Puerto Rico After Irma

Hurricane Irma Skirts Puerto Rico, Leaves 1 Million Without Power
Hurricane Irma Skirts Puerto Rico, Leaves 1 Million Without Power

I just got off the phone with my best friend Ray from Puerto Rico. He told the devastation is as bad or worst then that depicted on TV. Many poor people lost everything they owned. Trees felled on peoples cars, roofs blown away, and massive flooding. And while they have begun to sell gasoline again the lines are outrageous. Thank God he and his wife suffered no damage to their property or their selves, but they are without water, electricity, gas or food. He told me that he and his wife get hot meals by trekking over to the military base.

Despite all this devastation the people are somehow pulling together. TV reports say they expect the electricity to take months before it gets restored. And with no electricity there can be no water. While it looks really, really bleak, after all this is the worst hurricane since at least 1928, the Island and it's people are resilient and in time will be back on track.

We, however, must not forget that before this natural disaster struck the Island's economy was suffering and it was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

At times like this the opportunists come out of the woodwork. TIME to shit or get off the pot.

According to "El Centro," the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, in a report titled The Original Million: Puerto Ricans in New York

The buying power of New York Puerto <a  href=
Ricans (in 2014) represented $21.1 billion" width="936" height="793" /> The buying power of New York Puerto Ricans (in 2014) represented $21.1 billion

The buying power of New York Puerto Ricans (in 2014) represented $21.1 billion out of the $134.5 billion total purchasing power of Puerto Ricans...

Do you think our collective buying power has increased or decreased in the three years since? I would venture to say that it has grown.

Can you imagine what we as a collective could do with that economic power? Supposed we did what the Blacks did in the 1970's - 1980's and just started buying from Puerto Rican merchants only. We would have a tremendous affect on the national economy while increasing the wealth of our community. Consider this, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. began to affect real change after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Remember this is a capitalist society the only God capitalist worship is money. Mess with their money and things begin to happen.

Or think about this. Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., started a movement in the late 19th century in which he advocated the return to Africa of all black people. Garvey was also a proponent of black economic empowerment. Do you think Puerto Ricans could, would, embark on something courageous as this? I do not.

There are many Revolutionary talkers, revolutionary idealist, revolutionary dreamers. The problem is that these revolutionaries are all here in the USA. They talk, share ideals and dreams but do nothing. Revolution does not have to come from the barrel of a gun. Look at the extreme right wing revolution that just took place here in the good ole US of A. That's right a revolution was fought and won right here and not a single bullet was fired. That revolution was years in the making and in November of 2016 it was fought and won. Now the extreme right wing has total control of the three branches of government.

While the revolutionary talkers talk, and the revolutionary idealist share ideas, and the revolutionary dreamers continue to dream the Island Nation of Puerto Rico is being pillaged and sold off piece meal.

This natural disaster is going to make it so easy for foreigners to come in and swoop large parcels of land at bargain basement prices. What are WE going to do about it? There are many well to do Puerto Ricans these days, it's not like a few decades ago that we had few, if any, Puerto Rican millionaires. Everyone knows that if you donate to charitable causes you get a tax write off so in essence you are really profiting by helping your compatriots. Case in point: Oprah Winfrey's investment in a school for girls in Africa. Not only was this a wonderful humanitarian thing to do, but it has real value. These young women are getting a real, quality education so that they in turn are qualified to enter the workforce and make real contributions. Y para el pueblo Puertoricano aye carino?

Attención revoluciónario, con la boca es un mamay. Will the Wealthy Puerto Rican's step up?

Here's a list of Puerto Rican's that have money that could make a difference IF THEY WANTED TO.
(This list was simply copied from Wikapedia so it may be old, some may be dead etc. but I think you, reader, get the gist)

Can we count on you, after all you are still "Jenny from the block" right?

A
Kirk Acevedo
José Miguel Agrelot (a.k.a. "Don Cholito"), comedian
Jorge Alberti, actor
Trini Alvarado, actress
Miguel Ángel Álvarez, actor and comedian
La La Anthony, actress, MTV VJ
Marc Anthony, singer and actor
Víctor Argo, actor
Yancey Arias, actor
Raymond Arrieta, comedian and television host
Miguel Arteta, film/television director[3]
Rick Avilés, actor and comedian
Charlotte Ayanna, actress

B

Ivonne Belén, documentary director and producer
Rosa Blasi, theatrical actress
Giselle Blondet, actress and television host
Diego Boneta, actor, singer-songwriter (Puerto Rican grandfather)
Lucy Boscana, television and theatrical actress

C

Paul Calderón, actor
Armando Calvo, actor
Norma Candal, actress and comedian
Irene Cara, actress and singer
Awilda Carbia, actress and comedian[4]
Braulio Castillo, actor
Braulio Castillo, hijo, actor
David Castro, actor (Puerto Rican father)
Raquel Castro, actress (Puerto Rican father)[5]
Melwin Cedeño, comedian
Iris Chacón, Puerto Rican singer and dancer
Abdiel Colberg, film director and television producer
Ivonne Coll, actress
Miriam Colón Edgar, actress and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre
Liza Colón Zayas, film and theatrical actress
Paquito Cordero, comedian and television producer[6]
Mapita Cortés, actress
Mapy Cortés, actress
Mara Croatto, actress
Alexis Cruz, actor
Wilson Cruz, actor
Ismael Cruz Córdova, actor[7]

D

Dagmar, actress, singer and television host
Henry Darrow, actor
Raúl Dávila, actor
Rosario Dawson, actress
Blanca de Castejón, actress
Kamar de los Reyes, actor
Joey Dedio, actor, writer, producer[8][9]
Idalis DeLeón, actress, former MTV VJ, singer (Seduction)
Benicio del Toro, Academy Award-winning actor
Sylvia del Villard, actress, choreographer and dancer
Michael DeLorenzo, actor
Alba Nydia Díaz, actress
Melonie Díaz, actress[10]

E

Lydia Echevarría, actress (convicted for her role in the death of producer Luis Vigoreaux)
Héctor Elizondo, actor
Erik Estrada, actor

F

Antonio Fargas, actor
José Ferrer, first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award
Miguel Ferrer, actor
Rafael Ferrer, actor
Nina Flowers, female impersonator and singer

G

Gloria Garayúa, actress[11]
Aimée García, actress
Mayte García, actress, dancer
Luis Gatica, actor
Marilyn Ghigliotti, actress
Julián Gil, television and film actor, model
Joyce Giraud, actress, former Miss Puerto Rico Universe titleholder
Ian Gómez, actor
Marga Gómez, actress, playwright
Reagan Gómez-Preston, actress
Rick González, actor
Meagan Good, actress[12]
Javier Grillo Marxuach, television and film producer
Luis Guzmán, actor
Luis Roberto Guzmán, television and film actor

H

April Lee Hernández, actress
Juano Hernández, actor
William Hernández, actor
Lillian Hurst, comedian, actress (television series Dharma and Greg)

I

Mark Indelicato, actor
Vincent Irizarry, actor

J

Shar Jackson, actress/singer (Puerto Rican father)
Raúl Juliá, actor
Victoria Justice, singer, television actress (Victorious) (Puerto Rican mother)

L

Eva LaRue, actress
Sunshine Logroño, comedian
Adamari López, actress
Jennifer López, singer, actress, and dancer
Priscilla López, actress, singer, and dancer[13]

Bruno_Mars

Don't believe it? Just watch

M

Bruno Mars, performance artist (Puerto Rican father)
Justina Machado, actress
Sonia Manzano, actress
Eddie Marrero, actor
Elizabeth Marrero, male impersonator and performance artist/actress
Tony Martínez (1920–2002) actor, singer, and bandleader;remembered for having played Pepino Garcia in The Real McCoys television series[14]
Alexis Mateo, female impersonator, reality television personality
Claribel Medina, actress
Jorge Merced, theatre actor and director[15]
Ángela Meyer, actress, comedian and producer
Ari Meyers, actress
Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor, composer, rapper and writer, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights; has won a Pulitzer Prize, two Grammys, an Emmy, a MacArthur "Genius" Award, and three Tony awards[16]
René Monclova, actor and comedian
Mario Montez, female impersonator; actor; member of Warhol Superstars
Esaí Morales, actor
Jacobo Morales, comedian,director, and actor
Alicia Moreda, actress, comedian
Rita Moreno, actress, first Hispanic woman to win the following four major awards: an Oscar, a Tony Award, an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award
Frankie Muñiz, actor (Puerto Rican father)
Tommy Muñiz, television producer, comedian
Rafo Muñiz, comedian and producer

N

Lymari Nadal, actress
Taylor Negrón, actor/comedian
Frances Negrón Muntaner, filmmaker, writer, and scholar[17]
Micaela Nevárez, actress; first Puerto Rican to win a Goya Award
Amaury Nolasco, actor

O

Tony Oliver, voice actor
Karen Olivo, actress (Puerto Rican father); winner of 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress[18]
Ana Ortiz, actress
Elín Ortiz, actor, television producer
John Ortiz, actor

P

Marian Pabón, actress, singer and comedian
Antonio Pantojas, drag queen
Lana Parrilla, actress (Puerto Rican father)[19]
Rosie Pérez, actress
Aubrey Plaza, actress
Freddie Prinze, Jr., actor (Puerto Rican grandmother)
Freddie Prinze, comedian, actor (Puerto Rican mother)

Q

Adolfo Quiñones, actor, dancer, choreographer

R

Luis Antonio Ramos, actor
Gina Ravera, actress
Carmen Belén Richardson, comedian/actress
Armando Riesco, actor
Osvaldo Ríos, actor and singer
Chita Rivera, actress, singer and dancer; winner of two Tony Awards
José Rivera, playwright; first Puerto Rican nominated for an Oscar in "Best Adapted Screenplay" category
Luis Antonio Rivera, a.k.a. "Yoyo Boing", comedian
Marquita Rivera, first Puerto Rican actress to appear in a major Hollywood motion picture
Naya Rivera, actress[20] (Puerto Rican father)
Ramón Rivero, also known as "Diplo", comedian; organized the world's first known Walk-A-Thon in 1953[citation needed]
Adalberto Rodríguez, a.k.a. "Machuchal", comedian
Adam Rodríguez, actor
Freddy Rodríguez, actor
Gina Rodríguez, actress
Gladys Rodríguez, comedian, actress
Jai Rodríguez, television personality (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)
Michelle Rodriguez, actress
Ramón Rodríguez
Marta Romero, actress and singer
Johanna Rosaly, actress

S

Zoé Saldaña, actress (Puerto Rican mother)[21]
Olga San Juan, film actress and dancer[22]
Jaime Sánchez, actor (musical West Side Story, film The Wild Bunch)
Kiele Sánchez, actress
Marcelino Sánchez, actor
Roselyn Sánchez, actress
Esther Sandoval, actress
Renoly Santiago, actor
Saundra Santiago, actress
Rubén Santiago-Hudson, actor and playwright
Jon Seda, actor
Jimmy Smits, actor (Puerto Rican mother)
Yara Sofía, female impersonator, reality television personality
Talisa Soto, actress, model
Miguel Ángel Suárez, actor, playwright, stage director

T

Rachel Ticotin, actress
Liz Torres, actress
Rose Troche, film/television director[23][24]

U

Alanna Ubach, actress (Puerto Rican mother)

V

Joseph Vásquez, film director, screenwriter
Nadine Velázquez, actress
Eddie Vélez, actor, Traffic, White Chicks[25]
Lauren Vélez, actress
Loraine Vélez, actress
Christina Vidal, actress and singer
Lisa Vidal, actress
Juan Emilio Viguié, pioneer movie producer; produced Romance Tropical, the first Puerto Rican film with sound[26]

W

Otilio Warrington, also known as "Bizcocho", comedian
Jessica Wild, female impersonator, reality television personality
Holly Woodlawn, female impersonator, actor

Z

David Zayas, actor
Marcos Zurinaga, film director/screenwriter

Mientras el pueblo sufre, estas personas famosas siguen ganando salarios inmensos. Una contribución de ellos colectivamente podría darle la vuelta a la economía. Digamos que algunos de ellos colaboraron en una empresa similar a Planet Hollywood. Ese fue un collobration entre Bruce Willis, Slyvestor Stallone, Arnold Schartenager y, creo Demi Moore. It does not even have to be a charitable cause, just start investing in Puerto Rico. Buy property, build clubs, restaurants, resorts. Build a tourism infrastructure owned by and for Puerto Ricans.
Why not build a movie lot and bring production to the Island? There are so many things that could be done to enrich yourself while helping Puerto Rico. Why it is that the Cauacasion and Japanese see great investment opportunities yet the Puerto Rican upper class, because even if you say you are "Jenny from the block" you are the upper class, why not invest in your motherland? Even if you are of Puerto Rican decent, meaning your Grand Parents were from the Island and your parents were born in the US mainland, if you have a few drops of Puerto Rican blood running through your veins you should be bleeding the same way we are.

In 1985 We Are the World," a song and charity recorded by the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA), raised millions of dollars for aide for Africa. Where are our Salseros, Regetoneros, raperos, rockeros? Where is our we are the world moment?

Con la boca es un mamay.

BODEGA

By now most people that care have already heard about the new "automated convenience" store called, of all things, Bodega. The term bodega has been part of the New York Puerto Rican lexicon for generations. Because of its place in New York history even TV shows like Law and Order often use it when referring to a mom and pop store in the hood. So what does a company come out of no where and not only decide to use the term, but use the term to automate the corner store? The excuse for using the term is deplorable and actually an insult to our intelligence.

This new automated "Bodega" will offer the same type of products that the local bodega now carries so how can they even fix their face to same it is not intended to replace "the Bodega?" If they automated things were selling computer parts, or say Mobile Phones then I would buy the notion that it is not intended to replace "the bodega." But that is not the case, it is an automated grocery store selling the same products that the local mom and pop stores currently sell except that they will be located, get this, inside apartment building lobbies, in college dorms, and other locations where local bodegas are not located.

It's the same old argument made when "they" decided to build big box stores in urban neighborhoods, like the Pathmark in East Harlem. I was a member of the community planning board when that monstrosity was proposed, I was even against it but the vote passed and it was built. Of course there are always to two sides to every debate and on the one side was the community concern. Members of the community, usually local leaders, ministers, block association presidents, etc. that were highly motivated (cha ching) would argue in favor of the Pathmark. They'd cite things like lower prices, fresher vegetables, yada, yada, yada. On the opposition side we cite things like breaking up neighborhoods, destroying local mom and pops stores, disrupting traffic, and causing congestion. But the Pathmark was built, it served or disservice the community for about 15 years and now we have a beautiful empty store on a piece of prime real estate in East Harlem.

So this "Bodega" thing that is not meant to replace the bodega is just another way to rip off the small guy. Think about this one. East Harlem and neighborhoods like it, where the concept of La Bodega was born and has flourished, just happens to be a poor community. During the early 1970's when there was much "white flight" East Harlem's demographics shifted. Whereas prior to the 1970's East Harlem was a predominantly white neighborhood. It boosted Italians (the majority population), Irish, Eastern Europeans and Jews. As an aside, the East Harlem Community has historically been a community of immigrants going back to the time period as depicted in Martin Scorsese' film, "Gangs of New York." But in the late 1940 and 50's America experienced a great migration of Puerto Rican's from the Island to New York City. The very first wave of this mass migration arrived into the Brooklyn Navy Yard on a ship named the "Marine Tiger." There were several other ships used as well but most notable is this one. Thereafter, Puerto Rican's migrated on airplanes. Because of the airplane and its lower cost Puerto Rican's migrated enmasse. Forming their own communities, as all immigrants entering the US do, they established grocery stores where Puerto Rican's could get the products they are used to, thus the bodega was born.

Now an automated system called bodega has been brought to market, yey for progress, phooey for the poor bastards that get left behind. But hey, this is the American Way.