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Counting others

By Guernsey LePelley / November 14, 1983



According to someone's unofficial survey, travel agents are reluctant to recommend Miami as a vacation spot these days. Some statistics show that Miami may have been taken over by wildlife, but it isn't the Everglades. Much of the change is caused by Haitians, illegal Cubans, and other unfeathered people. About 2,000 Indians have moved in from the Everglades. But they are quite peaceful, mostly wrestling alligators and selling wallets and belts for a living.

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It is said, somewhat facetiously, that Miami is rapidly gaining the charm of a foreign city. The city has about the same number of Hispanics as it has non-Hispanic whites. The number for each is around 680,000. But Miami is one of the few places where blacks are considered ''Anglos'' not because blacks are necessarily whiter than Cubans, but because they speak Anglaise rather than Espanol.

The population also contains almost 15,000 Asians. But what adds to the confusion are 70,000 listed as ''others.''

As yet, we have not interviewed any of the people from Miami known as ''others.'' But since there are so many it is likely one or two will show up at Florida west coast airports reasonably soon. Without the actual designation on the passport identification may not be easy.

Americans are concerned that the fascination with minorities as separate and distinct, each with its own language and heritage, will cause irreparable damage to America's concept of nationhood.

This new, growing segment of the population known as ''others'' could be a blessing in disguise.