Frustrations

170920085902-hurricane-maria-puerto-rico-1280x720

Before we all die I just want to say…

I haven’t been able to put a full blog post together since my last vague statement. It’s been hard to write largely because I feel a little lost. When there is too much to say it feels like it’s all babble and then key points get missed which makes it feel like I have nothing to say.

I would love to tell you that my lack of writing is a protest of some sort, like I’m taking a knee at the computer but you know what? There is a part of me that thinks that much of this shit we saw on television this weekend is just crap and I don’t even watch football. I feel like we are getting played because taking a knee is now viral thing and the message is now lost. Look, I’m all for pissing off 45 but I’m not here for making a mockery of the original message about police brutality and inequality. (I needed to get that out of the way)

Puerto Rico is suffering and it feels like no one really cares. Yea, I know people care but where is the round the clock coverage of the “Hurricane Maria Aftermath”? The media could not wait to break out all the graphics and experts for Harvey and Irma. They had people on the ground getting blown by terrifying winds. Maria walked right in and destroyed Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and they are just now paying attention to this? Fuck outta here. But I guess colonies don’t get the media attention that might negatively impact tourism.

Where is the governmental response? Please, don’t sit there reading this and expect some last minute miracle because I gotta tell you, Puerto Rico has always been seen as the runt of the litter when it come the U.S. colonies. You can go back to the early 20th Century and comb through tons of articles in the New York Times and read how politicians viewed this island and the natives. Puerto Rico has always been a chip on the board and notch in the belt of American Imperialism. Of course, the island is in debt so perhaps had they paid Wall Street this would be different? Disaster Relief has it’s cost.

Sure, 45 is releasing funds to help with relief but after how many days? Did you know that Puerto Rico cannot receive foreign aid because of the Jones Act? This Merchant Maritime law of 1920 (aka The Jones Act) basically states that cargo from another country cannot be dropped off in Puerto Rico and has to be shipped to the mainland in order to be shipped to the island. This is the dumbest thing ever and you want to know why this happened? Puerto Rico is a territory owned and regulated by the Unites States where it forever remains a colony to exploit.

Yes, a colony as in Colonization…as in the island is free to not be free. Remember that when you see the tiny bit of coverage about Puerto Rico. Just know that at one point in time they tried to sterilize women because they felt we needed population control. All of a sudden we expect help even though there are 3 million American citizens on that island?

Ugh! I get so frustrated every time we have to remind people that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. I, now, feel that I need to take this break to remind all of you that Flint, Michigan still does not have clean drinking water. So even the reminder about the rights of certain American citizens hits deaf ears.

Puerto Ricans will get through this, I know we will.  It will be the hardest thing our people will have to face in recent history. I encourage everyone to give time, money, supplies, or all of the above. I know it’s hard because I feel helpless. Everyone has a charity or an idea and it is a bit overwhelming so you’re going to have to some research and go with the best answer (no… The American Red Cross is not that answer) you can.

The point is we need to do something. Waiting is not an option.

Advertisements

Yes, 4 More Years

You know, I started this blog in 2009 — two days after Barak Obama was inaugurated. I felt so much hope for the country, for my students, and for my own life (which was in turmoil at that time). So I like to think that this blog lives on during his presidency in some small way. It also made me think that I needed to get back to who I am…which is a writer.

That hope that I have for myself and my continuing journey has seen a lot of hardship along the way. I have doubted myself and many times almost succumbed to fear. Yet, I have turned on the television and see the leader of the free world and know that I have to keep working at it. I need to continue to believe in myself. Even more importantly, I think about how many young boys and girls are going to grow up knowing a Black man will be president for 8 years of their life. That stark reality is amazing to me.

Of course, the fact that Obama is getting another 4 years does not excite everyone. This is a deeply divided country, in which, he did win the popular vote but that is just by a little more than 1% more than poor Mitt Romney. While the GOP is reeling, there are tons of unhappy conservatives who are making it known that they do not want a nigger in the White House. These are things that I simply cannot make up and while most of these people may be ignorant, these were the people that also came out in full force against Obama (and not necessarily for Mittens). That is why I had a bad feeling but I suppose I was just being overly cautious.

The truth of the matter is that I said it all along, this is a race issue. When the networks were analyzing the data they came up with some staggering numbers about the white vote. While I may be off in my numbers, the percentage of white votes dropped about 8% from 2008 white Latino voters increased about 10%. When we are talking about millions of people…that is a huge amount. There is no secret that people of color came out in full force. The funny thing is that this is no longer a voting trend. This is a fact that people of color are becoming more dominant in this country and in the political landscape. That is something that the GOP will have to figure out before 2016 because the extreme ideas about immigration and women’s right will not fly anymore and that is not even considering gay marriage.

Times are changing because Latinos will eventually force states like Texas to turn from a red state to a blue state. Gay Marriage is upon us faster than anyone anticipated and I am all for it. There is now even legalized Marijuana in Colorado and while I am against that particular issue, the fact of the matter is that this is what people voted for. These are things I never thought I would see in my life time and that also included the proposition of Puerto Rico to become a the 51st State. I can be very vocal on this issue of Puerto Rico, but I will save it for another time.

All of this makes me think about where I will be in 4 years. While I have pretty much done what I said I was going to do this year, there are still more goals that I have to reach. There are still some plateaus that need to crossed. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to…and when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, all I have to do like that our President and realize that he has accomplished his goals…so that means I can accomplish mine.

Black Puerto Ricans

In my quest to educate the masses, I must remember to not get to repetitive with my posts. However, I will always be adamant in talking about Afro Latinos because clearly I am one and I feel that people need to understand what it means to be a Black Latino.

Of course, I have gone on record saying that all Latinos are Black and I will stick to that. African influences are very evident in culture and in history, so there really is no sense in denying this fact. So, when I find a little tidbit of what I have been talking about, I like to share.

During my late night Flan consuming, a good friend, shows me this site called EL BORICUA . This is a monthly online newsletter that promotes the history and culture of Puerto Ricans. What I like about this site is that is seems to be pretty simple. You have your basic website with information on food, culture, and history. Even has Latino related ads (wish I had some…I need to contact Google). So I am looking at the pictures in general and I don’t see anyone that looks dark. That was until I clicked on the AfroBorinquen Culture (Black Puerto Ricans).

This link provides good lesson on the history of African Slaves in Puerto Rico. While, it does not go into the Taino Indians and what was done to them, I was very excited about what I read. For far too long, the African influence in Puerto Rico goes unsaid. When, I visited the Island a few years back, I felt like I was home.

Not to say there there is no racism in Puerto Rico, because that is not the case either. Awhile back, I came a across an article written by Reggaeton Artist Tego Calderon who writes a very good article about skin color being a serious issue in Puerto Rico. I didn’t mention it before because I wanted to wait for the right time. Which ends up being perfect to wrap up the last day of Black History Month.

Latinos need to be mad aware the roots of their culture. So I will make sure that will do my part in make sure that everyone is aware of the influence that Africans have had on us. Here is an expert from the AfroBorinquen Culture link:

“Part of the undisputed African legacy on the Puerto Rican culture includes a peculiar speech pattern. The West Africans brought to the island spoke “bozal” Spanish, a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and Congo – much like the poem excerpt on this page. Many Puerto Ricans have the habit of swallowing the “s,” and often pronounce the “r” as an “l”. This is because in the African tongue there is no “s” or “r” sound.”

March is finally here…