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This is amazingly beautiful.

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#DropTheMic

So proud of the boys!

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My latest for NBC Latino.

NBC Latino

It took me three days to absorb the rather sobering and depressing story in Sunday’s Washington Post about the ongoing economic crisis in Puerto Rico. The article basically summed up what I have always known from family, friends and conversations with island experts and politicians: Puerto Rico is bleeding.

Consider some of the more stark statistics from the article:

  • The loss of 54,000 residents from 2010 to 2012, a 1.5 percent drop in population.
  • A drop in population of 138,000 residents since 2006, bringing the island’s current population to 3.7 million.
  • A $70 billion debt that is raising comparisons to Detroit.
  • $37 billion in pension obligations that are not funded.

The story paints a picture of a sinking island, one with no way out. But lost in all the numbers and tales of woe, is a very perceptive analysis by Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner and a non-voting member of Congress…

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My latest for NBC Latino.

NBC Latino

I am done.

Done with the engrained perception that U.S. Latinos are not “American enough,” that we are these foreign beings who all speak with accents, dance until 5 am, are loud, rambunctious and sexualized. For the record, it is safe to say that I don’t fit any of the previous stereotypes, although when I speak Spanish, my Puerto Rican accent is front and center.

This week this whole “Latinos aren’t Americans” theme happened yet again when Pitbull (of all people) was slammed by the Twitter Ignoranti for being some “Mexican” host of the American Music Awards.

Let me pause for a second and break this down.

We are talking about Pitbull, perhaps the most mainstream Latino pop star out there right now. The “Dale” guy whose music plays 24/7 at every dance club, health club and bad Top 40 station in the United States. You would think that of…

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My latest for NBC Latino

NBC Latino

Last month President Obama spoke at the White House in front of a sympathetic crowd of immigration rights groups and told the world the following: “We should pass immigration reform.  It’s good for our economy.  It’s good for our national security.  It’s good for our people.  And we should do it this year.”

He also added, “And if folks are really that consumed with the politics of fixing our broken immigration system, they should take a closer look at the polls because the American people support this. ”

The President urged all those in the room and all those pushing for reform to “keep putting the pressure on all of us to get this done.”

But this week, when asked  about the future of immigration reform, President Obama said, referring to Republicans, “If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces…

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This.

I have been in education for over 20 years. This young man is right.

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My latest for NBC Latino

NBC Latino

A year has passed since Puerto Ricans on the island voted (yet again) in a non-binding plebiscite to determine where they stand on the issue of self-determine and political status. Like a Facebook relationship status, the conclusions from the November 6, 2012 vote were “complicated.”

Did a majority of Puerto Ricans reject its current territorial status with the United States? Yes.

Did these same Puerto Ricans also vote for statehood? Yes and no.

Yes, because those who did vote in the second part of the ballot chose statehood over the other two options: sovereign free association and independence. No, because commonwealth supporters were urged by their party to leave the second part of the ballot blank. Problem is, voting blank wasn’t an option, so who knows what blank votes represent?

One year later, nothing has happened.

Sure, the White House has weighed in, saying that we need to a…

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