Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, shaded her eyes from the afternoon sun on the corner SW 27th Avenue and 8th Street. Hundreds of contractors were arrayed behind her on idling backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, and dump trucks. Replete in hardhat and safety vest, Miller lowered the schematics she held in her hands and glared at the Little Havana mural.
“It’s all gotta go!” she yelled over her shoulder. “Tear it down!”
The phalanx of heavy construction equipment lumbered forward and set about unceremoniously demolishing their immediate surroundings. Little Havana residents fled into the streets as their houses collapsed around them.
Miller had earlier declared that, “If you come to America you should assimilate. Why do we need a Little Havana?” And she’d be damned if she didn’t put her words into action.
“This is all useless ethnic bullshit,” she said, temporarily dropping the sledgehammer she’d violently applied to a Celia Cruz mural. “It’s of absolutely no value to the country and only serves as an obstacle to immigrants…” she stopped to vomit on Willy Chirino’s Walk of Fame star.
“Sorry,” she explained. “Happens every time I use that word.”
Miller took a swig from a water bottle, thoroughly rinsed her mouth, and spat onto the Bay of Pigs plaque.
“Anyway,” she continued. “These clichéd cultural tokens only stop ‘those people’ from becoming fully Americanized U.S. citizens.”
We walked down 8th Street as Miller nonchalantly rolled firebombs into Sentir Cubano, Ball & Chain, the Tower Theater, and Cubaocho.
“I apologize if I don’t sufficiently mispronounce these names,” began Miller. “Azucar will be replaced by a Haagen-Dazs, President Supermercado by a Whole Foods, and Cuban Memorial Park by Confederate Memorial…”
She stopped dead in her tracks before Máximo Gómez Park, visibly shaking in anger.
“Fuck. All. Of. This,” she muttered between clenched teeth.
Miller removed an emergency gas mask and tear gas canister (“Never leave home without them!” she explained) from her Prada Saffiano leather mini-bag. She placed the former on her face and flung the latter into Domino Park.
A handful of older Cuban men stumbled out, coughing violently. Several collapsed onto the sidewalk. Miller strode purposefully past them, kicking over domino tables and septuagenarians as she went. She signaled to a nearby construction worker, who mauled the entrance gate with a quick swipe of his backhoe.
“Much better!” exclaimed Miller. “From now on, this’ll be Parcheesi Park!”
When informed that parcheesi is derived from a traditional Indian game called pachisi, Miller frowned and waved me away.
“Indians live in teepees,” she retorted. “They don’t play board games.”
Back on SW 27th Avenue, Miller explained her grand plans for the neighborhood.
“Everything between Flagler, 37th Avenue, and the Miami River will be leveled for a new Mall of the Americans. We’ll need at least three Dave & Busters, 12 Applebee’s, and 25 Cheesecake Factories. We’re rebranding the whole area as Little Columbus, Ohio.” Miller choked up and wiped away a tear. “It’ll be beautiful.”
When asked what would happen to the thousands of residents presently living in the neighborhood, Miller shrugged.
“We’ll just toss them into cages with the other Mexicans.”
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