FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

As It Regards the Ones We’ve Lost

This is how they become citizens.[1] They turn 22 and move to Florida. Once they get a degree. Once they realize there really isn’t much to do with a degree around here that they couldn’t already do without one. Once they finally tire of preachers preaching damnation; of politicians relying on preachers’ counsel for policy making; of random, everyday acts of discrimination that occur with relentless impunity.

Randomness here means it’s systemic.

It’s no wonder then that we have yet to mourn them in the same dignified and moving manner that the international community has responded to their deaths. Puerto Rico is not really a part of the international community. It has no power—independent of the US Congress—to enact its own laws. At present, its people will be subjected to the whims of a seven-member fiscal oversight board, to be appointed by the U.S. President, with powers no elected Island official has ever had in the Island’s political history.

Power here means empire.

This is why they’ve been leaving in record numbers. They turn 22 and move to Florida, where they’re killed in record numbers, on account of the same wicked randomness they sought to get away from. Because at 22 in Puerto Rico they stand to make $4.25 an hour. Because at 22 in Puerto Rico the government really has no real interest in protecting them from domestic, everyday threats and no real power to protect them from imperial violence. Because at 22 in Puerto Rico they couldn’t really claim to be citizens, at least not in the same way their fellow citizens in Florida can claim it from birth. Now a National Tragedy has claimed them in a manner in which neither Federal law nor American culture has ever called on us to belong.

Tragedy here means empire as well.

As does belonging.

This is why we mourn them even when we are not really part of anything, domestic or international. We mourn them because our government failed to protect them. We mourn them because being 22 years old and gay on the Island is a dangerous enterprise if one rises every day to face the world with dignity.

In the colony, the “world” is often thought of as the U.S. After all, that is where you go if you want to be a citizen for real. But, in reality, the world in the colony is so tiny and beautiful and heartbreaking, it fits in a dance club.

Notes.

[1] Rankine, Claudia

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: Usa Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail