Home » Reflections » OpEds » U.S Spreading Hate Since 1898: An Endless Cycle of Oppression

U.S Spreading Hate Since 1898: An Endless Cycle of Oppression

Collector/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In 1898, The Americans invaded Puerto Rico for their natural resources, mainly sugar and promised Puerto Ricans that under their rule the Americans will protect their life, liberty, and happiness. The Americans won the Spanish-American war with the help of Puerto Ricans, who were under the assumption that they will receive the “American Dream” as presented like such in the Treaty of Paris.

With that said, Puerto Ricans started to attack Spanish owned businesses and property, but low and behold tigers never change their stripes, the United States manipulated and colonized Puerto Rico extorting them for all their natural resources until the island of Puerto Rico ran into debt.

Shortly after the United States established their presence, gearing up to complete their mission to take over Puerto Rico’s economy, the citizens of the island started to question where they stood with the United States being that the U.S did not include Puerto Rico within the country. Instead, the U.S made Puerto Rico a U.S territory. Being a U.S territory and not a state means that you generally have a territorial governor appointed by the Federal government. You usually do not have any elected body of representatives and¬†have no representation¬†in Congress.

I try to picture this as if I were at a restaurant and I kept ordering different types of food on the menu, but everything I taste is just not good enough for me, so I keep wanting more which leads me to ordering more.

The end of the night has come, the beautiful restaurant is closing down and as the waitress is bringing me the check, I run and then try to sue later on for harassment! This would be me showing a lack of respect and humbleness being that I walked in intending on not paying, but yet in the back of my mind felt no guilt because I hold no regard for the business being that I ate everything they had to offer but did not think of them enough to be fair and pay for what I ate.

The U.S runs out on the bill every time it pertains to a minority group. The U.S holds no regard or remorse for manipulating and extorting Puerto Rico throughout the years. The United States literally extracted Puerto Rico’s sugar and oil while making huge contributions to the islands standing debt, but when citizenship that was promised by the U.S to the people of Puerto Rico was not fulfilled, this eventually lead to the Jones Act of 1917. The Jones Act was a way to naturalize Puerto Ricans through a process that would eventually lead them to citizen status however, that does not change territorial status, so was this act just beating a dead horse? But it would not be in the U.S fashion to just do things solely because it is right. The U.S used this new act as a way to gain more soldiers for World War 1 being that Puerto Ricans were considered “citizens” they were now drafted in the war.

In my eyes, its as if the people of Puerto Rico was being teased and that citizenship was being held over there head. I am embarrassed to know that I am apart of country that values the dollar over a life

By the island of Puerto Rico being territory of the U.S, this does not technically make them apart they just belong to. Puerto Rico does not receive any public assistance from the U.S or any healthcare benefits, but the U.S can build factories and trade from their island leaving them open to diseases and bad air/water. How can you dump waste onto a place you own, harming the people that you are responsible for with toxins and not make sure that they are healthy enough to endure those chemicals.

At this current moment Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in July 2017, and they are supposed to be one of the top for exporting pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing. What makes Americans so superior to Puerto Ricans? The U.S is using Puerto Rico’s grounds to produce medicine and pharmaceuticals but can not supply the people of Puerto Rico with health insurance and assistance. This is a blatant slap in the face to the people of Puerto Rico being that they experienced a hurricane (Maria) in 2017 and ran out of electricity, clean water, food, and lost their homes but yet the chart above shows that we are still profiting off of them a whole year after we could not seem to find any extra money to help these displaced islanders.

One day we will get to the bottom of why the U.S constantly takes minorities land and space but refuses to deal with the actual people who were settled there. But we should probably not expect much of a direct answer being that America was built on the back of displacing minorities for power and profit.




1 Comment

  1. This is a passionate piece! The historical focus and use of multimedia is very strong. I would have recommended some proofreading and revision for clarity of argument and recommendations but it had great potential.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message