Past, Present… But the Future Can Change

In 1951, a geography prof from Ohio wrote this about Puerto Rico:

Never enjoying the advantages of statehood… Puerto Rico has been all but ignored by the United States. Too valuable to be let go, not important enough to demand equal rights, not desiring to be independent, Puerto Rico suffers under the misunderstandings of American leadership.

Puerto Rico still does not enjoy the advantages of statehood.  Puerto Rico is not being ignored by the United States, but still doesn’t have the same kind of voice in the government that States have, and is still treated unequally by the federal government, compared with States.

Puerto Rico continues to be valuable to the U.S., but we do not agree that Puerto Rico is “not important enough to demand equal rights.”  Times have changed since 1951, and we as Americans no longer think that some people are more important than others.  With 3.7 million U.S. citizens on the Island and another 5 million people of Puerto Rican heritage living in the States, it is ludicrous to suggest that Puerto Rico should not demand equal rights.  Indeed, Puerto Rico should have equal rights without having to demand them.

Puerto Rico still does not want to be independent.  Independence has never reached more than 6% of the popular vote in Puerto Rico, and there is no reason to think that independence will be more popular in the upcoming referendum.

But Puerto Rico no longer needs to suffer under any misunderstandings.  It becomes increasingly clear that statehood is the right choice.  There is no reason that Puerto Rico cannot now enjoy the advantages of statehood.

It is not 1951 any more.  We can’t go backwards, so let’s move forward.  Tell your legislators that you want to see Puerto Rico receive civil rights.

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