Is It Weird To Feel Empathy For A Place That I…

-K.A.

Is it weird to feel empathy and sadness for a place that isn’t your home? Is it wrong to feel a pit in your stomach and a hole in your heart when many of your friends and acquaintances, many of the people you admire and many of the people who have served as your mentor in life have once called the island home? 

There’s a full scale riot in Puerto Rico and you’re probably hearing rumblings about it on your timelines. To summarize, there was a leaked conversation on the Telegram app (think WhatsApp) in which the governor of Puerto Rico and other members of his administrative team held conversations of insensitive, misogynous, homophobic and criminal nature. The nature of these message, which officials found humorous and worthy of applause, were abhorrent, embarrassing and downright heartbreaking.

These officials went through painstaking details to reveal how throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and during the months where Puerto Rico was dealing with an ever-rising death toll, humanitarian aid that was sent to Puerto Rico; aid such as necessary potable water, food and sanitary items; were withheld from citizens that needed it most. These provisions were left to spoil, expire or become unusable in exchange for political propaganda and public relations stunts that these officials could “sell” or “promote” to the population and “sell” or “promote” them as benevolent and doing everything they can for the Puerto Rican population, thus earning them the 2020 re-election. That’s right, they were using the suffering of Boricuas and their desperation for clean food and water to lock down those crucical re-election votes. The motherfuckers.

In the midst of these details, they took their time to make many politically incorrect, hateful, cruel and abhorrent messages about the poverty level of their people; finding humor in saying a man paid for more for a shirt than he makes in a month. They found the time to make fun of women protesting the treatment of Boricuas post-Hurricane Maria, finding humor in their plight alongside the amount of female deaths due to domestic violence. They found time to make fun of the LGBTQ community, because hey, why not at this point, they joked about the #MeToo movement, and general misrepresented themselves to the point they appear to be the worst people on Planet Earth. Still, that’s not the sole reason the people have reached the boiling point.

The people of Puerto Rico have come to realize through these conversations the degree of unforgivable cruelty that these officials are seemingly capable of, knows no limits and knows no bounds.

Hundreds upon thousands of people have died. They have died horrible deaths from starvation, lack of water, and lack of sanitary conditions that no one considered a US citizen should ever experience. Yes, Puerto Ricans are considered US Citizens. Yet, these elected officials cared more about hiding the facts, placing a PR spin on it, and manufacturing information in order to  securing their place in the next election than doing their civic duty.

Soon after the conversations leaked, Boricuas and independent Puerto Rican media (because as revealed by the leak, state media is mostly, if not entirely, taking money from the officials, which is another story), many members of the administration resigned and the governor began a series of manipulative damage control tactics that he and his father, a previous Governor himself have employed in the past to great success.

Ricardo Rosselló, Governor of Puerto Rico exploited people’s most basic and deeply-rooted traditions and beliefs and manipulated Latin belief in religion and Christianity to his benefit.Using history as a crutch, he keyed on the fact that Latino culture is susceptible to religious stunts and manipulation and he relied heavily on Puerto Rican history; pulling from their history as an island nation that was colonized by the Spanish in the name of Catholicism to the dismay of the Taino people and then not as egregiously converted to Protestantism when the US made it a commonwealth. Religion has been the one constant that has brought both pain and healing to the souls of those who’ve been deprived of liberty and education in many ways in Puerto Rico, and ever the scumbag, Rosselló honed in on it.

Reportedly, Rosselló ran to a church the day after this all blew up, to seek “forgiveness from the Almighty” and have the churchgoers pray for him, using that Christianity as a crutch and banking on the most deeply-rooted of Latin beliefs and ideals. Want me to make it more fucked up?  It’s on good authority that the governor and his family have always professed the Catholic faith. Inside of the official home of the Governor,  the equivalent of the White House for Puerto Rico’s governor, “La Fortaleza”, there is a chapel where he could’ve gone to “get right with God” and have his “come to Jesus” moment.

 Instead, this “mamabicho” went to a Protestant church that streams their service online so everyone would see him “humiliating himself before God” in a last ditch effort to detract the angry mob that now wanted him to resign. Once again, he tried to manipulate his population with another PR stunt. 

Puerto Ricans thankfully, saw right through it.

 Rosselló would address Puerto Rico and it’s people as a whole on television saying he reaffirmed his commitment to see his job through and that he would not resign, but would instead “get rid of those that have wronged us” as if he had NO part in the damn thing, as if he didn’t say that stories about the Hurricane needed to be killed, that “crows needed to be fed corpses to keep them appeased”, as if he didn’t say that Ada Monzón (a respected meteorologist who went the extra mile and then some to keep us informed during and after Maria) should suck his dick. As if he didn’t sit there and say, along with his cronies, that they needed to make this whole Hurricane Maria situation work for them instead of against them. As if they didn’t laugh at the men, women, children, and elderly who suffered, got ill and perished under his watch. As if he didn’t let necessary and essential provisions go to waste for a fucking electoral vote. The motherfucker.

So that’s why they riot in Viejo San Juan right now. Because people had enough. People suffered enough. Enough people died. Enough manipulation happened. Because this hijueputa pushed it too damn far and worse? Found it funny. That’s why they march. To get their damn home back from the people in charge.

They took so much from these people, that they took the one thing they didn’t count on.

Their fear.

Puerto Rico Media Workout Quotes: Jose Pedraza Amped Up for Lozada Challenge

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico: It is personal for former two-division world champion and current lightweight contender Jose “Sniper” Pedraza. His opponent May 25 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, is Antonio Lozada Jr., who in March of last year knocked out then-undefeated Felix Verdejo in the 10th round. Verdejo and Pedraza both hail from Puerto Rico, and Pedraza, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko, hopes to avenge his countryman’s defeat.

Pedraza-Lozada will serve as the co-feature to Masayuki Ito’s WBO junior lightweight title defense against Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET).

The undercard (ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET) is chock full of Puerto Rico’s best young talent, including 130-pound puncher Henry Lebron (8-0, 6 KOs) and super flyweight contender Jeyvier Cintron (10-0, 5 KOs). Lebron will face Luis Lizarraga Jr. (6-12-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder, while Cintron, a two-time Puerto Rican Olympian, will battle former interim flyweight world champion Koki Eto (24-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

Pedraza, Cintron, and Lebron worked out for the media Wednesday at Felix Pagan Pintor Boxing Gym. This is what they had to say.

José Pedraza

“I am very motivated for this fight. Lozada is a very dangerous fighter, and the sport of boxing is very unpredictable. He is the typical Mexican warrior who always comes forward and applies pressure at all times, but we have worked very hard, and I am sure that I will come out victorious for all of Puerto Rico on May 25.”

“I want to get rid of that thorn (avenging Verdejo’s loss against Lozada), but I have to modify my words. I’m not going for revenge necessarily because only Felix can take revenge on Lozada. As the good Puerto Rican brothers that we are, I’m coming to take that thorn out because he beat one of my longtime friends. I’m coming to win this fight!”

“After this fight, I would like to return to the world title scene at 135 pounds, and I would like to be able to have a championship opportunity by the end of this year. But if I do not get that chance, I will examine my options at 140 pounds. I would like to become a three-division world champion.”

Jeyvier Cintron

“I’ve been waiting for this fight for a long time. I’ve been working hard with my coach, Iván Calderón, and I’m ready for big fights. It’s my time to shine, and on May 25, I’m going to show that I’m ready to face the great fighters at 115 pounds.”

“I’m going to face an experienced fighter who has already been an interim world champion, but I’m coming with everything. I’m going to give everything in the ring, and I assure my people that I will come out with the victory.”

Henry Lebrón

“I feel super happy to be representing the new wave of Puerto Rican fighters in front of the fans in Kissimmee. Many Boricua fighters will see action on May 25 at Osceola Heritage Park, and we are coming to give an excellent show to our people. Kissimmee is like our house.”

“My opponent is a Mexican fighter that endures a lot of punishment. He takes punches very well, and I think that this will be a long fight. I am prepared to go the distance, but I also have punching power. If I hurt him, I’m going for the knockout.”

“I am a young fighter. I am in the process of continuing to grow and learn, but in 2019, I would like to fight for a youth world title. If I get the opportunity to become a youth world champion, I will take full advantage of the opportunity.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with All Star Boxing and Teiken Promotions, tickets are on sale now. Priced at $100 (ringside) and $50 (general admission), including all taxes and facility fees, tickets may be purchased online via ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or in person at Osceola Heritage Park box office (open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. and on event days). For more information: www.ohpark.com.

For more information, visit: www.toprank.comwww.espn.com/boxing; Facebook:facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.

Use the hashtags #ItoHerring and PedrazaLozada to join the conversation on social media.