“Yo no nací en Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico nació en mi.”
“I wasn’t born in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico was born in me.”
dear tío rubèn blades:
what up homie? so i read your interview on variety latino. your comments about the role latinos play in the current political landscape were both insightful (i am always learning from you) and hella fucked up (i learned something new about what you think about boricuas born and raised on the mainland.)
here is an except of the interview:
Variety: What role do Latinos have in what is currently happening in politics?
Ruben: Look, I am not an American citizen, I am a legal resident and residents do not allow us to vote. Yes, they want my taxes, but I can not vote. That’s the difference between a Latin American like me who resides in the United States, and people who are sons and daughters of immigrants in the United States.
this response speaks so much truth and highlights the complexities of latino identity in america. pero tío, i gotta say that you should have just stopped there but you didn’t. you went on to say:
“When Jennifer Lopez says that she is Latina, I say, ‘No, she’s from New York’, she’s as American as Trump. …You do not walk around saying that [Robert] De Niro’s Italian … Marc Anthony also, he was born in New York. There is a difference.”
SERIOUSLY!!! surely, you could have continued to make your point about the complexities of latino identity without minimizing and chipping away at the identity of boricuas, specifically a boricua woman. THAT SHIT MAKES YOU LOOK HELLA SEXIST HOMIE. to be fair, you did the same minimizing of marc anthony (who is also boricua) but you didn’t compare his identity to trump. I DON’T EVEN HAVE THE PATIENCE TO UNWRAP THE TRUMP COMPARISON because it’s friday and i am just tryna chill and drink until i blackout. but really tío? it’s like that homie? man, if you had compared the late and great selena, who was also born and raised in america and spoke limited spanish, you would have had to delete your twitter account by 8am this morning because baby, you would have read for filth!
now let me tell you why your points are hella offensive - to me at least, as a boricua. i have been in more than enough spaces with non-boricua/non-carrieban latinos, who came at my neck about because i wasn’t “latino” enough because boricuas have it “easier” than other latinos. I KNOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT TRUE but again, it’s friday and blah, blah, blah. i have also had non-carrieban latinos make fun of not just my ability to speak spanish but how all boricuas speak spanish. i imagine that this is not a surprise to you. i know that it doesn’t. you were just trippin’ yesterday.
because i love, honor and respect you and your legacy, i am gonna chalk this up to those moments when we all have when we speak faster than our brains can formulate, process and check our biases. we all have those moments and it is vital that friends, comrades and familia hold us with live while holding us accountable. this letter is just exactly that. but tío, let me also remind you and the other non-carribean latinos who stay minimizing the identity of boricuas…being boricua runs through my veins, it is in my heart and shows up in my warrior spirit so don’t come for us.
louie a. ortiz-fonseca
- louie a. ortiz-fonseca