Thursday, December 13, 2012

Puerto Rico's Bid for Statehood: A Millennial's View, Part Two

The Latino Edge interviewed Victor M. Ingl├ęs Ferri from Guayama, Puerto Rico. He is a student at the Caribbean University, Ponce campus. We were seeking a Millennial student's view on the island's ambition to become the 51st state of America. While some Americans are outraged at such a goal, most feel it is the right time to welcome Puerto Rico into the fold.

This article is the conclusion of this two-part series.

TLE: Pro-statehood activists point to Hawaii as an example of a territory that successfully became a state. However, Hawaii's rich culture has all but disappeared. Do you think Puerto Rico will suffer the same fate? Why ?

VIF: I don’t fear this would happen to Puerto Rico. Because statehood is a political change, not a cultural one.

TLE:  What do you consider yourself, Puerto Rican, American or both? 

VIF: Both. Equally. I am an American citizen. If you are born in Puerto Rico you are an American. I am proud to be a Puerto Rican and proud to be an American.

TLE: How do you view yourself as a Puerto Rican? Also, will your self identity change once Puerto Rico is accepted into the American union?

VIF: I am proud to be Puerto Rican. I love our history, culture, traditions, etc. If Puerto Rico becomes a state,  the history, culture and traditions wont disappear. We will still be Puerto Ricans and we will still have our identity. Nothing can change that. Statehood is a political change not a cultural one. 

TLE:  Would Spanish would remain the official language of Puerto Rico? How would life be different if English were the only official language? Would you agree to a change such as that? 

VIF: The language issue is not a big deal. Its ironic that some politicians say that because Puerto Rico has two official language ENGLISH AND SPANISH while he United States has NONE!  So how can they force us to have something they do not? Besides, many states became a state when most of the people did not speak English. Like New Mexico and Louisiana. 

When my parents grew up , in a class room of 30 students , only around 10 people were bilingual , but times have changed. I graduated from high school in 2010, we were 34 students. I would say like 31 of us understood English very well. And about 25 of us were bilingual. 

It would not change the culture cause most of us already know English. In high school I had one Spanish class, and two English classes. It wasn't a bilingual school. It wont affect daily life, it wont affect our culture and I don't see it as a significant challenge to getting statehood because it wasn't a significant challenge to other states.

TLE; Thank you, Victor for giving our readers a Millennial generation view of Puerto Rico's bid for statehood. Many of our readers are not well versed in politics in Puerto Rico and its effect on the American landscape. 

The Latino Edge te desea mucho exito!
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