Over the course of the last several weeks our community has demonstrated a profound commitment to be there for each other, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable. I see daily examples of generosity and kindness that are not exclusive of one political party or another. There are examples of human decency and empathy with the pain and loss that so many are experiencing.
We are all very much aware of the impact this global pandemic is having on many families irrespective of your ideology. As a community, it’s been heartwarming to witness great compassion and respect toward each other as we navigate these uncertain times. That’s why the comment by The Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago, beyond being profoundly irresponsible, was inexcusable and merits condemnation. On April 20th, Mrs. Santiago tweeted, “Packed beaches should work nicely to thin the ranks of Trump/DeSantis/Gimenez supporters in #Florida who value money over health.”
As an opinion columnist, Mrs. Santiago is not bound by the parameters of objectivity. However, the bully pulpit her column provides does require a certain level of responsibility and respect toward the community. Mrs. Santiago has apologized and removed her offensive tweet, yet her message gives pause to reflect on how one can be politically blinded, to such an extreme, to assert such a hateful message especially during such an anxiety filled time. Had a conservative columnist in her position written the same hateful message, the Miami Herald would fire them. Many of us are truly tired of the Herald’s and liberal media’s overt bias and hypocrisy. Let us witness how the Miami Herald handles this hateful incident by Mrs. Santiago.
Political debate is healthy and vital to a democracy. Yet, as we have more time to reflect during these days, we should consider how our community, which is fueled by great diversity, can best debate its political views and ideas without wanting the destruction or death of our fellow neighbors. The moment requires that we find a way.
Esteban “Steve” Bovo, Jr.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner