Opinion: Puerto Rican Day Parade and Misplaced Nostalgia

Policing of culture is a dangerous and slippery slope and no one should be in the business of telling people how to express their pride in their heritage. But the parade and celebrations surrounding it have become a space for the New York Police Department and others to corral Latinos into tight physical and mental boxes, at the cost a real sense of history and what can be done to challenge racism and the continuing status of an island many call a colony. Perhaps instead of arguing for a reclaiming, what is needed is a realignment. Perhaps Rican Weekend should be transformed into days, weeks, years of reconnection and reinvigoration of a movement so that Puerto Ricans from Bayamón to Bushwick, keep their eye on the prize of political and cultural sovereignty, not on getting drunk on outdated culturally irrelevant displays of marketing and non-profit power plays.

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