April 4, 2019
Discussing Trump lashing out at Puerto Ricans and complaining they've received too much money, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley twice refers to Puerto Rico as "that country" pic.twitter.com/GbzhWOniYU
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) April 2, 2019
A White House spokesman this week referred to Puerto Rico as “that country” while appearing on NBC to complain about how the colony is simply a money pit that the US taxpayer is dumping truckloads of cash into.
In response, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló tweeted out the claim that Puerto Rico is a part of the USA.
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) April 2, 2019
This is technically true.
But it shouldn’t be true.
The era of colonialism is over. So keeping a colony should be considered wrong by US liberals and certainly by the colonized.
Imagine if the French still occupied Algeria or Vietnam, if Spain still occupied Mexico or The Philippines, if Britain still occupied India and Egypt.
Everyone would be screaming that it was a travesty, and it was time for the colonies to have independence.
But Puerto Rico is screaming that they’re a proud colony, and no one bats an eye.
This basically proves that the entire history of colonialism that we are being told in schools and by the media is a gigantic farce. If nations want to be colonies, and demand to be recognized as such, then how is colonialism evil?
And Puerto Rico is a “nation” even while it is a colony.
“Nation” is defined by ethnic and linguistic homogeneity. Puerto Ricans are not a part of the American nation, which is a two-parter made up of a white English-speaking nation and a separate black ebonics-speaking former slave nation.
The entire concept of decolonization was that it was better for all nations to have their own state and to run their own governments. We were told that this was fundamentally good.
So what is going on with Puerto Rico?
Why do they want to be ruled over by whites?
Obviously, the immediate reason is that they want money.
But the reason that whites have money and they don’t is because whites are better at running countries. So that would have applied to every brown former colony that now has independence.
There is not a single former colony that is better off economically post-decolonization, save for East Asian nations (excluding the Philippines and Cambodia, and only including Malaysia and Indonesia because they are effectively colonies of China now).
I’m not saying that I support colonialism.
Probably, I do not. In general I do not. I think the nation-state was more or less a good idea.
What I am saying is that the narrative that white men were evil for doing colonization is just completely baseless, incoherent bullshit, and that Puerto Rico’s obsession with being a US colony, and reminding everyone that they are a colony, gives the lie to “evil white man did colonialism.”
The truth of the matter is that the “White Man’s Burden” was real. Colonialism wasn’t a gift to the white man – it was a burden on us. Just as the bottomless money pit of Puerto Rico is an obvious burden on the US right now.
And this is not some kind of revisionism. It was always viewed this same way – the same way that we view Puerto Rico now as this undue responsibility to be the nanny of these people who can’t take care of themselves.
Look at this political cartoon from 1898, portraying the colony of the Philippines that was transferred to the US from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American war as a orphaned negro infant crying for food.
The actual revisionism is that colonialism was something exploitative rather than being driven by the same kind of goofy altruism that drives United Nations foreign aid programs right now.