This week I invited my friend Stephanie Belk Prats to have a conversation with me about the upcoming elections.
Stephanie is a writer and strategist who completed her MFA at The New School in New York City. We met up and recorded our thoughts on the way Puerto Ricans are portrayed in the Media around these Elections, and specifically the narrative about those displaced by Hurricane Maria.
We want to give a shout out to Vamos4PR and BoricuActivated, two Puerto Rican Organizations in Florida who are working hard to ensure that those who can, actually do vote on Tuesday. We hope all that were displaced can go vote… but though we are a community that suffered this Trauma together, it does merit mentioning that those displaced by Maria deserve dignity in the way they are addressed and the way they are mentioned in the Media. We hope you enjoy this conversation and I will certainly post a follow up episode with reactions on the results.
For those who are still wondering – “Why Vote?” – just let me say this:
It’s easy to feel defeated, but lets do the other thing instead. Let’s send a strong message to the powers who normally ignore us. In our vote – we send a message that we are present and we’re not going to negotiate on our Colonial status anymore. That we are united.
Vote even if you hate the options, vote even if you think neither party will give us anything. Vote because they shouldn’t be allowed to forget. Vote because you are owed an answer to the thousands of lives that DIED on Puerto Rican soil, en nuestra isla…. On our island.
Vote because my stepdad didn’t live, and I’m still here picking up the pieces, hoping that someday our collective efforts will give us back our dignity. Do this for the many Puerto Ricans on the island who are looking to us in the Diaspora for strength and hope and solidarity.
We won’t forget you Puerto Rico. We will defend you.