Monday, June 13, 2011

My Situation with The Puerto Rican Day Parade

The Puerto Rican day parade was yesterday. I have never been. So this is my perception and my cynical and often haterific (informed hate. Not just hate for hate’s sake) take on the situation. I had to use an image of Diddy at the parade because who loves Puerto Ricans more than Diddy?

I have always resented the fact that the non-Puerto Rican, black community (yes there are black Puerto Ricans and I hate that I had to add that but I did) loves this parade so much. Mainly black men who want to check out lots of Puerto Rican girls all in one place. As I have gotten older it doesn’t annoy me as much as it used to. But that is more due to my general older person fatigue with the issue and not because I don’t still think that black people’s (mostly men) worship of this parade is bullshit. Black people like Puerto Ricans because they aren’t black, yet they are more accessible than white people. They have flavorful food and music and sometimes similar style and similar societal issues to black people so you can’t really be accused of selling out if you date a Puerto Rican.  They are people of color but not black (not the ones they are looking at anyway) so it’s like this perfect middle ground. But how come black people don’t run to the African American day parade in droves? How come so many don’t come from out of state for the Caribbean day parade? (My cousin and some of his cousins once drove up from Maryland and stayed at my parent’s house to go to the Puerto Rican day parade. But he was half Puerto Rican so it’s ok.)

I once heard a radio DJ say Puerto Ricans and Blacks should stick together because we are all the same. I’m paraphrasing of course but um… NO. If you are a dreamer then you can say all people are the same or all people are children of God or we are all brothers and sisters if you are into that kinda thing but why just blacks and Puerto Ricans? Black people want to claim anyone that ain’t black because it just seems better than what we have going for ourselves. Maybe it’s partially due to our insecurity about not having our own language (don’t say ebonics..i’ll kill you, and Spanish doesn’t belong to Puerto Ricans but you know what I mean. The Spanish might say that Puerto Ricans don’t know Spanish either but that’s another post for a different person to write) or maybe it is because we are uninformed about our own culture and history because it was stolen from us and most of us haven’t really tried to get it back (I am by no means suggesting one should try to trace their roots back to Africa. But acknowledge that you have your own roots and stop trying to latch on to other people’s). It’s part of the same insecurity that makes Caribbean’s cling so hard to their individual island identities or that makes Africans terrified to be associated with black Americans. Puerto Rican people don’t walk around saying yes we are black it’s the same thing. And their Puerto Rican daddies don’t want their daughters with black dudes. They don’t even like Dominicans but that too is another post for another person to write.

I have love for all cultures and I like to learn about and enjoy aspects (mostly food) from other cultures.. I have no beef with Puerto Ricans. I spent my 30th birthday in Puerto Rico and had a blast. I think pride for your own culture is a beautiful thing but Black people should explore why they love Puerto Rican and other cultures so much more than they respect their own.

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