I lived almost 20 years in the U.S., spanning states from Nebraska to Texas to Mississippi. I traveled extensively through the South and Midwest, visited 31 states for at least a few days each and have spoken about Puerto Rico to people in virtually every state I visited. My appearance and name are those of a White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, the proverbial W.A.S.P., and to this day, I am often taken for “American,” sometimes even while I’m speaking “boricua.”
I can assure you of two things: The average American doesn’t know about or care a thing for Puerto Rico. And that as soon as I disclosed I was Puerto Rican, not “American,” many of them visibly changed their attitude towards me in a negative way. They didn’t need to think it through: it just happened. And that reaction consistently--sadly--permeates the entire fabric of the country.
To you statehooders whose “knowledge” of the U.S. is little more than a month’s visit to the Bronx or a couple of trips to Disney World: shut up. Just shut the hell up. You know as much about the U.S. as the average worm knows about nuclear physics. Understand this: the U.S. will not grant statehood to Puerto Rico. Ever. It is not a “right” We have earned, it is not a “debt” the U.S. has to pay and it is not their "obligation" to take on a nation (a concept you shamefully deny We have) as part of their republican federation because of a simple reason: it’s their house and they can say who comes in and who doesn’t.
The ignorance the average American has about Puerto Rico will quickly change to expertise based on a single issue: We are not like them. To the average American, We are not Americans. We are outsiders. Strangers. Parasites even. For though the U.S. was founded on humanistic ideals and principles, in fact, the ideals and principles are often expressed as “If you ain’t one of us, you don’t count and we don’t want you.”
If Puerto Rico ever descended to the level of asking for statehood, an act equivalent to kissing beneath the wallet that has bought us, the system says 37 States (three-quarters majority) have to approve the petition. It’s easier to find 37 States to vote against it. First off, no Southern state would approve. Strike Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina from the list. If you have to ask why, you’ve obviously never spent any time in those States.
Then take the large Western states, like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. These states are famous for having a strong sense of freedom, “America First” sentiment and a bewildering array of militia radicals. Their vote would be a resounding NO with nary a split-second’s thought. That makes 12, so one more “No” would scratch the infamy of statehood from consideration.
Take your pick: states in the extreme northeast—-Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire--as conservative as the winter is long. States such as North and South Dakota, or Minnesota or Kansas or Nebraska or Iowa or Oklahoma or Utah (lowest minority population of any state) that would see their puny representation overwhelmed by Puerto Rico’s in the House of Representatives, where the number of Fools is determined by population, not State seniority.
Which brings up the point about the House, whose number is set at 435. Unlike the Senate, which could rise to 102 Senators, Puerto Rico’s "representatives" would be taken from high-population states, namely California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. These states have high Hispanic minorities, but would the peoples of these states allow one of “their voices in government” to be taken from their control to be given to a fledgling state with a comparative poverty level that makes Mississippi look like Monaco?
And let’s not ignore the question of race. It matters. It matters a lot. Maybe 50 years from now, when the majority of the population of the U.S. is non-white, maybe it won’t matter as much. Or then again, it will, as the difference between “Them that have” and “Them that don’t” could very well make the race issue seem trivial by comparison.
The Jenius thinks it is time We moved beyond all this statehood crap. For deep down, it isn’t a matter of pride or heritage or history or anything lofty: it’s a matter of money. They have it, they know we want more of it, and they don’t want—or have—to share it. On that alone, they will reject the request for statehood. And they should.
Because We can do better.
Except that most of Us don’t believe—or don't want to believe—that.
Not becoming a state is not Our loss; not knowing how to be Ourselves is.
The Jenius Has Spoken.