Examples Of Racism In Puerto Rico

Decent Essays
Esmeralda’s transition from rural Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, New York was a difficult adjustment. Esmeralda was now placed in an unfamiliar environment. She longed to be at home (in Puerto Rico), where she could feel the grass beneath her feet and the warm air touches her skin, instead, of the concrete jungle that she is now living in. At first, Brooklyn was a difficult adjustment. However, due to her strong upbringing, independent nature, and determination Esmeralda was able to navigate this part of her life beautifully. In her narrative, Esmeralda never spoke to racism or racial tension in Puerto Rico. On the other hand, the environment in New York was totally different. She quickly learned about racial disparity, prejudge, and racism. After…show more content…
Monín took her to get pizza instead. Esmeralda asked Mami, if Italians liked Puerto Ricans, and she replied “they’re more like us than the Jewish people are” (Santiago pg. 225). Esmeralda did not understand what Mami meant but Monin did not clarify, or explain her statement. This was Esmeralda’s first experience with racism. An issue she will continue to face while living in the United States. According to Esmeralda, in Puerto Rico, the only foreigners were the Americanos (Santiago pg. 225). Another example of racism and prejudges, occurred a few days later when Esmeralda encountered the morenos. She stated that they were “black, but they didn’t look like Puerto Rican negros” (Santiago pg. 225). In fact, Esmeralda was surprised to learn that like the Jews, and Italians, the “morenos” also lived in their own neighborhoods. They only went to their restaurants. Even more surprising, Esmeralda was told that they did not like Puerto Ricans. This was astonishing. In Puerto Rico, everyone “was either black or had a black relative somewhere in their family” (Santiago pg. 225). Esmeralda was heartbroken; she thought the morenos would have been more accepting of Puerto Ricans. She felt this way because, in fact, “many of us looked like them”…show more content…
The newly arrived Puerto Ricans and those born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican parents did not mix (Santiago pg.230). The American born Puerto Ricans often did not speak Spanish. They did not view Puerto Rico as their home, it was a place they visited on vacation. They complained that Puerto Rico “was backwards and mosquito – ridden” (Santiago pg. 230). Brooklyn born Puerto Ricans were able to walk between the Italians or morenos “neither one or the other, but looking and acting like a combination of both, depending on the texture of their hair, the shade of their skin, their makeup as the way they walked down the hall” (Santiago pg.
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