Urban/Global Politics

It’s About More Than Ricky

What has happened on the streets of old San Juan and the distant west coast and mountain towns of Puerto Rico has been stunning, a hauntingly beautiful display of people power — a full-on awakening augured by the decades-invoked “Despierta Boricua” slogan, one that allows islanders to say things like “ya no es el mismo […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Why Half a Million Puerto Ricans Are Protesting in the Streets

This week has been unlike any other in Puerto Rican history. An estimated 500,000 demonstrators filled Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets on Wednesday to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló. He has lost public confidence because of mounting scandals in his government and damning revelations from a leaked trove of private chats, published on […]

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Urban/Global Politics

“Mi negro” Embracing Blackness

Several years ago, at the height of New York’s stop-and-frisk policing policy, two officers stopped me at West 125th Street and Broadway and insisted that I was carrying a knife. I was walking from Columbia University’s campus, where I’ve taught seminars on Latinx identity since 2010, after picking up a couple books at the library. Because I […]

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America and Race, Hemispheric Identity, Latinos and Race, Latinos in Media, New York City Politics, Resistance in the Trump Era, Urban/Global Politics

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the intersectional remix of Latino roots and socialist politics

“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” began the now-legendary campaign ad for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, released just four weeks ago. What followed was a powerful, viral video, called “The Courage to Change,” that addressed racial and gender identity and meshed seamlessly with one about her social class position. “I wasn’t born to a […]

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America and Race, Globalization, Hemispheric Identity, Latinos and Race, Puerto Rico's Colonial Status, Resistance in the Trump Era, Urban/Global Politics, US Intervention in Latin America

Hurricane Maria swept away the illusion of Puerto Ricans’ citizenship

Protesters in San Juan left more than 100 pairs of shoes outside the Capitolio, home to Puerto Rico’s legislature, as a silent rebuke to the government for undercounting the number of residents who died last year from the effects of Hurricane Maria. A Harvard University study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine […]

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