Not Like This, Folks

by José Simián

The ugly spectacle currently taking place in Albany —Republicans allying with two of the most questioned Democrat Senators in order to regain some sort of control of the Senate— has produced an even sadder one: Latino figures somehow condoning the actions of Senators Monserrate and Espada Jr. because of a gain in political power for their particular ethnic group.

Yesterday it was Gerson Borrero, the preeminent commentator of El Diario, who seemed to approve of the overall effect of the Senators’ move for Puerto Ricans:

It is undenniable that [Espada’s] move to get to the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Senate was brilliant.


Notwithstanding the mutual recriminations about who betrayed whom, or the debate about who currently presides which committee, it is now evident that we Puerto Ricans are sitting at the big table. Over the last years, other Latin American brothers have started to say that we boricuas don’t count. It is fitting that the coup d’état of the Republicans needed two boricuas to take place, and that it happened just six days before we flood Fifth Avenue like one single family.

Indeed, Espada and Monserrate are no match for judge Sonia Sotomayor, but it is undeniable that what both have achieved puts us in the main stage, proving that we are the present.

Latino politicias have expressed similar views. In a New York Times article that links this political move to tensions between Latino and Black politicians, Bronx Assemblyman José Rivera expressed that Espada’s irregular ascendance to the Presidency of the Senate was “a proud moment — a Latino making waves.”

Is this what we call “Latino pride”? I certainly hope not.