A Florida Republican called the announcement by some celebrities that they would boycott the state over its “Stand Your Ground” law “silly at best.”
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said he was “disappointed and amazed.”
“You have a number of entertainers who, for example, have gone to the state’s sponsor of terrorism island which is Cuba. They’ve been there. They’ve hobnobbed with dictatorship. They don’t meet with the opposition. They don’t meet with the families of the political prisoners,” he said on Fox Business.
“But then some of them will say that you should boycott Florida, a land of freedom, a land where they can choose what they want to do and open businesses or opt to not open businesses. You know, the double standard is frankly pretty silly at best.”
Diaz-Balart said the brutality of Cuba shouldn’t just pique the celebs’ interest, but the racism.
“The things that Che Guevara said about blacks, he was an incredible racist. The things he said about Mexicans, the things that he said about, you know, how it doesn’t require evidence to execute people. The things that he said about wanting to nuke New York City and murder Americans — and yet, you have some of these shirts with his face on them,” the congressman said.
“…There is a rapper who has been in prison in Cuba because all he wants to do is sing his rap music. Jay-Z didn’t even want to meet with him? It’s really sad and that double standard is frankly destructive, dangerous and shows a little bit of ignorance, obviously.”
Diaz-Balart said he doesn’t think the boycott call will hit Florida hard.
“I mean, look, the state of Florida is doing better than most of the states in the country. Unemployment numbers are dropping much quicker than the rest of the country. Investment is increasing. Job creating is increasing. We appreciate good entertainment, but I think that we have to remember who these folks are,” he said. “They are entertainers. People appreciate them for their entertainment value. Not necessarily for their intellectual value. However, when they do things like hobnob with anti-American terrorist regimes then I think that that is when you draw the line.”