Overlooked and Underrated: The American Identity of Puerto Ricans

Oliver Brown

Updated Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 10:02 AM CDT

Overlooked and Underrated: The American Identity of Puerto Ricans

Misconceptions and Generalizations

Many people forget that Puerto Ricans are Americans because they associate America with the 50 states and overlook the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. This oversight leads to a lack of awareness and intelligence among some individuals who fail to recognize Puerto Ricans as fellow Americans. Despite Puerto Rico's status as a non-state territory, its residents are U.S. citizens, yet they are often overlooked or forgotten when people think of America.

Voting Rights and Representation

While Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they do not have the right to vote in presidential elections or have representation in Congress. This lack of voting rights and representation contributes to the perception that Puerto Ricans are not fully recognized as Americans. However, if a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico moves to a U.S. state and establishes residency there, they can vote in that state. It is important to acknowledge that the distribution of human intelligence follows a bell curve, meaning that there is a wide range of intelligence levels among the U.S. population.

Pride and Identity

Puerto Ricans often have a strong sense of pride in their Puerto Rican identity, which may overshadow their American citizenship. This intense pride in their home country is not unique to Puerto Ricans but is also seen among individuals from states like New York, California, or Florida who have a strong sense of state pride. It is incorrect to generalize that people forget Puerto Ricans are Americans, as there are many individuals who are aware of their American citizenship.

Discrimination and Ignorance

Discrimination and ignorance towards Puerto Ricans as Americans is a result of ignorance and a lack of intelligence among some individuals. Social media has allowed ignorant people to find each other and perpetuate their misconceptions, leading them to believe they are smarter than they actually are. After Hurricane Maria, many Puerto Ricans sought safety in Florida, where they faced discrimination and derogatory s from some individuals who failed to recognize their American citizenship. These negative s highlight the lack of understanding and empathy towards Puerto Ricans as fellow Americans.

The Complex Issue

The perception that Puerto Ricans are not fully recognized as Americans is a complex issue influenced by the territory's political status and cultural dynamics. Puerto Rico has been part of America for a longer period of time than Hawaii and Alaska. The misconception that English is the official language of the United States is another example of the ignorance surrounding Puerto Ricans' American identity. It is crucial to educate and raise awareness about the American identity of Puerto Ricans to combat misconceptions and promote inclusivity within the United States.

It is essential to acknowledge and respect the American identity of Puerto Ricans. While there may be misconceptions and generalizations, it is important to remember that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and its residents are U.S. citizens. By promoting awareness, understanding, and empathy, we can help combat discrimination and ensure that all Americans, regardless of their background, are recognized and valued.

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