I have an ongoing love affair with the island of Puerto Rico. No matter where I am or who I am with, being Puerto Rican brings me joy and comfort. "I'm Puerto Rican" honors my ancestry and my culture; a reminder of the deeply rooted resilience that runs in my blood. This resilience and strength has guided me most of my life. It is because of this that my heart is broken by the devastation Hurricane Maria has left behind. And my anger grows uncontrollably to hear of hunger and further destruction on the island due to the negligence of those in "power," a consequence of the abusive relationship (or there lack of) Puerto Rico has always had with the United States.
I am angry and I don't know what to do with my rage. It worsens everyday. Puerto Rico has historically been abused by the United States. We are savages. We are second- class citizens. We are disposable. We are American and we are not. Not unlike our Black brothers and sisters in the racist United States of America. So it is not a surprise that this racist administration did not hastily respond and still has not to this humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico but has had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico's debt, a debt that is in fact not our own. This country's lack of response and compassion is to remind us all that they will always kick and spit on us while we're down. It is also not a surprise that Puerto Ricans in the mainland have not united in solidarity to make a statement and wake up those who have fallen asleep, complacent and comfortable with the illusion of the white savior.
The United States will not save us. I repeat: THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT SAVE US. So it is with much anguish and anger in my heart that I admit I am afraid of what the future holds for the beautiful island that gave birth to and raised my parents. But in times like these it's important to remember that our voice is all we have. When there is no money in your pocket, no connections or strings to pull, or in my case: a rage that is boiling over, all we have is our voice and it must never go silent.
I used my voice in the rally last night to let those listening or walking by, or watching on someone's instagram live, know that Puerto Rico is our land and even though resilient is what we have always been, enough is enough and we cannot stand for this injustice just as I can't stand for racial discrimination in the United States. Enough is enough, America and all of my fellow Nuyoricans. And even though I'm emotionally exhausted, even though I woke up today in tears, even though my heart is broken, I will NEVER STOP speaking up against injustice and the borderline genocide the U.S., the country that raised me, has inflicted on Puerto Rico, the island that made me who I am.