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Life for Americans is Hard in Miami, and They All Realize it Eventually

November 18, 2009 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Local News  | 63 Comments

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Over the years, I have been called a lot of not-so-nice names by people. “Racist,” is a popular one. “Bigot,” comes up a lot. “Ignorant redneck,” also appears frequently. Most of these insults come from people, generally not from Miami, who read my observations on life here and find it offensive. My pointing out that Latin culture dominates the city and makes Americans feel alienated - unlike anywhere else in the country – is taken by some to be somehow racist.

Which it is not.

SOMETIMES THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT TRUTH HURTS

My musings are simply an honest portrayal of what life is like here for an American transplant. One who is used to American culture, anyway.  Race is not really the issue here, but rather culture. And if you are of a non-Spanish speaking culture, life here is often inherently frustrating for you.

EVENTUALLY, THEY WILL REALIZE I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG

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This week, one recent transplant started a thread on our forums titled “Miami Culture Shock.” In it, she went on at great lengths about the saturation of Latin culture. And, more importantly, said what so many who read my writing who have never lived here say: That she thought I was just some ranting bigot until she had to experience it for herself. And now she knows.

Now she knows that living in Miami is frustrating. That it is hard and the cultural and language barriers are unrelenting if you are an American. Yes, some of us learn to deal with it as it is something that is never going to change. But we all know that it’s the price you have to pay to live in this city. Few will say it openly, and maybe that’s why I get so often criticized for saying what most Americans who live in Dade feel. That we’re not real cool with the prevalence of Spanish. We just deal with it and for the most part keep our mouths shut around those who might be offended.

SPEAKING FOR THOSE TOO AFRAID TO SPEAK

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See, there was a reason my old blog was as successful as it was. It was called “White Dade,” and chronicled what life is like for, well, a white person in Dade County. And yeah, as it does in the rest of the country “white” means white non-Hispanic. It offended a good number of people, but more than that it struck a chord with a community of people who were afraid to complain at the risk of being labeled racist. Silenced by the forces of political correctness. But it’s not racism. It’s not judging or discriminating based on race. It’s frustration with culture, and that is a completely different thing.

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Now before anyone jumps down my throat, Hispanic people, you do not have the same experience as us. So you’ll never fully understand.  And a lot of you who don’t leave the South Beach, well, you really don’t get it either. In South Beach the Latin Flavor adds spice. Across the bay it overpowers the dish. And everyone who says “If you don’t like Latin Culture, then leave Miami,” you are missing the point. We understand it’s the price we have to pay to live here, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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63 Comments on

"Life for Americans is Hard in Miami, and They All Realize it Eventually"

Carl says:

It’s quite simple, really. Latin is not a race. Hispanic is not a race. I’ve known many a non-Anglo who didn’t enjoy living in Ohio for cultural reasons. Nothing racist about it.

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 12:40 AM

Keep it real says:

Dont let this jacko off the hook. He act’s like he’s the victim. He should simply ask himself,.. what am I a “victim” of?

Matt, you’re just another Drug addict, face reality

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 10:08 AM

joel says:

exactly, i think the term ‘ignorant’ is most appropriate for this guy. those of italian/irish/german/spain etc. descent who just happen to live in s. america and speak spanish are suddenly not white? almost all of the spanish speakers in miami are 100% white unlike in l.a., and that is what bothers him

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 10:57 AM

Ralph says:

I think the issue here is the exclusionary actions on both sides. Look, everybody gets the point.  Within the latino community there is a feeling of exclusion from the larger Cuban-American community but you participate in the same thing when you call yourself an “American”.  Are you saying that the Alex Gonzalez who was born in Miami is not an American?  Look everybody has a beef.  Ask the Italians about the Irish in turn of the century Boston or everybody in New York about everybody else!  I think the non-spanish speaking residents of Dade County do need to be more expressive and yes it is time for non-racist white/anglos to assert their culture and share it with everybody else.  The other alternative of “picking up your ball and going home is just not good for anybody.

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 11:01 AM

pod says:

There was a South Park episode that dealt with “tolerance”. Basically it involved Mr. Garrison and Mr. Slave being over-the-top gay so they would get fired and win money in a settlement from the school district. At the end, Kyle pretty much said that “tolerance” meant just that, tolerating something. Didn’t mean you had to like it.

Now, that’s South Park, of course. But yeah, at the end of the day, tolerating something doesn’t mean you like it.

It’s funny though, over on my forum, I would randomly link interesting stories from the White Dade blog. Some I may have agreed with, some I may have not. For me it was just good content to link to at the end of the day.

But, our little slice of the internet has a few eternal Miami apologists on it. Now, those apologists live on South Beach and never leave it. Easy to be an apologist there, where the only non-English-speakers you encounter are service workers in condos.

But immediately, just by virtue of linking to the White Dade blog, I was suddenly a “bigot” and “intolerant”. And that was before I even said one word in commentary. Nevermind when I said “he has a point…” in some issues.

Odd thing is, none of the apologists were Latin. Most Latins I know actually take the same point of view as White Dade did. Then again, most Latins I know are “assimilated”, and realize that there’s life outside of the 305.

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 11:19 AM

CLJ says:

Joel -
You’re making the mistake that “white” means race, because he’s saying “white” means “not hispanic.”

That only means that you haven’t been reading what Matt has been writing; you are speaking from a position of ignorance.

Matt is saying we’re “white” as in “white bread,” or “vanilla.”  As “white” as bland milk gravy.  We’re creamed chipped beef on a table full of ropa vieja.

The fact is that the US speaks english because the original english speaking population wouldn’t learn the german, french, italian, or spanish of the immigrants who actually came to outnumber them. And because they were already running things, it stuck.

Dade County is becoming a Spanish speaking community for similar reasons.

Matt is correct in stating that it is not a matter of bigotry to note that this is what is happening.  It is how we choose to react to that reality that will establish who is bigoted, and who is not.

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 3:07 PM

Jose says:

I’m a “white” Mexican. As that I mean everyone thinks I’m German or French. I was born in Mexico and raised in small town Minnesota. I’ve lived here in Miami, Kendall for some time now. I agree no matter how much you “prepare” yourself for the culture shock to come, you will be shocked.

Everyone thinks I’m white so I DO get the short attitude and looks of wtf are you doing here from the “Hispanics”. So I also do get frustrated but understand and in truth not doing so leads to negativity and loathing.

The article shares a great prospective and opinion of a “white guy” but Matt, it does show your either truefrustration or hate for Hispanics. Even the title says

“Life for Americans is Hard in Miami, and They All Realize it Eventually”

“...it is hard and the cultural and language barriers are unrelenting if you are an America”

So anyone who is American and has a background similar to mine is not American? I guess I must be an Illegal-alien even though I and many other like me have served my country and contributed in many other ways. No, I know I AM American, though a Mexican one.

Point is, your trying to come across as an average white American “transplant” who really tired not to be frustrated living here. Maybe you did, but don’t try to come across as someone who is a non-discriminant and a victim of your failed intention of assimilating to the “Miami” culture.

Because life for this American is really great in Miami and I’m sure it is for many other Americans in Miami or they wouldn’t be here. Right?

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 4:11 PM

Christy says:

Matt, you may not like the in your face Latin Culture, but I could care less. I have other issues that make Miami hard to live in:
**the lack of decent, affordable housing. By this I mean a place without roaches for under $1400
**the lack of datable guys
**the lack of decent, well paying jobs

I really don’t see what it is about the Latin Culture that’s so bad.

Posted on 11/18/2009 at 6:09 PM

What a farce says:

I think this guy had a cameo on the new South Park episode tonight.

Posted on 11/19/2009 at 12:27 AM

Juicy J says:

Bottom line is that this guy Meltzer writes condensing statements of hate & dislike, and then offer’s no reasonable solution / and or a conclusion to base his premise from.

If this is his opinion, to which he wrote, then why is this not expressed solely for the forums section of Miamibech411.com for an actual open public debate.

That fact is, Matt can have his own opinion. That’s fine.

The real problem should address to why Miamibeach411.com,  a public Miami Beach information website, would publish such under a “To Learn” section within their website.

This is one man’s silly opinion.  He’s a loser. Get over him. Does he get paid for this???

Honestly, what do we as a beach community gain? What is learned besides an opnion.

This topic trival.

I come to Miami beach 411.com, to actual read articles that pertain to Miami/ Miami beach life. Ie. for example, “10 things to accomplish in downtown Miami”..Or a sneak peak at Sunday’s Mondrian party.

Or even the “Mid-night beach party” or which establishment has the best burgers.

Those articles help Miamibeach411.com. That is why I was initially drawn to this website, well written informational articles help readers, and give a sense of appreication for where we live.

I don’t enjoy giving my opinion, never the less, Miamibeach411.com should stick with articles that don’t draw so much dissolute & dis-like towards the writer.

Ending with a real conclusion, I enjoy Miamibeach411.com, however with opening subjects like this, under a To “Learn Miami Beach” heading,.... this is a website that I would not recommend.

Last final two cents….Matt I might not be “Latino”, but you’re Still a Jew. That can’t be fun.

Posted on 11/19/2009 at 8:49 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Juicy, what was an almost-credible comment lost all its credibility with that last statement. I’m not particularly offended, but if you’re gonna call me a racist, best not to end your diatribe with a slur. And you seem to hate everything I write, so I don’t think any of my employers here are going to pay much attention to your suggestions.

And sungal, you know I love you, but my point is YOU DON’T LEAVE THE BEACH. So the culture thing isn’t nearly as shoved-down-your-throat than if you lived west of 95. On all matters Beach, I trust your opinion. But on matters that pertain to the city as a whole, there’s a lot you just won’t get until you start experiencing Miami. Not just Miami Beach.

Posted on 11/19/2009 at 7:01 PM

Christy says:

Do you have another article that gives reasons why you dislike Latin Culture?

Because if it’s just about speaking Spanish and running late, I’ve got real problems right here in South Beach. Juicy J, you can start a new thread to discuss Matt’s article if you want. Your last comment is unbelievable.

Posted on 11/19/2009 at 7:44 PM

Juicy J says:

Appreantly Sungal, FYI, we Jewish tend to stick our jokes together.

If you’re not Jewish, then you’re probably are not going to get that

If you really think that calling Matt a Jew, and saying that is not fun, is really that bad; then I emplore you, what do you think the Latin people of Miami think after having to read this article?

The whole point. Don’t share the hate.

Posted on 11/19/2009 at 8:22 PM

Carlos Miller says:

The headline is not accurate because it implies that “all” Americans end up regretting living here.

As a Miami native whose father was a white Anglo from Virginia and whose mother is a Colombian native, I can see all sides of this issue.

My dad lived in Miami since he attended the University of Miami in the late 40s. He saw this city go from a sleepy southern town to a city overrun with Cubans.

Yet he never really complained about it. In fact, he enjoyed it.

He didn’t really speak the best Spanish and sometimes the Cubans spoke too fast for him, but he always enjoyed communicating with them.

By the time he died, he was the only gringo on the block in his West Miami home. Yet he never felt out of place. And they never had an issue with him (well a couple of times but it had nothing to do with race or ethnicity or culture. He was pretty stubborn at times).

When he died, we spread his ashes in Biscayne Bay beneath the skyscrapers that he saw built, even though he was always a proud Virginian that never lost his accent.

Of course there were times when he mocked the Cubans. We all do. But we do it in a good-natured way. How can you not? Cubans can be pretty eccentric.

But my dad could not picture himself living anywhere else (well except for Havana where he lived in the late 50s).

So it’s not true that “all” Americans end up feeling as frustrated as you, Matt.

It’s true that Latins dominate Miami. And it’s true that if you’re accustomed to white America, you might be in for a little culture shock.

Of course how you deal with that culture shock is up to you.

And yes, it’s true that outside of Miami, you are not considered white if you are Hispanic.

I always thought I was white until I moved out west and was informed that I was not white, but Hispanic.

But considering my dad was white, I was told I could be white if I wanted to, but then I couldn’t be Hispanic.

And besides, they told me, my Hispanic side overwhelmed my White side, so I would be better of just going with Hispanic.

Whatever, I said, I’ll be Hispanic because being White out there came across as being a little too uptight (and in many cases, racist).

Whether or not Matt should be allowed to write his opinion is up to Gus, who actually encourages us to write our opinions in our articles. In fact, he calls them “columns”, which is what this is.

It’s an obvious opinion piece so it’s not like he is trying to pass this on as an objective piece of journalism.

However, as I said, the headline is inaccurate because Matt doesn’t speak for all Anglos.

Posted on 11/21/2009 at 12:38 AM

Carlos Miller says:

There was also a time not too long ago when Jews were not considered white. And when Irish were not considered white. And Italians.

Posted on 11/21/2009 at 12:41 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

I feel you Carlos. And yeah, “All” is obviously an inaccuarte word when talking about almost anything. Because it doesn’t allow for exceptions.

But if you haven’t learned by now, I talk in generalizations. Why? Because it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining than saying “A lot of Anglos are frustrated by life in Miami, but of course, there are always exceptions so I guess I mean there are some people who like it and maybe a larger number who don’t.”

This is why I never really claim to be an objective journalist. It’s just not a lot of fun.

Posted on 11/23/2009 at 2:22 AM

Bluecollar says:

Matt, I moved here from Chicago almost 2 years ago.  I am a Mexican-American born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, which is equally dominated by populations of Mexican, Polish, Irish, and Italians.  For the first year I lived in Doral and worked in Kendall.  Culture shock indeed.  I thought I knew spanish, until I moved here.  If I was originally born and raised in Miami, perhaps I might feel attacked by what you say.  I would feel attacked because I’d have a great fondness and sense of pride for Miami, instead of my true hometown Chicago. 

Coming from the 3rd largest city in the United States, Chicago, which also happens to be the heart of the midwest, I see where you’re coming from.  It’s not a particular dislike for the residents who live west of I-95, it’s frustration.  I get it.

Everybody here seems to believe that they are open to other cultures.  Everybody claims that Miami is a melting pot, and I guess it is, but it’s very hard to see it when all the immigrants who come here all speak the same language.  They also have something in common, they do not want to do what “gringos” do.  The only exceptions would be Brazilians and Hatians.

You see, I actually like diversity.  I enjoy learning about different cultures.  I accept that people are different than I.  I’ve eaten at Columbian, Peruvian, Nicaraguan, Dominican, Cuban, Argentinian restaurants…so many different places that it’s too much to take in, but I’m open to it.  Unfortunately, the opposite is not true.  People here don’t want to take in American culture.  “Que?  Eso es para los gringos!”  This is what pisses me off.  When people do not want to do certain things because it’s a “gringo” thing to do.  Nevermind the fact, or even possibility, that it may be a better way to do a certain thing. 

I was not aware that using my turn signal was a “gringo” thing to do.  I thought it was something that smart drivers (regardless of race classification) do as a courtesy to other drivers to in order to prevent an accident.  Please, use your turn signal.  Please move your shopping cart out of the way if you’re going to stop in the middle of publix and catch up with an old friend from Columbia.  Please, get to the f****** point when a customer service representative is helping you and there’s people waiting to be helped.  Don’t tell him your life’s history, ask your f****** question and let other people get helped while you make a decision.  For the love of God, please hire employees who are equally fluent and literate in English as they are in Spanish.  Please pay your f****** mortgage instead of pocketing your tenants’ rent money and sending it to South America.  That shit ruins our economy.  And if you don’t give shit about the “gringo” economy, think of your tenant who now has to take time off of work to relocate when he thought he still had some time to look and plan.  Be an upstanding citizen.  Please pay taxes like the rest of us hard working people and if you’re not going to pay taxes please don’t complain about the wait at the ER.  Please don’t hate on the police when they question your ignorant ass.  The list of idiotic things that goes on here is endless, I’m sure the same things happen everywhere, except that here they happen for the sake of not being “gringo.”

Posted on 11/27/2009 at 1:13 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I LOVE when I read rants from American Hispanics like this. It proves my point, that it’s not a racial thing at all.

And yes, Miami is not diverse at all. It is one of few major American cities where the majority ethnicity is over 2/3 of the total population.

Posted on 11/29/2009 at 7:36 PM

Jhovon Heggie says:

ABSOLUTE BLATANT IGNORANCE
Umm matt you’re a white guy(as in self proclaimed white because italians, irish, etc., are proud of their culture they don’t call themselves white) that means someone in your family jumped on a boat or plane and came here just like the latinos you are irritated with. And despite what you say it is a race thing your just too IGNORANT to realize that what you say is disrespectful and insulting, if people want to speak spanish in Miami then i don’t blame them, being a non-spainish speaking puerto rican and black man(as in a descendant of slaves,my family can only trace ourselves back to Tennessee) i cant tell you how irritating it is when ‘white people’ speak to me and say things like ‘you’re so articulate’ and you’re so intelligent’, AS APPOSED TO WHAT? my white skinned friends never get comments like that. It makes me want to speak in spanish and put my culture in their face because wither or not you realize it ‘white’ people put it in ours, ‘white’ culture does not mean american culture, stop being irritated or frustrated and start realizing that latin culture is a big part of what makes this country great. Open your eyes matt.

Posted on 11/30/2009 at 10:19 PM

Bluecollar says:

Jhovon, I agree with one thing that you say.  Latin culture is a big part of what makes this a great country.  But isn’t Chinese culture just as much a part of what makes this country great?  Isn’t German culture just as much a part of what makes this country great? 

The US has many different cultures.  If you take the good that each culture presents, then yes you get yourself a great country. 

Not sure if you realize this, but to most of the United States, latin culture = Mexican.  I am not offended by what Matt is saying.  It is not a blatant attack on race.  He isn’t saying go back to Cuba you reffy, drown in the rio grande you beaner, or choke on a plantain you spic. 

Reason #2 why I am not offended.  Race, is not a real thing anyway.  Race is something that humans invented as a way to classify people.  People in Miami are very hung up on race.  Make the simple mistake of calling a domincan girl puerto rican or calling a cuban man columbian and you will be looked at as the biggest asshole on earth.  But me, call me chinese.  Call me cuban.  I don’t give a fuck. 

I’ve met many nice people.  Many good people.  I won’t take anything away from their good qualities and what they offer the world, but for the love of God I wish they would get out of Miami and see that life can be so much better if they only gave what they refer to as “the gringo way” a chance.  They shut themselves down to an idea because it’s how the “Americanos” do it.  To me, that isn’t very smart.  And it is what frustrates me, personally, about living in Miami.  I don’t mean to tie it to race.  I prefer to tie it to idiots.  It just so happens that those idiots are all the people who are sooooooooo hung up on “race.”  Idiots don’t realize that it’s possible to be proud of who you are, and where you’re from, and still take in different ideas and customs.  Playing bags instead of hitting a piñata is not going to change where me or my ancestors were born and raised.

Posted on 12/01/2009 at 12:46 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

“I don’t mean to tie it to race.  I prefer to tie it to idiots. “

That may be my favorite quote of the year.

Posted on 12/01/2009 at 4:10 PM

Jhovon Heggie says:

Im not calling matt a racist,i dont think he hates latinos, im calling him ignorant. And if you read my comment you will notice I mention the pride of Italians, irish , etc. Every culture that has moved to this country has helped make it the strong wonderful place that it is, that includes   ‘white’ people. It’s not a them verses us kind of thing its more like walking into the living room to hear your adopted brother saying he is frustrated with latinos in Miami, it’s going to offend you, not because you dont like him but because you know how much closer you could be if he accepted your culture(hey and why not vice versa?) ‘white’  shouldn’t leave it’s their city too. And just to let you know BLUE COLLAR, people of color will always be hung up on race, we were not wanted here and were met with violence and intolerance by a people who where immigrants them selves( im half black bro, don’t get me started on that) thats why at the first words even hinting at being tired of us or not liking our culture we are on the defensive, matt cant understand that and its seems like neither do you. It’s being proud of your culture that makes me upset when people call me dominican not puerto rican but ill correct you not go off. Matt has the right to say what he wants in this country and I would be PISSED if people tried to make him shut up, it’s his freedom of speech, but every man will be held accountable for what he says. So matt say what you want but don’t get mad when people react in a way you don’t like. We are just holding you accountable.

Posted on 12/02/2009 at 2:20 AM

Jhovon Heggie says:

Oh and I just want to tell people I disagree with some of the things that matt says but I dont think that he should be fired or anything like that. I may be mad about this column but on the same keyboard im going to say how helpful the insight on Miami is for people who move there and he may say things that are controversial but at least he is HONEST, im saying this because I dont want to be that quick to keep you down slow to help you up guy. So holding matt accountable isn’t always a bad thing.

Posted on 12/02/2009 at 2:36 AM

Carlos Miller says:

As long as he doesn’t call anybody a prick, he should not get fired.

Posted on 12/02/2009 at 2:40 AM

Stef says:

Truth does hurt. People are pissed about this blog because they refuse to acknowledge that it’s true.It is not racist or ignorant to say that non-hispanic people who live in miami have it harder than hispanics.  It’s just facts.

Posted on 12/08/2009 at 1:10 PM

Kay says:

Why is everyone beating up on Matt?  He is making a valid point. The Hispanic culture has overtaken the American culture in Miami.  This is frustrating for many of the Natives. You don’t have to be a racists to express this concern.  It seems that those of you who have commented here, wants the Natives of this country to roll with the punches instead of raising the issue. 

I bet that most of you would have a problem if French was the dominant language in Miami.  Instead of asking for Spanish/English, the requirement would be English/French. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Posted on 02/20/2010 at 6:07 PM

Jt561 says:

I live in palm bch county where Hispanics speak English or at least try to coexist with American culture . That is respectful. The Hispanics in Miami have no respect for the country they came. I’m not saying all but most. As soon as u past that entering Miami fade county sign u are in a different country. I feel sad for the white Americans who have to try survive in this unamerican place

Posted on 04/26/2010 at 7:29 AM

JoPe says:

Matt, I’m not sure that what you call the “Hispanic” or “Latino” culture in Miami is really that.  I believe it’s just the Miami culture.  I can assure you that if you go to Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Mexico D.F., Rio, Caracas, etc. the cultures there are worlds appart from each other and worlds appart from Miami’s.  And people who come to Miami from Latin America sometimes are as culture shocked as an Anglo-American who comes to Miami.

You say that “Hispanics” don’t have the same experience as you do, so we don’t understand.  We probably don’t, but I can tell you that life was not a cakewalk for me when I moved to Miami as a kid.  Between kids who refused to speak Spanish (even though they spoke it perfectly), and being called a ref (because I didn’t speak English well), life was interesting.  I almost made the national swimming team in my country, and if I would have kept at it, I probably would have gone to college for free, but instead I had to drop it as soon as I moved to Miami because I didn’t feel confident enough about my English.

Unlike you, this experience didn’t have me up at night crying and wishing for people to cater to my needs.  It just made me work hard at assimilating to the Miami culture, so I could live happy in my new home.  And unlike you, I was a kid so I didn’t have much of a choice as to where I wanted to live.

When you move to Miami, you have to know what to expect.  It’s a city unlike any other in the U.S. and probably in the world, but that’s what makes Miami Miami.  I mean does your article mean that if you move to Montreal, you will start crying over there because people speak French?  Or if you move to Luzern, Switzerland, you will start crying because people speak German?

Before you go around accusing people of alienating a certain race or culture, just ask yourself: are you alienating yourself from the rest?

P.S. what does Kay mean by natives?  People who were born in Miami or Indians?

Posted on 05/27/2010 at 11:04 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Interesting point, JoPe. And yes, you have had a very different experience from mine. If I move to a place where the official language is different than mine, no, I would not complain. but Miami is, technically, still the U.S. and ergo people who move here should learn English. Period. I am also one who speaks some Spanish but refuses to so that life is more difficult for people who do not learn the language. It’s called negative reinforcement. And see, because life was difficult for you, you chose to assimilate, thus making life easier for both you and everyone else.

My point is validated yet again. Thank you.

Posted on 05/27/2010 at 2:50 PM

Anonymous says:

The United States of America has no official language.

Posted on 05/27/2010 at 3:43 PM

Anonymous says:

To answer JoPe’s question, when I use the word native, I am referring to the Indians, and Americans.

Posted on 05/27/2010 at 6:27 PM

Internationalgirl says:

hahah Matt I agreed with you. Miami is a nutcase county, I hispanic myself see how rude ,obnoxious people are here. It seems everybody has to learn spanish instead of english. Like you said , Florida still usa not latin america, I came here to miami 10 years ago and I needed to learn the language that is english , and assimilated the american customs.smile

Posted on 09/12/2011 at 12:24 PM

Kay says:

That is a very rational point. I agree with you Internationalgirl.

Posted on 09/12/2011 at 5:52 PM

White person 248284 says:

The problem is that there’s a lot of blatant disrespect and discrimination for anglo non-hispanic whites in Miami. It is unreal at times how bad it is. A lot of people in Miami in my experience just judge each other by their ethnicities. Its the #1 thing people asked me when I lived in Miami. “What ethnicity are you?” To them, it was an important trait. a sure sign of racism, if you ask me. I tend to judge people based on merit and think that people are more complex than their ethnicity. I decided to take my company out of Miami for this reason.

Posted on 06/13/2012 at 8:59 PM

Alvaro A. says:

I prefer that Miami and South Florida retain it’s Spanish/Cuban/Latin flavour, and not Jewish, Italian or anything else.  Thanks.

Posted on 08/02/2012 at 9:48 PM

Chris M says:

Having been born and raised in Miami, and not of hispanic heritage, just the last two weeks, I had been in a few stores in a mall. Each store I went into, they automatically asked from where I was visiting.  I asked “pardon me?” and they repeated their question.  I told them I was born and raised in Miami and how dare they assume I am from another state or country because I do not have the “latin look”.  They then proceeded to ask if I was a doctor or attorney.  I put on a smile and stated “no, I am unemployed because one has to be fully bilingual to get a job here.”  They then stated I should move out of Miami.  I turned to them and said “maybe you should crawl back to the country you came from and fight for your freedom there instead of taking my town away from me.”  Mind you, I walked out of those four stores and never went back to that mall.  I did e-mail the district managers of those stores and have yet to receive a response.  I don’t mind the Spanish culture, but don’t dare tell me that I should leave Miami.  If the Latin community wants me to leave so badly, I woudl be happy to do.  They can set up a fund so that I can rent a large U-Haul, $3,000 to rent a new home in northern Florida, and at least $8,000.00 to tide my family over until I can find a new job in a new city.

Posted on 08/03/2012 at 9:46 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Your story is not at all uncommon, Chris. When I Was bartending downtown a few years back I had a guy tell me “Learn Spanish or get out of Miami.” Ok, pal. Decent advice, actually, but not a demand you make of someone. I avoided the rant in return, but I’ve been known to do it once or twice.

Posted on 08/05/2012 at 10:22 AM

Skeet says:

Wow,its like a total reversal of my life.I am Cuban and living in NYC and get no respect from the hispanics here.At my job I get low hours and usually sent home while the “hispanics” and blacks get all the hours and great positions.Its how I look white and so I am not with them.I do not even speak Spanish well and they hate on me for that.Yet in Miami its totally opposite??I should move down there.Its funny because as soon as I learned of the Cuban phenomen and how they overtook Miami and made it their own I start seeing Miami posters all over the trains in NYC.Its like its calling me “Come visit Miami”.

That probably does not help any huh?

Posted on 08/18/2012 at 6:04 PM

lucy says:

Well I am pretty much home grown, Cuban American, Born in New Jersey and moved here @ 5.  However, I do miss Bilingual Miami, meaning you had a choice.  U no longer have one.  God forbid I speak to anyone in a business or commercial setting in English, which by the way was required back in the day (I’m 52) if one dared seek employment at a reputable co or Even Publix!  I moved back from the Beach 7 years ago and can see and feel a significant difference in areas like kendall, gables, south miami.  I totally resent the fact that because I look very latin, if I address any service or sales person in English, they give me big time attitude!  And it’s not just the language the entire culture is exclusively hispanic.  Every latin ethnic group is vying for superiority.  I personally do not feel at home here any longer and although I’ve been descriminated a lot in my life especially in NY, I’m not going to assimilate into the purely latin culture.  I do want to keep my heritage but I don’t have the same perspective the new wave of immigrants have.  My parents and grandparents weren’t as arrogant or felt so self deserving as a lot of mostly new “cuban” immigrants are.  I’m selling off properties keeping only one in Miami and moving back to Hollywood.

Posted on 09/19/2012 at 12:47 PM

aaron says:

listen i’m cuban and i understand. If i lived in an area an all the americans moved out i wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone. Maybe a mechanic can’t explain to me what’s wrong with my car,or just having a simple conversation with a stranger.I like speaking english why should an american have to be bilingual to get a job?

Posted on 02/23/2013 at 10:57 AM

Peter says:

Matt, I am not Hispanic either. But I just go with the flow and enjoy it! Why can’t you? Are you xenophobic?

Posted on 03/04/2013 at 5:47 PM

Katie says:

I am a white American nurse from Connecticut, my husband and I moved to Miami and I am having a hard time adjusting. I am working in Hialeah, which is densely Hispanic and I find it frustrating to communicate at work to my patients, and even my coworkers seem irritated that I do not speak Spanish. Spanish seems pretty much required to work in healthcare here, I think I am just going to stop working and be at a stay at home mom until my husband is done with residency, and hopefully move up north to Tampa.

Posted on 03/07/2013 at 10:25 AM

Kenneth Willis says:

I was Born and raised in Mismi Purchased my home here. And have since traveled the world. Miami is no doubt one of the rudest most hostile places I’ve been in my travels. I have seen relatives and good friends move away from Miami Due to the
rudeness And hostility Towards non-Hispanics. Rudeness is rudeness Through out the planet. Why should I learn Spanish? Most all if not all Spanish
speaking countries are very disgusting places Third World countries. Why not learn German or Gaelic The Germans built this country. All things good come from the German mind.

Posted on 03/18/2013 at 9:00 PM

Lost in Miami says:

Matt, help!
I’ve been here for 2 years now and have had to say goodbye to a social life. Im a 30’s something nurse and unfortunately can’t leave Miami and am stuck here for now.
I’ve found Central Americans here more friendly toward non-Hispanics in general more than the typical Miamians but really am only concerned with meeting other English speaking and ok-with-American culture-kind of Americans. I have Midwestern roots & mainly grew up in NYC, so I’m used to the rainbow but haven’t been able to make ANY American friends here (regardless of color.)

I just want to have a conversation in English for Christ’s sake.
Are there any places to go for Americans? Thank you.

Posted on 05/27/2013 at 4:09 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Lost in Miami, your comment makes me kinda sad. I mean, it’s hard for Americans here, I totally empathize.

Do you play any sports or have any interests outside work? I think joining groups that do those things/play those sports might be a good first step. And what part of town do you live in? Some areas are far less friendly than others, and moving might be able to jumpstart your social life.

I’m guessing as a nurse you don’t have much time to take classes or so some second job. Those are also good ways, but with a demanding schedule that may not be an option.

Posted on 05/27/2013 at 4:37 PM

Lost in Miami says:

Matt thank you for our empathy.
I’m actually quite busy but am willing to make time for social activities, but a typical Northerner in that I’m not into sports. I have tried meet up groups online and that’s a good start, but no quality friendships thus far. I reside in Brickell and in spite of the sheer amount of neighbors in my building (28 floors) no one seems to be too friendly or enough to want to learn more about one another. I have attempted to strike up conversations with strangers for a couple of years now but can’t penetrate the local bubble. Even my classmates are quite rude constantly interrupting when I’ speaking but I don’t want to whine too much. I don’t mind that I’m the only non Cuban in my class, but they when I try to make friendships they don’t seem interested, but at this point I’ve given up on mingling. I have even considered crashing a synagogue just for some post temple schmoozing LOL .BTW, I’m tri racial and commonly get the ‘what are you or which country are you from question.’ Having said that, I’ve turned into a reverse expat LOL

We pay a mortgage so moving is out of the question. I went to a group meet in Broward once and liked it better than Miami but it’s a bit far away especially with my schedule. Classes are a good idea but every activity I’ve been to has been turned into a language barrier, communist reminiscing or a misogyny parade. I don’t mean to be insensitive but enough already. I visit Washington state quarterly and enjoy the diversity there but with an emphasis on assimilation. Even though I’m not a sports person there has got to be some places or neighborhoods or restaurants here. I don’t expect the midwest or NYC but I thought you may know of some places to meet other LOL like ourselves.

Posted on 05/27/2013 at 6:19 PM

Chris M says:

Hey Matt, sorry it took me so long to respond to you, but I didn’t get an email that I had comments from mine.  Yeah, it is pretty bad.  On top of that, because I am a bit older, it is also harder to get a position. And having a profession as a legal secretary, one must be fully bilingual.  Too much for me already.  I have been living on temp positions, unemployment has run out and I don’t know quite what to do anymore except go out on the road and stand iwth the bums begging for money. I was thinking of moving out of Miami, but without any way of moving, I’m stuck here with the family and three dogs.  I found out Florida’s official language is English, but because of the large hispanic population in Miami, they threw this out the window   I wonder why we cannot adopt what Quebec has done:  French is the official language there.  All signs on store fronts must be in French, and business conducted in French.  I wonder what would happen,  especially in Miami if that happened.

Posted on 05/27/2013 at 7:52 PM

ecobio says:

The issue with Miami is that the city has never been a strong source of employment.
No industry, not high-tech, beside some “health-related bubbles”, so only service sector, which includes banking-financial, tourism, etc. It is another typical USA bubble city, with no “real” economy. To make it worse, house pricing are one of hte highest in Florida, compared to what you get. A lot of Cubans with University degrees, so the underemployment is common, i.e. low wages. To the top of that, most of the kids of those latinos prefere to stay in the city, increasing the number of people with higher education competing for no-high-tech jobs. Funny, since Miami is portrayed as an anglo city by hollywood, so a lot of unawared WASP want, and some eventually, move down here to discover the above issues.  Apparently, there si no end to that.
Some latinos are starting to move up, to Broward.

Christy , you mentioned “the lack of datable guys”. Well, it depends on what you are looking for as a man in Miami. Based on the above description, there are a lot of Bachelors in Miami available. I’m one of them smile


(by the way, sorry the typos)

Posted on 11/20/2013 at 6:21 PM

Pip says:

I was born and raised in Miami. My parents are both from Cuba. However, they immigrated here over 50 years ago at a time when everybody was expected to learn English. Therefore I grew up in an English-speaking household and really only spoke Spanish with my grandparents and some other old people in my family.

I can definitely relate to a lot of the comments on here. It’s frustrating when I go to a store and the employees just start speaking to my in Spanish right off the bat. And I’m not talking about some local Cuban-owned business. This has happened to me in national retail chains. Then when I speak to them in English, they act like they’re doing me a favor by speaking English.

I can’t stand this place. I plan to move north as soon as I can afford it.

Posted on 01/08/2015 at 4:46 PM

mrrights says:

If you come to America learn the language or go home period..We dont owe you anything so be respectful. .And stop saying people have to be bilingual for a job…I am spanish but I speak English. .by not learning the language you put your self in a box , and you can never leave Miami because you wouldnt survive. .Your in America learn the language or go home if you want it to be just Spanish period…..,, OK

Posted on 03/02/2015 at 6:57 AM

The LA Kid says:

A transplant from Kansas has no more business being in Miami than a Venezuelan. I am a Californian and we hate transplants. All the thing the out-of-staters say about people in Miami, we say about transplants. LA is infested with wannabe actors and San Diego is overrun with Inbred Rednecks in the military; all from the mid-west and south.

Stay in your own states and you can avoid all these problems.

Posted on 05/17/2015 at 5:19 PM

Anonymous says:

Finally, someone with enough courage to speak the truth about Miami. I live in Atlanta and visited my friend one time who moved to Miami two years ago. OH HOLY HELL! WHAT A PIT! I spent eight days there in shock at what a third world country it resembled. I didn’t run into a single person who spoke English. Nor a single girl with blonde hair and blue eyes like myself. The language barrier was extreme. Just going through the fast-food drive-thru was a horrific experience. And oh my heavens, the shit holes of over-priced housing made me go into shock. When my friend lived here in Atlanta, she lived in a gorgeously appointed 1600 square foot townhouse, but when I visited her in Miami, the most she could get on her decent income was what one could equate to a 325 square foot, extremely run-down prison cell in Little Havana. She even had to park her car at an angle on the sidewalk. Unbelievable! Anyway, I was so disgusted with the entire place, I have not been back. I have no problem if anyone thinks I’m racist. The place is an absolute pit completely destroyed by the majority Latinos who live there. Shame on those in government who allow this.

Posted on 09/18/2015 at 11:46 AM

Hope says:

Latinos specifically Cubans are EXTREMELY racist towards Americans in Miami & they have gotten away with it for years thanks to the government.They come over here,get things for free,then gripe & moan about how horrible America & its people are then brag about how superior(lmfao)Cubans are.Id have to say from over a decade of experience, that most Cubans suffer from narcissistic personality disorder accompanied by grandiose delusions & are certifiably insane.

Posted on 09/26/2015 at 6:33 AM

Robert says:

I just came across this website a few minutes ago.  It’s wonderful to find a place where people tell the truth.  I moved to Miami from New York City 26 years ago.  Immediately upon arriving, I fell in love with a Cuban and was mostly happy under his “protection.”  When he died 4 years ago, I started seeing Miami in a totally different perspective.  I speak Spanish fairly well, so don’t think speaking the language is the solution.  It isn’t.  You will always be an outsider for most hispanics.  The arrogance and rudeness is truly something I can’t understand or accept.  Cubans dominate the job market so forget about getting a decent job unless you know someone.  No one is friendly and when you try to be, you receive major attitude and looks of disbelief.  Miami is outrageously expensive.  I live in a small efficiency behind someone’s house and I am a professional with a decent salary.  With each day I feel more and more out of place. I’m not ‘anti’ anything, I just don’t want to live in a place where I don’t feel wanted.  By the way, Miami is not a city at all.  It’s a glorified farm with buildings along the water.  There are no feelings of being in a real city.  For that NYC or Chicago is much better.

Posted on 11/11/2015 at 1:28 PM

Arthur Hornblower says:

Came, stayed for 6 years, had a kid and fled. All of Dade county, and Broward south of 595, is exceptionally racist against anglophones. I’m sure some individual will say “I speak English and I make $120k a year so you suck” but that’s the exception, not the rule. By the time I left, I had realized that the city was infested with dogs. Violent, noisy, traveling in packs, vicious dogs. Dogs driving 7 series BMWs. It’s so bad. They would start barking at me in that filthy pig Latin: at Publix, Walmart, Sams Club, Walgreens ... I would bark back “woof woof woof”. The public schools run regular classes (Math, Science, History, etc) in Spanish, and favor the Spanish language classrooms. I didn’t want my kid getting second rate teachers, teased in a foreign language, or knifed, so I left. I won’t be back, except maybe to drop a duce on the sidewalk. What a dump. Fuck you Miami.

Posted on 01/26/2016 at 7:13 AM

Fed Up says:

The same thing has happened in Los Angeles and Southern California.  All of the same issues. The difference is, Southern California (20 million) is sliding into third world status. The economy continues to become an unskilled, low paying workforce. Education levels are dropping, with high school drop out rates increasing.  And the system is unable to cope with the sheer numbers of needy people.

The futute of America.  This is why the immigration issue is a hot topic.

Posted on 04/02/2016 at 9:33 AM

a hispanic accepting we are not nice people. reaso says:

reason miami will never be like quebec is because miami is corrupt as any cuban, colombian, venezuelan country. I am hispanic as they come, live in brickell so dont call me a bigot hispanics , you know the truth . we all come from fuched up countries becuause our culture fucked them up. We have a low social code of standard, try crossing the road and driving in miami. so dont be so hiprocritical when someby “white” speaks the truth!1 you know he is right and deep down we feel inferior to the americans which is why we love to push back criticisms and proud we turned an american city into a hispanic wonderland, we gave the yankees a good poke in the eye. amigos latinos ......sabemos q nuetra cultura es de come mierdas…asi que ahora te quedas en miami y te jodes cabrones….american people, the spanish here are afraid to leave miami, we know what we are and outside of this bubble we are nothing and no, you are not racist. un abrazo. enrique martinez de vargas….toma latino!!!

Posted on 05/29/2016 at 6:45 PM

Rene Brunes-de-Montlouet says:

As a Canadian-Hispanic , being blessed to have grown up speaking both; English and Spanish as my first languages but more important than languages being able to grow up bi-culturally. I fully understand both sides. I can see and understand how hard it may be for a white of non hispanic descent to feel frustrated and viceversa, as much as i love my backrgound id rather communicate in English unless im speaking to my relatives and in Miami as soon as they see that i am not white everyone thinks its okay to speak Spanish to me and it bugs me.
However, the whole Spanish and English clash in the USA does not fully overwhelm me and it will never have me picking sides. In a perfect and ideal America I would hope thst Hispanics would keep the language but let go of some cultural ideologies and From Anglo-Americans i would wish and hope that they could for once understand that Florida, Texas and Western States have been Latino for so many decades prior to being “American” so they should pressure less, in fact i wouldnt mind English being a mandatory and the only language in the 13 oroginal colonies but as far as all the Latin States, those latino roots should defintely be honoured and respected (as far as language goes).

Now, the illegal immigration topic is a total different topic.

Posted on 06/04/2016 at 12:23 PM

Matt says:

Left Miami behind 6 years ago to go to school and I have never looked back. That place is the land of disrespect and bigotry. Most of my family and friends still live there. With that being said, I frequently visit to see family members. If it weren’t for family and friends, it is safe to say I would NEVER visit that swamp ass of a pit. I mean, it has gotten SO much worse over the years, and I don’t necessarily mean because people don’t speak English. Look outside the box, Miami is no better than a Detroit, Cleveland, etc. Oh sure, it has palm trees and hot weather for 10 months out of the year. Is that necessarily a good thing? To top it off, the people there are not just rude and arrogant, they seem mentally insane. Miami is the land of lunatics. I wouldn’t mind if a hurricane hit that place.

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