Black Lives Matter Puerto Rico

If you are "Hispanic" and haven't cancelled the idea that Latinx can't be racist, I'd bet $5 that you were systemically taught to believe that Latin Nationalism is going to solve all economic fragility... or maybe you haven't figured out that you're racist yet.

Recently Loiza, Puerto Rico joined in the Black Lives Matter protests by embracing Afrocentric traditions like Bomba y Plena as the city rallies. We ask ourselves as Boricuas what it looks like outside of slum tours for Puerto Rican blackness to see the same dances when we examine the appropriation of blackness in regards to black mobility.

Post slavery the Latinx began abiding by the Mexican Caste system prototype for "cultural integration" as mobility, in many places, at much later dates than African Americans experienced post slavery industrialization to build the corporate republic that stands today, only to parallel the propagated idea of Taina over BLACK whether its to Mejorar La Raza or prioritize decolonization. America's version of racism today exists in mobility paradigms as "black issues" and "diversity programs." In America's back yard, Puerto Ricans were in fact slaves first. In Loiza, specially, it was first place Cristobal Colon's people landed first on the island, however not identifying as black has also served as a catalyst to disadvantage black people who are almost solely dependent on the impact of census inclusion.

After learning more people died in Hurricane Maria than 9/11 at a much later date than the original calculation, receiving significantly less than Houston in FEMA relief, schools being shutdown, earthquakes, losing LLC based jobs, bonds failing because the government has bankrupted the economy, and rebuilding broken infrastructure that has no protection against natural disaster, PUERTO RICANS ARE EXTREMELY RELIANT ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS. Addressing the reality of blackness starts with recognizing we are far from being our own nation economically. In Loiza, only 38% of the town population identify as black. With a storied history of testing birth control on poor illiterate black women and policies dating back to crown like Gracias Al Sacar ( petitioning the crown for legal whiteness to obtain capital) many are scared of appropriating their blackness as a societal norm knowing how disproportionately disadvantaged they will be.

For this same reason a candle light vigil was held at protests to recognize this "inclusionary" issue's impact in police brutality and property rights. In remembrance of Adolfina Villanueva, a 34 year old black mother of six who was shot by police for refusing eviction of her land that would be acquired by the catholic church. In this sense when we dance in our African it's to say Black Lives Matter even though there is no data on police brutality against Afro Boricuas, because to the government we are just algorithm bias and checkboxes. We have been taught not to include ourselves at the table. But today we recognize the Black Americans still living in shacks as the ones taking a step in the right direction for the same Latininidad that was built on the backs of black people. Even if they white washed political Reggaeton's black social commentary before making it pop culture, even if they kill us, it's our job to stay black and be socially aware of bottom up economics.


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