Puerto Ricans! We are one! Somos todos unidos.

While there are quite a few blogs in Puerto Rico that will fill you with your local rants and exposes of celebrities, by far the most fair and balanced blog is Gil the Jenius. I often use Gil's blog as a meter to measure just how many Puerto Ricans might feel about the local shenanigans we call home.

As no one else is capable of doing, Gil provides a self recriminating examination of the recent Department of Justice report on the Puerto Rico Police Department. As usual, Gil is not afraid to call the kettle black, and I applaud him for his honesty and sincerity. I think there is only one thing I could possibly add.

We have seen the enemy and he is us

Damas y cabelleros, there is no such thing as the other. We must now and forever acknowledge that there is nothing special about our police, our celebrities, our politicians, or UPR. Before they were any of those things, they were just Puerto Ricans. Before they were PPR, PPD, PNP, PRPD, or UPR they were our sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. By becaming PRPD the didn't just happen to become the rights-violating, head cracking, pepper-spraying Puerto Rico Police, they were JUST LIKE everyone else. Because we are just like them, just on a smaller scale.

It's common sport to stand around talking over our morning coffee and we typically complain about how terrible the Police are (or UPR, or politicians, ...). We point to them and say: "This is outrageous." We say: "Their behavior is unacceptable." We say "Who do they think they are? They can't do that! That's an abuse of their powers."

All of those things would be true, except, we must also accept one other truth. There is nothing special about these people. Before they became responsible for our problems, they were part of the crowd pointing the fingers at [the police, the politicians, the organized crime syndicates, the parties, yadda, yadda, yadda].

Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Quantum Physics

One of the nearly universal truths in prehistoric and modern society is the recognition that we are all connected. We are all part of a collective intelligence that is mankind. Yes, we may pray in different ways, and worship a different deity, but upon close inspection, each religion considers it's flock to be one. Further, even science suggests that we are connected. Whether through quantum physics or string theory, our understanding of the infinite falls short and we must rely upon our faith. In almost every instance, one of the beliefs we usually accept is that we are one.

Yet, in contradiction that belief, we still almost universally believe that someone else is responsible for our problems. We see politicians regularly arrested and convicted of extortion, and a variety of other crimes (taking pictures of your naked ass in the mirror?). We say: "Those frigging politicians, they're all corrupt." We'd be right, under our current system of purchased representation, they are corrupt. But so are we, the number of human rights violations the common Puerto Rican commits daily approaches anarchy. (Yes, I do believe that leaving YOUR shopping cart behind someone ELSE's car is a human rights violation!)

Our kids are dying because we refuse to unite

The most dangerous variation of this disconnect, is the organized and unorganized crime raging through our poorest communities. Ladies and gentlemen, since Operation Bootstrap and the implementation of lucrative entitlement programs, Puerto Rico has ALWAYS had a high crime rate.

In the United States, the authorities classify assassinations our your own tribe differently than all other crimes, especially if the tribe is one of the many minorities. But, in particular, they are VERY concerned, if you're killing your own in a place that has something THEY want. Isn't that why we went into Iraq and Libya?

Throughout man's history, tribal warfare has been the root of nearly all of our conflicts. But, what makes a tribe start killing off it's own members? Depending on your stance behind evolution, this begins to look more like genocide than anything else.

Puerto Rico has had a average murder rate for the last 30 years of around 600 or 700 (I'll get the numbers, just can't remember where I got them). That makes it like 180,000 to 210,000 people dead so far. It may not seem like it, but we've lost more Puerto Ricans at the hands of other Puerto Ricans, then anything else in our history. Well besides the Spanish, and that whole slavery and disease fueled genocide back in the 1500s.

So, really, a sudden jump like we're experiencing right now isn't that big of a variance. Yet, at the core of this tragic situation, we've always believed that the Puerto Ricans that are killing each other, is okay, because they are killing EACH OTHER (read, the poor) off. They were persona non grata (not a person). Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

What was once only the occasional collateral damage of our ongoing genocide, has seeped into the general population and is now a common occurrence. This is bad. This is a very bad trend, which I hope will serve as a tipping point for Puerto Rico.

I'd like nothing more than for Walter Andrés Quiles Rodríguez y Wilfredo Sevilla Alsina to become the martyrs that we need. Is two promising young Puerto Ricans enough for us to admit that we should have protected them? Can we finally admit that we are wrong? There is no other, it's just us. Can we please admit that everyone living here in Puerto Rico is connected? If we can't recognize that we're killing our future, then there truly is no saving Puerto Rico. Let us all pray that we can unite ourselves, before it is too late. Let us unite ourselves in the preservation of ourselves from our worst enemy, ourselves!

Creative Commons Flickr Contributor: Paul Lowry


Gil C. Schmidt

9 de septiembre de 2011, 08:09
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Much appreciated, MC. Until We take responsibility for Our own problems, We're stuck in the cycle of blaming "others" and waiting for "someone" to save Us. It ain't "them," and "they" won't save Us.

Kofla Olivieri

10 de septiembre de 2011, 22:42
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Found your blog while visiting Gil.

I had a childhood friend from Mayaguez, he was a really nice guy.

In the mid 80's he joined the NYPD and became a whole different individual. One of the most abusive cops I've known. He was a nice friend who after becoming a cop morphed into the most toxic abusive person I've known.
Kofla @ God of War Diaries