- Pages: 4
- Word count: 960
- Category: Stereotypes
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A stereotype can be described as belief certain people may have towards a religion, country or background. In 2003 many Puerto Ricans found themselves, leaving their homeland to move to the U. S. for a better future; due to the crisis that went on in Puerto Rico. Stereotypes have been around since the beginning of time until present time. In today’s generation, there’s not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t get stereotype for their looks. For those who might not know, I am eighteen years old, and I am a proud Puerto Rican.
Since the beginning time, one of the biggest stereotypes I have received throughout my years are, “You look too black to be Puerto Rican! ” “You are mix, aren’t you? ” Growing up, these statements made me question where I stand as a Puerto Rican. If you look through Puerto Rican history, you will find that the very first sellers in our country were the Indios Tainos. “The Indians Tainos were a subgroup of the Arawakan Indians that inhabited the Greater Antilles in which Puerto Rico was a part of.
” They were very peaceful and humble people, always took care of their families and look out for each other. When they settle into the island they called the island Boriken or Boriquen, which meant the great land of the valiant and noble lord. On November 19, of 1493, Puerto Rico got discovered by Christopher Columbus. This day made history for the many native Indians at the island. When Christopher Columbus colonize Puerto Rico; along with the Spaniards he brought the African with him. Which along the lines, this is where the interracial mix began.
In what later on in time, consisted of the Spaniards mixing with the Natives as well as the African; while having the African and Tainos serve as their sex slaves. Many people view or stereotype Puerto Ricans in a particular way, in which nine times out of ten, is not true. For example, the way people see Puerto Ricans are as bronze, nice, shiny tan, big brown eyes and wavy to curly hair. Which to many it might not sound bad or it might not be as offensive but the truth is we are not all like that.
When the African, Spaniards and Natives mix together, they created a whole new race which later became known as “Puerto Rican”. They created a whole new race, were people came in many different colors and shapes and sizes. They created diversity. Which is what most people don’t think of they hear Puerto Rican. If you look through research you will find that the exact percentage of the Puerto Rican race is composed of 80. 5% white, 8% black, and 0. 4% Native Indian. So, if people did actual research, and gotten more educated they wouldn’t get surprise when they see that a “white person” that’s Puerto Rican.
One of the biggest Puerto Rican stereotype, that’s well known throughout the U. S. is, “West Side Story”. Although it was a great production and the people who were cast really killed it with their dance moves as well as their singing and, besides the fact that Rita Moreno was in it and was the first Latina award winning; the people who were casted on the other hand were not Puerto Rican. Infact, they casted regular people and made them extra bronzy and were told to speak with heavy thick accents.
In this play, it was about the rivery between the two sides and how both main characters felt in love no matter their differences. As to the rest of the people that played the role as “Puerto Ricans” were view as gangers, loud and would like to look for trouble any way they could with their opposing. People often don’t view Puerto Rican, as doctors or lawyers or even judges for the supreme court. We are often looked at as loud, festive, street smart, not college educated, etc. Which affects us as a community because it makes us rethink who we are and where do we fit in.
As a Puerto Rican, myself, I can assure that not all puertoriccan fit into this stereotype; simply because I am college educated. Take Sotomayor for example, she’s a very proud puertorican, who came from the south Bronx area of New York and made it all the way to the Supreme Court Justice and became the first Latina to achieve this. In an article made by Daniela Gonzalez, she states,“All throughout my life, I’ve clashed with many stereotypes that describe “what a Puerto Rican is or should be” because “I don’t look Puerto Rican”.
It’s almost as if my fair skin, my green eyes, and shy demeanor are shocking, and almost offensive, to those who see me for the first time. This scenario is usually followed by “I don’t think you’re Puerto Rican. ” A lot of people do not realize the big impact, stereotyping has on others. By clashing certain people into certain groups because it makes your life easier; does not define the other person’s capability. To me knowing that I’m part white, part native and black is something that I’m very proud of to share with the world.
The color of my skin shouldn’t define who I am; because I am certain of who I am. No one should be “fit” or be “put in” into a certain circle just for the ease of people. The close minds society tends to have on what a person should look like, whether they come from a certain ethnicity, background or religion; and it needs to change. Puerto Ricans come in every shape and color possible, and as a community we will embrace that! So it goes, ? Yo soy Boricua, pa’ que tu lo sepas!