Monday, July 25, 2011

Puerto Rico: To Perceive Anything Else is Like an American Dream

"While teaching a college literature class in which I focused on colonization, post-colonial lit, Dominican students said Puerto Ricans had it easy. The Puerto Rican students got angry but they knew nothing about P.R., so they couldn't argue. I had to do the Puerto Rican history lessons and the Dominicans said "Oh, shit! You guys earned your citizenship!" -Odilia Rivera Santos FB Status

Indeed, what Puerto Ricans don't know can't hurt them. After all, it was 113 years ago, on July 25, 1898, that U.S ships landed in Guanica, Puerto Rico and the impression was that of greater things. As if Ancient Rome, in all its glory had re-emerged and planted its foot on the shores of the island promising to include it in its legacy. The great empire it was, but even the great Roman Empire came to a decline and fall. I would not wish upon such terms but would rather see a nation that could openly admit to its own transgressions. Unfortunately, saving face is of much greater concern. A cruelty, at the expense of millions, in light of worldly weakly appearance.

 Much can be said about the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico and so much has. Like the child that tells his story of abuse and goes totally ignored, Puerto Rico suffers its own story of being ignored. Puerto Rico's history is one of pain and suffering, of valor and sacrifice and of promises and misgivings. Sadly, 113 years later, it still remains a colony of the U.S. and the oldest colony in the world.

Nothing gained, much lost and so much potential. Unfortunately, colonialism has dominated the psyche of so many generations that to perceive anything else is like an American dream.

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