Acevedo is wrong: The US is ready for a vibrant Hispanic state

While former Puerto Rico Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá is right that statehood, on its own, is not a solution to Puerto Rico’s economic woes (Jan. 12, “Statehood for Puerto Rico; An Insane Proposition”), Puerto Rico’s ability to make decisions for itself would nonetheless be a step in the right direction. That is what a proposed vote between statehood and independent sovereignty would allow. It is unclear why Acevedo is so offended by this effort, or just what he would do differently.

Rather than embrace the historical multiculturalism that makes this country great, Acevedo would have us give into its most recent wave of white nationalism. He claims the banner of hispanicity in one breath and appears to throw Puerto Rican culture under the bus in the next. He praises a “rich” culture that has endured since the United States invaded in 1898, but dismissively assumes such a culture is undesirable to 21st century Americans. Acevedo seems willing to weaponize xenophobia for political gain. Why else would he fearmonger over a “multi-national state”?

{mosads}Acevedo would have you believe that Puerto Rico would be the first culturally distinct state in the Union; more Hispanic than the former Mexican states that now form the American Southwest and more siloed than the Pacific archipelago of Hawaii. He insinuates that our language and heritage pose a unique threat to the most fundamental American institutions. Surely, there are some in this country who share those views: Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor and Donald Trump, to name a few. But they are vastly outnumbered in an optimistic nation that values diversity and that I believe would embrace a vibrant Hispanic state.

But resistance to other cultures is nothing new. If nothing else, the 2016 election revealed that white supremacy and anti-immigrant sentiment remain formidable political forces in this country. That comes as no surprise to statehood supporters who have fought the likes of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in the halls of Congress. But where some of us would challenge King’s views, Acevedo seems resigned.

You cannot claim to value Hispanic heritage while enabling a racist narrative, even if that narrative has served you well. Yesterday’s talking points will not solve the problems Puerto Rico faces today. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the former governor is peddling.

From Eduardo Soto, Senior Associate at The Raben Group in Washington, D.C. and a native of Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C. 

Democrats who boycotted Trump inauguration traitors to democracy

I’ve never seen a more biased, disrespectful bunch of malcontents than all of those elected officials who refused to honor President Trump’s inauguration. The Democrats have shown the country their true colors, marking themselves traitors to democracy.

When President Obama was sworn in for a second term after his first four years of destroying our country, I can’t recall the Republicans pulling a stunt like that. They understood that they may not have liked Obama’s politics, but they gave him the respect that he deserved as president and understood that they represented all of the people, not just some of the people.

From my perspective, I would like to see a countrywide recall of every member of congress that refused to attend our president’s inauguration. They should all be removed from office posthaste. 

From Gregory J Topliff, Warrenville, S.C.

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