Seems like I’m not the only one troubled by Michael Fernandez’s flag idea.
In a letter to today’s Miami Hurled, Fernandez notes that “It is astonishing how much ugliness my simple idea detailed in the Aug. 7 article, Billionaire pitches proposal for massive flag over Miami, has gererated [sic].”
It should surprise nobody that Fernandez fielded numerous letters with racist/ethnic insults — this after all is south Florida. The only amazing thing is, nobody called him a communist.
But he just doesn’t answer what I believe is the significant objection, namely that this gesture is entirely wasteful, ineffective, and tasteless. The closest he gets is:
A few called me an ungrateful egomaniac. Know that it was never my intention to ask for my name to be on this. Others told me my proposal was callous, and that any such dollars ought to go to health services, inner-city education, supporting those less fortunate. In fact, I have done all of these things, too.
I’d speculated on precisely that matter of his supporting such activities, and I’m glad to see (and not surprised) that he has done so. The estimated $5 -$10 Million this project would cost could be much better spent on exactly those kind of activities. That would be meaningful, effective, and a wonderful way to give back, which he says is his sole motivation here.
And please do put your name on these initiatives, Mr. Fernandez. Create a foundation in your name, or name a scholarship fund, put your name on a clinic. Let people know this destitute immigrant arrived in south Florida, took advantage of opportunities, worked his ass off, made a fortune, and wants to make sure people like himself have similar avenues to travel. Don’t be anonymous. Be a role model. Be a cheerleader.
A good man with a high profile is a lot more valuable than an oversized flag on a tall flagpole.