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Article on Puertoricans

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Located in the Caribbean, the archipelago of Puerto Rico comprises the major island of Puerto Rico and a number of other minor islands.

The Spanish words that mean ‘rich port’, Puerto Rico was colonized by the Spanish and the people were forced to work in the harshest of conditions. The Spaniards were also known to bring in illnesses that when combined with the hard labor of the Puerto Ricans were causing several deaths on the island. It was at this period in history that the first group of Puerto Ricans moved to New York in the mid 19th century, therefore making them immigrants.

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[1]

After the Spanish–American War, Spain had no choice but to cede Puerto Rico to the United States. Puerto Rico began the twentieth century under the military rule of the United States.

This caused a wave of Puerto Ricans to move to New York. The Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 gave Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship and allowed them to travel without the need of a passport between the island and the United States mainland, thereby becoming migrants.

However, the largest wave of migration came about in the 1950s in what became known as “The Great Migration” with the advent of air travel.[2]

Post this period, Puerto Rican’s were subject to severe problems of discrimination and prejudice to say the least. In 1945, after the Second World War, the people of Puerto Rica were subject to the torture of having to work in a dual labor-market, one that housed an oligopolistic sector and a fiercely competitive sector. The oligopolistic section of the market ensured stable labor laws and capital, productivity and wages were substantial. The competitive sector was filled with…

…low-wage, menial jobs in labor-intensive industries. Caribbean migrants were massively recruited in the competitive sector. The great majority of the 1940’s and 1950’s Caribbean immigrants were Puerto Ricans recruited for low-wage jobs in the postwar expansion of the competitive capitalist manufacturing and service industries in New York City.[3]

As if this weren’t enough, Vieques, Puerto Rico, was open ground to display discrimination against them. Many environmental justice issues are taking their toll on Puerto Ricans, some of which are environmental health impacts, brownfields redevelopment and Superfund. What’s hard to believe however, is that for decades now, the U.S. Navy has been using Vieques as a bombing range.

Despite existing regulations, the Navy has used live bombs, depleted uranium and napalm on the range and allowed foreign allies to test weapons. The Navy has ignored environmental laws, severely destroyed the natural environment and has introduced health hazards to the residents of the island.[4]

Subtle forms of racial discrimination were practiced without batting an eyelid. Essential services and products were either denied to the Puerto Ricans or they were charged exorbitant and hence unaffordable sums of money for what they wanted. This redlining was most commonly seen in mortgage discrimination. During the year 1966, the racially biased policies of real estate brokers and speculators and their unrestrained exploitation of house-hungry blacks and Puerto Ricans, the redlining of the community by the banks, and the almost total neglect of the situation by the city and its agencies brought the area (Central New York) to the brink of collapse.[5]

Despite all this, the affirmative action that is being taken to eradicate discrimination against Puerto Ricans is not sufficient. Spearheaded by Puerto Ricans themselves, it lacks the support and backing of the government. Although the constitution for Puerto Ricans states that they are protected against double jeopardy, the reality is that the ‘double jeopardy’ clause is sometimes done away with.

Many researchers have assumed that the effects of race and gender are additive – minority women’s total disadvantage is simply the sum of their race penalty and their gender

penalty. This assumption means that minority women are affected by race in the same way as minority men, and affected by gender the same way as white women. We call this assumption “double jeopardy”. The “double jeopardy” characterization is problematic because it ignores the ways in which minority women’s experiences are unique, comparable neither to those of white women nor to those of men of the same race/ethnicity.[6]

It isn’t hard to imagine the institutional discrimination that the physically challenged Puerto Ricans may have to face.

Parents of disabled children do not have the right to send their child to local schools. Employers can discriminate openly against disabled workers. Some disabled people don’t even have the right to choose when they want to get up in the morning.[7]

Numerous discriminations, but the Puerto Ricans are fighting fiercely against each of them and have fought well so far. Given this scenario, who does one side with? Will an immigrated population always be subject to this treatment? Puerto Ricans have always felt that the United States is very clear about one thing, that Puerto Rico belongs to them. However, are the Puerto Ricans a part of them? That’s debatable and one can’t help but empathize.

References

1.       Barnes, Colin., Institutional Discrimination against people – A case for legislation.,March 30, 2007,

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:Ixve08tlLqIJ:www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/Barnes/bcodp.pdf+what+is+institutional+discrimination&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=in

2.      Greenman, Emily., & Xie, Yu., Double Jeopardy or Compensating Disadvantage? The Interaction Effect of Gender and Race on Earnings in the U. S. March 30, 2007, http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:HwA-EF9-WU8J:paa2005.princeton.edu/download.aspx%3FsubmissionId%3D51362+Double+jeopardy+%2B+Puerto+Ricans&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=14&gl=in

3.      Grosfoguel, Ramon., Puerto Rican Labor Migration to the United States., March 30, 2007,   http://www.africamigration.com/articles/grosfoguel.html

4.      NPRC’s testimony on U.S. Navy bombing in Vieques, Puerto Rico, March 30, 2007, http://www.bateylink.org/policy.htm

5.      NYU Press, March 30, 2007., http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:Tx66IUAsH7IJ:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814782663intro.pdf+redlining+%2B+Puerto+Ricans&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=in

6.      Puerto Rican migration to New York, March 30, 2007,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_migration_to_New_York

7.      U.S. Territories and Outlying Areas, March 30, 2007, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0113949.html

[1] Puerto Rican migration to New York, March 30, 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_migration_to_New_York
[2] U.S. Territories and Outlying Areas, March 30, 2007, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0113949.html
[3] Grosfoguel, Ramon., Puerto Rican Labor Migration to the United States., March 30, 2007,   http://www.africamigration.com/articles/grosfoguel.html
[4] NPRC’s testimony on U.S. Navy bombing in Vieques, Puerto Rico, March 30, 2007, http://www.bateylink.org/policy.htm

[5] NYU Press, March 30, 2007., http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:Tx66IUAsH7IJ:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814782663intro.pdf+redlining+%2B+Puerto+Ricans&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=in
[6] Greenman, Emily., & Xie, Yu., Double Jeopardy or Compensating Disadvantage? The Interaction Effect of Gender and Race on Earnings in the U. S. March 30, 2007, http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:HwA-EF9-WU8J:paa2005.princeton.edu/download.aspx%3FsubmissionId%3D51362+Double+jeopardy+%2B+Puerto+Ricans&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=14&gl=in
[7] Barnes, Colin., Institutional Discrimination against people – A case for legislation.,March 30, 2007,

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:Ixve08tlLqIJ:www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/Barnes/bcodp.pdf+what+is+institutional+discrimination&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=in

Cite this Article on Puertoricans

Article on Puertoricans. (2016, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/article-on-puertoricans/

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