Elian might be understandable if his father had been abusive, if he had no job or means of supporting his family, or if he had a criminal record, but in reality he's not guilty of any of these offenses. Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian's father, is guilty of being Cuban and living under the Communist regime of Fidel Castro.
The battle cry of the thousands of supporters and protesters outside of the Miami home of Elian's relatives is to keep Elian in the USA at any cost. Elian must stay in the United States because here Elian will live a better life than he would in Cuba. Why should Elian go back to Communist Cuba when he can instead life a better life here with MTV, the Gap, school shootings, the NRA and capitalism? Does this mean that all children living in family on welfare should be taken away from their mothers and fathers because there are certainly better, wealthier homes in which they could live? Are all parents in Communist China unfit to raise their own children?
I'm tired of listening to the Miami relatives claim to work for what's in the best interests of the child. The political affiliation of Juan Miguel does not impair his ability to raise his children. Even though America is a capitalist democracy, it does not indicate that all other forms of government are inferior and unacceptable; therefore, we should not penalize members of other nations with differing governing philosophies by taking away their children. It is simply unacceptable to claim to work in the best interests of Elian by using him as a political pawn while keeping him away from his father.
Elian's Miami relatives have manipulated the government and America itself for far too long. Time after time, this family has disobeyed federal mandates and laws to keep the child in their home and in America. Their motives are politically driven and have divided a family. It is time to reunite Juan Miguel and Elian before the prejudicial ideologies of his Miami relatives begin to influence Elian himself.
Freshman, Sorin College
April 19, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Thursday, April 20, 2000