14 December 2010
The Puerto Rican Experience
I decided to take this class because I wanted to extend my knowledge about my heritage and also that of others. My mother is of American-born but of Nicaraguan and Puerto Rican descent. My father is also American-born, and is of African American descent.
One of the most exciting sections of the course in my own opinion was the Puerto Rican experience. Prior to taking this interesting course, I had watched a very shocking and disturbing documentary about the Puerto Rican experience in New York. I was very surprised to learn how the Puerto Ricans were treated. I also was surprised to find out that they had been sterilized in large numbers.
The Spanish American war in 1898 ended Spanish rule over the Puerto Rican people. This was the starting point for Puerto Ricans in the United States. I thought it was interesting that although Puerto Ricans are granted partial citizenship from birth - they cannot vote for a United States president election. It is also crazy to know that while the Puerto Rican population has one representative in the senate - they cannot cast a vote. Once a Puerto Rican moves to the United States, they gain access to full citizenship. I learned about the Jones act in 1917 though the readings and the lectures. The Jones Act is what made it possible for the Puerto Rican people to become citizens. I found it very suspect that Puerto Rican were made into citizens of the United States right before the draft for World War II, and interestingly enough my great grandfather on the Puerto Rican side of my family served in that war.
What I really didn’t like about the Puerto Rican experience with the colonialism that was present was the fact that the Puerto Rican people became a ‘social laboratory‘. The people were used as guinea pigs for new technologies, new medical procedures, and even pills. I thought that the documentary titled, “La Operacion” really did an... [continues]
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