What’s the real United States?
- New York City museums and taxis?
- Kansas City barbecue and stepping out in the Power and Light District?
- Ft. Collins, Colorado, beer and bikes?
- East Texas two-step and hunting?
- New Orleans chicory coffee and jazz?
- Southern California beaches and freeways?
The point is, the United States is diverse. We have no national language, every state has its own signature dishes, and our musical style cannot be defined.
Each state’s path to statehood has been different, and the unique history and culture of each state is different. In our series on this topic, you can read about the varied adventures, the heroes, and the quagmires each state’s story includes as we follow the state from colonial or territorial roots to full statehood. The legal differences, the cultural differences, and the historical differences add up to a different statehood for each one.
So when people talk about Puerto Rico involving a different kind of statehood, or about Puerto Rico being different from the other states, we have to wonder…
Have they visited many states? Or are they sitting in Montana, unaware of how gloriously different Montana is not just from Puerto Rico but also from Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, and Alaska.
Each of the 50 states is a wonderful tapestry made up of the many different cultural influences it has absorbed during its own unique history, both before and after statehood. Each state has a different geography, geology, economy, and biology, and those factors also make each state different. The climate, the arts, the sights and sounds and smells, the religious traditions, even the language is different from one state to another.
The idea that Puerto Rico is somehow more different from Florida than Utah is cannot be supported by facts. Each of the states that currently makes up the rich tapestry of the United States is different from all of the others. And yet, as Americans, we share an identity and a reality that includes the territory of Puerto Rico, and will benefit from the inclusion of the state of Puerto Rico.