Someone once said- if you want to hide something from a black man- put it in a book. I went to google the name of that said person but nothing. In any event, at this point it doesn’t matter who said but that it was said.
So in response to the massive population on twitter who are unaware that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and to the outrage of the others of the slow response time to the help the humanitarian crisis on the island after Hurricane Maria- I’d like to remind you all that 1- we’re citizens and 2- The Govt never gave a fuck about us.
So here’s a quick recap of a few important dates: And REMEMBER these because I will come back to them as we move along narrative of the island.
*One July 25, 1898, the US invaded PR during the Spanish American war and has since dominated the island militarily, politically and economically.
*In 1901 the Supreme courts defined PR as “foreign to the US but in the domestic sense”.
*In 1971 Congress granted US citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico but the island remained territory of the US- no representation in the House or Senate was granted for these newly appointed citizens of the US. We can’t vote for a president or vice president of the US.
I have a Puerto Rican birth certificate and a certified US passport. At this point in time it is my duty to #EducateTheMasses on my homeland and her history. There will come a day when Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico will be considered history and the white narrative will be the version told in schools. Let’s not allow that to happen.
Below are some excerpts from the truth hidden in a book about Puerto Rico in the year 1899. The island has always been seen as a source of revenue for govt and lobbyists.
Report Under Circular №10 Division of Customs and Insular Affairs
PUERTO RICO, Embracing the Rpoerts of Brig. Gen. Geo W. Davis, Military Govenor, War Department, Division of Customs and Insular Affairs, 1899
Instructions from Washington to the military stationed in San Juan:
Washington, March 25, 1899
“Department commanders in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines will report upon present civic conditions in their respective department and while including the subjects outlines herein will not necessarily confine investigations to these limits, the object of this circular being to obtain the latest reliable information, statistical and other commercial resources of the island.”
“…..together with the general observations as to the opportunities for investment”
Excerpt from the first page of the report from San Juan to Washington:
San Juan, September 19, 1899
“Since this memorandum was prepared the island was visited by a storm of exceptional violence, which has devastated a large part of the same and has destroyed a large amount of property”
“The incidental effect is to curtail importations, therefore the revenue. It is now a serious problem, the raising of revenues adequate to the maintenance of orderly government.”
Sounds familiar? Well it should. Although the word for that “storm with exceptional violence” was not yet termed as hurricane in 1899, the view of the island as a source of revenue for the “maintenance of orderly government” is not new. The current administrations response to the humanitarian crisis was not the same as that of those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma in Florida and Texas. Jones Act waiver was immediate.
It could simply be because both Florida and Texas are republican states. I don’t know but I could be wrong. They have votes in the presidential elections. Puerto Rico — — well not to much.
Our current sitting president in 2017 had this to say this about the Jones Act waiver to PR:
The Jones Act of 1917 prohibits any non US flagged vessel to dock in PR. This causes any imported goods to be priced 15–20% higher than those same goods are priced on the mainland.
Economics 101 indicates that if you open free trade in PR, allowing for other sources of goods to enter the market- perhaps at cheaper prices- those same US Shippers would loose massive profits. But that’s not the rules that the US plays- so the Jones Act it is. It leaves Puerto Rico on its knees constantly begging Uncle Sam for help. Because we’re legally not allowed to ask anyone else.
Profits over saving lives. Its the good old American way since 1899.
© 2017, Lopez. All rights reserved.