Puerto Ricans on the island and in the states have learned and benefited from landmark humanitarian efforts done by minorities. These include the fight for civil rights for African Americans led by Martin Luther King; the demand for justice for immigrants facing persecution and extreme poverty and the fight for the recognition of women's’ rights, the lgbt+ population, and human trafficking victims.
During this summer´s events in Puerto Rico, our people have proved their values, inspiring the world. With determination and unity, we Puerto Ricans have exercised democracy peacefully, in a powerful, clear expression against corruption led by the youth.
Puerto Rico has been recognized for that evolution. Trump's insults against the most vulnerable, invites us to join our wills in a broad democratic and humanistic community. The collection of experiences and lessons by each population group serves as a basis.
Each group brings its own experiences and lessons and that makes up the base.
With his peaceful revolution, Luther King's civil rights movement achieved legal equality for people that were treated as second-class citizens. His struggle extended to the rights of other minorities and injustice stemming from poverty. The efforts by that movement resulted in people in the United States electing a black president twice.
The women´s rights movement, which began in the late 19th century with leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony, made way for Congress to have today the largest number of women in its history: 95 of 435 representatives and 23 in the Senate. This was the result of an unprecedented number of women candidates: more than 500 women ran for political office in midterm elections last year. There are three women justices in the U.S. Supreme Court, including our Sonia Sotomayor. Other women are growing and opening spaces in all fields.
Also since the beginning of the last century, the Latino community resisted discrimination until they organized under César Chávez´s leadership in the 1960s. Shortly before, leaders like Phyllis Lyon, Dorothy Taliaferro, and Harry Hay, raised their voices against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Jewish and Asian communities have also suffered and overcame abuses that included hate attacks on American soil.
They have persevered in their right to dignity and they have significantly contributed to America’s progress. Each movement, strengthened by a diversity of organizations, has collaborated with the other. They move forward as peaceful movements, with great sacrifices. With a clear sense of purpose, reason, courage, and persistence, they have opened the way for better opportunities for many others.
Thanks to their victories, society has evolved. Their efforts unite us with those who are the target of the President’s prejudices today.
Inequalities and violent reactions against those who fight to protect and extend rights still persist.
In the face of dividing strategies driving intolerance from the highest federal office, the energy of indignation must be invested in transformation. As our predecessors showed, education defeats ignorance; building harmonious relationships helps to defeat fear, and participating through the vote and in peace defeats aggressions. Their legacy calls us today to join forces to advocate for and defend equality and progress for all.