Let me be honest… as a Puerto Rican who spent 15 years serving her country, it bothers me when I hear people talking about if Puerto Rico should or shouldn’t be a state. My reason for saying that is mainly because the reactions and opinions that some people have about the topic usually come accompanied by insults and racist comments. So, as much as I want to be part of the conversation, I tend to disassociate myself from it to not allow people’s reaction to affect me.
But the question is still there and, whether I like to get involved or not, some people still want to get an answer. Does Puerto Ricans want to be a state? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask me, the answer will be yes. Why? Because, in my opinion, we need to put an end to the status quo that we have been living in and be able to finally hold our heads high and be treated as the U.S. citizens that we are.
But, again, that’s my humble opinion because, if you ask another person, the answer may be slightly different.
For example, if you ask a Puerto Rican athlete, or a sports fanatic if they want Puerto Rico to become a state, they may have a problem with it because our athletes and the people who follow them love the way our flag looks at the Olympics. And knowing that our athletes live and train for that moment makes it difficult for some people to stomach the idea of losing that privilege.
The truth is that Puerto Ricans are very proud of their flag and knowing that becoming a state will jeopardize their right to wave their “Monoestrellada” during one of the most important events in an athlete’s life will prevent them from making a nonemotional decision when it comes to voting for statehood.
On the other hand… If you ask the people that support independence for Puerto Rico, they will tell you no. Their argument is... how can someone tell me what to do in my own house? They believe that Puerto Rico and its people can be more successful with the ability to decide on their own what is better for them instead of having the U.S. controlling what they can or can't do.
So again, to answer the “should Puerto Rico be a State” question… yes, some people want Puerto Rico to become a state but, on the other hand, there are many who are against it. And, who can blame them? I mean, look how we are treated… like second class citizens. Even Puerto Ricans who spent the majority of their lives serving their country get treated like they had no business being in the U.S. Military.
Isn’t that horrendous? The way Puerto Ricans have been treated all these years? Like we don’t matter? Now, I ask you… what can we do about that?
Alex M., Haines City, FL