By Rev. Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker
What is happening in Puerto Rico right now deserves everyone’s attention.
This moment is an important one—for Puerto Ricans, for the Latinx diaspora and all people of color in the United States and the world.
It is important to note the historical significance of this “revolution,” not only in the unprecedented resignation of the Governor, but also, of the day it took place: July 25.
For it was on July 25, 1898, that the United States invaded Puerto Rico; and it was on July 25, 1957, that the Constitution was ratified. It was on July 25, 2019, that Puerto Rico woke up to un nuevo amanecer (a new dawn) having forced into resignation a corrupt governor.
Prohibido olvidar (it is prohibited to forget) also is the historical importance of the location of these events.
For it was in Calle Fortaleza that in 1950, that the Nationalist Party Leader Pedro Albizu Campos was arrested by the United States for standing against its colonial powers. Just hours before his arrest, he was barricaded in his apartment just steps from La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, in the company of another Nationalist, Álvaro Rivera-Walker. It has been said that just moments before his arrest he asked, “Alvaro, are we invisible?”
The powerlessness and hopelessness of invisibility is one that fuels revolution.
Today’s reality in Puerto Rico is a microcosm of what is happening in our world right now. It makes me wonder: who is leading us? Who is uniting us? And, after all, that has happened, and continues to happen in Puerto Rico, how are we using our voices to advocate for change?