Politics

The Regressive Left Are At it Again: The Colonizer Mindset and Puerto Rico

Folks, we regret to inform you that the pearl-clutching brigade is at it again. This time, the white and privileged colonizers in D.C. are seeking to erase the cultural history of American citizens in the name of “progress” that fits their comfortable narrative, completely disregarding the will of the people.

What is the cause célèbre of the Regressive Left this time? Cockfighting. Yes, you read that right: cockfighting, the sport in which two roosters are placed into a ring to fight, often to the death. It is already banned in all 50 American states, with Lousiana becoming the last state to make it illegal just ten years ago, in 2008.  Now, lawmakers are preparing to ban it in all U.S. territories with a bill attached to this year’s United States farm bill. What most coastal elites are calling “common sense legislation” is causing massive waves of outrage in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

While Puerto Ricans are American citizens that pay taxes and elect representatives to the federal government, they have absolutely zero power in Washington D.C. Their elected officials are not allowed to cast votes in Congress, meaning that elected officials from the other 50 states get to vote on the issues that determine their future.

The Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement (PACE) Act was lobbied for extensively by the Humane Society and introduced by a bipartisan pair of congressmen, Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who had received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the Humane Society. The donations apparently weren’t enough for Roskam, as he lost his 2018 re-election campaign to a climate change scientist after serving six consecutive terms in Congress. The PACE Act bill will enact a federal ban on cockfighting in all U.S. territories, to include Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Despite the bill being designed completely to regulate American territories, not a single elected representative from these territories could do anything other than express their displeasure and beg Congress not to pass bills that will directly and negatively impact communities of U.S. citizens in these territories, while having zero positive or negative impact on the voters who elected them to office.

Puerto Rican Congresswoman Jenniffer Aydin González Colón said that the ban would impact 27,000 direct and indirect jobs in Puerto Rico and drive an $18 million industry underground. The unemployment and loss of legal revenue on the island will be an additional blow to a community that has been dealing with an economic recession for over 12 years. Cockfighting in Puerto Rico has been regulated since 1933 and has a history on the island stretching back hundreds of years. The sport was first officially recognized in 1770, but was first banned in 1898 after the United States invaded the island. However, in 1933 the sport became officially sanctioned and quickly became known as the “gentleman’s sport.” Cockfighting is an integral part of the island’s culture and folklore, as well as the sole source of income for thousands of families.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says they don’t care about tradition, culture, or poverty. They insist that it is their job to make sure these “savages” in Puerto Rico reflect PETA’s ethics. It would be irresponsible to not point out the racial overtones of white elites telling brown indigenous peoples that their cultures are “horrific” and “barbaric.” This type of federal overreach at the request of special interest groups embodies the very worst aspects of colonial expansion and the white-washing of native history. Let me be perfectly clear about what I am saying: when you attempt to use force to impose your ideologies upon another group, that is called “fascism.” Doing it because your white, Western culture is “better” than that of your fellow Hispanic citizens is racism. Colonizing has never been so polished.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Adam P

Adam is an Army Special Operations veteran, with over ten years of active duty service and multiple combat and training deployments to various locations throughout the world.

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