Puerto Rico is under United States rule, and has been since 1898, when Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. For over 91 years, Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens and have fought in wars with U.S. involvement, including WWI. The head of state for Puerto Rico is President Barack Obama. Everyone born in Puerto Rico is eligible to be President of the United States.
So why are there screams that Americans need to root against Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in order to be Patriotic Americans?
Puerto Rico played against team USA twice in this year’s WBC. In those 2 games Puerto Rico outscored team USA 16-7. Even so, all major American news sources acted like Puerto Rico was team Al-Qaeda. See some of the crap Sports Illustrated or Wall Street Journal squats out.
In population numbers, Puerto Rico is similar to Oregon or Kentucky. Imagine Oregon fielding a baseball team that crushes the rest of the United States. I am sure the mainstream news wave would then flood us with pro-Oregon underdog emotions. Why not for Puerto Rico?
I know rooting for a Baseball team is empty patriotism, but it does have emotional value at a time when truly important patriotic issues are waning. Freedom of speech is dangerously low. Our government does not represent the American people over large faceless international corporations trying to suck our money and rights away. Unemployment and poverty are up dramatically. Distrust in government and media is at an alltime high. Food and water quality are dropping as quickly as quality of health. Other countries no longer see us as kind, generous, and helpful – but instead dangerous killers. We have to search underground sources just to find art quality better than Rocky X or Mall Cop. Real patriotism is working for these causes, not rooting for muscular men in tights.
…but I do feel a little better watching Puerto Rico do well in the WBC. Congratulations, Team Puerto Rico, for playing so well and representing the United States so proudly.
Roberto Clemente Wheaties Box from Hispanic PR Wire.
Puerto Rico Pride Day photo via Baltimore Sun.