Later on, throughout the years, accusations changed, and in order to destroy the reputation of someone the rumor was started that the person in question was a communist.
Even today, it’s still a shame to have been tied to or affiliated with communist groups or individuals; people get so nervous that they never
look at the members of the U.S. Congress who ever were, or still are,
if not red, at least pink.
Time passed and then the accusatory word was MOB. People were accused
unfairly of being “connected to the mafia,” and the consequences were
very much a disaster because the assumption was that all
“mob-connected” people were criminals and would damage the reputation
of any person so accused or so connected to that person.
I recall one time I was at the old Latin Deli on East Sahara where I
used to have lunch and I started a conversation with a lady that I, as
the gentleman I am, had offered my seat to because the place was
packed, as always, with people that loved Mimi and Miguel’s cooking.
During the conversation with that lady, she asked where I worked and I
told her that recently I got a job at the Spanish newspaper; she got
all nervous and with a grim expression told me I was working in a very
bad place, that the owner of the newspaper (me) was a gangster and
that the business was controlled by the mafia.
“Let me tell you about Rolando,” she said. “Do not mess with him
because I know him very well and I am going to give you some advice
because you seem to be a very decent young man with nice manners.”
I told the lady that I have never met Rolando; that I was hired by Don
and she said, “He doesn’t need to be there; that place is for
prostitution and many other illegal businesses; you need to get out of
there; that place is not for you because you are a decent person.” The
lady that claimed to know me “very well” was insisting that I find
another job while I said good-bye to her.
Before I left, I turned around and told the lady that while I’m
finding another job, if I can help her in any way, she should call me
— and I gave her my business card. When she read my name, she fainted
and people at the place had to help her to regain consciousness.
After the mob accusation, then it phased into the “child molester”
accusation, and that has to be the most despicable false accusation
anyone can be victim of, and the most difficult to clear and to clean
from the memory of most people.
Look at the case of Manny Menendez; his ex-wife accused him of
molesting her granddaughter. He went to prison for twenty years and
after new evidence came out, the judge reduced his sentence to ten
years, but he appealed that sentence also, and against two hysterical
deputy district attorneys, the judge granted a new trial where the
daughter and the supposed molested granddaughter testified that the
charges were not true and that the ex-wife had the habit of accusing
all — yes ALL — the men with whom she had relationships, husbands or
not, of molesting minors every time they left her.
For some strange ulterior motive, the judge that up to now had a fair
reputation, gave up and took the side of the two hysterical deputy
district attorneys and sent an innocent man back to prison, even with
all the proof that was needed to show that he did not commit the crime
of which he was accused.
Now, most recently, the word of accusation going around is “racist,”
and many people have seen their life turn upside down when they are
accused of being racist.
Racism is something White people can be easily accused of; and, just
as with the child molestation charges, it is very difficult to prove
the opposite, and the aftermath is terrible.
Just look what happened to Cliven Bundy — even if his cause has
nothing to do with anyone’s skin color, lots of his supporters ran for
cover when he opened his mouth and his enemies tried to use that
Donald Sterling is in the same boat now because of his jealous
tantrum, like nobody has ever been jealous before.
If I was going to be susceptible to someone’s opinion of me every time
I had been called a blankety-blank Cuban because some jealous husband
thought his wife was flirting with me, I’d be crying racism all the
No one called Sterling’s so-called girlfriend a greedy selfish young
lady because she is not too young anymore (30ish) and because she
makes people believe she is the victim — however, after she started
collecting luxury cars, she also developed an appetite for men with
big eyes and big shoulders.
She even has the blessing of her generous benefactor to do whatever
she wants to do as long as she does not embarrass him (according to
his own words) by being so obvious around his friends and associates.
(After all, we still live in a James Brown world — a man’s world — and
it apparently is OK for men to have something on the side but it is
not OK for woman.)
During my days in the beeper business, I had an associate that was
taking care of the black community’s beeper needs. One day during a
meeting, I had to ask him, “What is wrong with you people?” and he
blew up! He wanted to know what I meant by “you people” and he wanted
to know if I was a racist.
Because I liked the guy, I took time to answer him and explain some
details to him. He knew that I had never been racist and I asked him
if he thought I would be associated with him if I was a racist.
I’ve been told that Donald Sterling’s girl friend is half Black and
half Mexican; would Donald Sterling be having a relationship with a
half BLACK, half Mexican girl regardless of how good she may look? I
was told that the young lady may be about 28 years old or so; maybe
with all Sterling’s money and another Bentley (or two) it might be
time to trade her in for a younger model.
It is sad that we have to control every word that comes out of our
mouth because someone else may take it wrong and consider it racist.
Maybe the best thing is to become color blind and deaf so no one can
discriminate against anyone with an accent. If that were the case, I
wouldn’t have to complain that radio station 88.1 discriminates
against me by not allowing me and my friend Miguel Barrientos to buy
air time because we are not Black, or that Lee Brown did not let me
write a column in his newspaper because I am not Black.
Discrimination is a two-way street and it should be taken as
discrimination regardless of who does the discriminating. But first,
let’s be sure the intention is really racist.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column
appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him
at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.