(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
By Ronald Howell
OK, the media failed supremely in not realizing Americans could elect an empty-headed, knee-jerk liar as President. But, still, I say the greatest media shortcoming of the past half century was not recognizing that Fidel Castro was the most dedicated and powerful proponent of racial justice the world has ever known.
Castro’s commitment to black Americans was shown early on, notably in 1960, when he came to New York City fresh from his leftist revolution in Cuba, and sat with Malcolm X in Harlem, cameras clicking for all the world to see.
Five years later Malcolm X was assassinated, and many are still convinced the U.S. government was involved.
Meanwhile Castro continued his commitment to racial fairness, a commitment that seemed evident in his face as he sat in fraternal delight that day in Harlem.
In Cuba, before the Castro revolution, the city of Santa Clara was known for its entrenched racial segregation that was much like that of the American South. Residents of Santa Clara were known for their leisurely strolls around Vidal Park. But as they walked they did so in separate lines, “negros” on one and “blancos” on the other. Such traditions ended after Castro came to power.