Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Puerto Rico Status: A Decision on Pride Alone?

Spring is in the air. I begin to think of what almost seems like a ritual to many. That is, the breaking out of the Puerto Rican flag and attaching it to a car or hanging it out a window. The t-shirts with cultural symbols alongside a flag begin to appear and New York City vendors begin to hawk every imaginable thing that can be emblazoned with a Puerto Rican flag. Just like spring, Puerto Rican pride is in the air.

Where do we go from here? The recent passing of the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009 (H.R 2499) has a lot to be considered. The real questions here begin with which, who, what and how do Puerto Ricans even begin to vote on a future plebiscite. Thinking about this time of year, the approach of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York , flag waving Puerto Ricans along the parade route, the various visiting groups and dignitaries from the island who march in the parade and the voices of many yelling "Puerto Rico"..."Boricua"...brings a lot to mind. Can pride be measured? Can pride alone be used to make a decision?

In a recent post, Libby Julia asks, "Puerto Rico Statehood: Who Decides?" I ask, " Puerto Rico Status: Who Decides?" The problem here is that there are those who will do all of aforementioned but when asked about some historical facts or figures they will be at a loss. When asked about cultural traditions they will shrug. When asked about the status issue they will answer based on the pride of the moment. How knowledgeable are people about that which they wave a flag for? How prepared are those who will be eligible to vote, on this plebiscite, to make a fair and educated decision on the future of what many consider a nation? The need to educate people about each status option should begin with a history lesson about the 112 year old relationship between the U.S and Puerto Rico.

This brings me to Arizona and the passing of the SB 1070 and I ask the same question that Ed Morales asks "Maybe in the short term it makes sense for Republicans to risk “bailing out” 4 million Puerto Ricans on the island, in exchange for shafting the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants on U.S. soil. But has it really come to this?" Now one need only know a bit about the U.S. and Puerto Rico relationship to understand that this could possibly be a cheap manuever. It doesn't take much to show approval for H.R. 2499 considering that Puerto Rico will foot the bill and ultimately, whatever Puerto Ricans decide, Congress can reject in the end.

Glenn Beck Unmasks Vast Marxist Puerto Rican Conspiracy To Dilute American Vote

This post is not to belittle but rather to invoke a desire to become educated about that which so many display pride in. Why? Because my love and passion for everything Puerto Rican runs deep.

And with that...
that a decision come not just from pride but from knowledge and understanding as well.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work, Efraín! Really enjoyed this article. Lets see how this issue finds its end, if it really ends. Opinions here in the island are split, but time will only tell what the future of our status will be.

    Un saludo,

    PS: I enjoy your blog a lot!