02 June 2008

In Black and White

I never thought I'd see it during My lifetime: A black man--an African-American man--running for President of the United States.

Does this mean that the U.S of part of A. is "over" racism? Is the Pope Jewish? There is, however, a sliver of light for other paths of progress, and that brings Me back to Willie "Too Dark" Miranda, Caguas Mayor and close-but-not-quite candidate for Governor for the misnamed Popular Democratic Party.

Around here the thinking usually goes "If it's done in the States, it can be done here," especially when it comes time for unions to negotiate salary and benefits. Sometimes that "monkey see-monkey do" thought process leads to potential, as in "If a dark-skinned man could break whitey's hold up there, maybe a dark-skinned man could do the same here." And the answer is: Not a chance, compai. Not a chance.

Taken as political talent (an oxymoron, but flow with Me here), Senator Obama and Mayor Miranda can be considered comparative equals. Obama has very few years in Congress, but has crafted a reputation for original thought and straight-speaking that matches Miranda's lengthy (12 years) of successful administration in a growing city. Let's call that level ground.

Like Miranda, Obama is trying to overcome the political muscle of an incumbent, but Obama is doing so as an equal whereas Miranda has to topple the party's "leader." (Hold on a sec... I just ruptured My dictionary by calling The Jellyfish a leader... Hadn't happened since I called Stupid Rosselló an asset to Us... Oh, that's right: I never did that.) On the other (dirty) hand, Miranda's local opponent is facing 19 federal charges.

Quick conclusion based on these elements: Yes, what happened up north could happen here.


The issue of race--based on skin color--is acknowledged in the States and covered up in Puerto Rico. And you cannot change a situation until you acknowledge it exists. Though there are other reasons that Miranda will not be the gubernatorial candidate, some of them, perhaps the main ones, will be related to "He's not white." Some might add "enough" to that sentence: The Party doesn't.

Why do I insist on this? Why do I pick at this possibly-unseen scab? I've been told that there is no racism in Puerto Rico, which is akin to claiming there is no lying in the media. Of course there's racism in Puerto Rico. Of course it affects politics. But if you pretend it isn't happening, that it simply doesn't exist, then of course We're going to continue to limit Ourselves and Our future.

Lest you think this is some veiled form of support for Rogelio "I'm Hiding Something" Figueroa, the black candidate of the PPR, I'll summarize My analysis of him this way: Rogelio is as useful to Our politics as a baby bottle is to an auto mechanic.

That the U.S has a historical candidate and a potential historical precedent as its Commander in Chief is a marvelous happening. Watch it closely, especially you numb-brains called statehooders. If you're capable of learning, you'll learn a lot. The rest of Us would do well to use it as an imperfect mirror to see what We can do to make Our society stronger.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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