[News] The Dark Truth, of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 26 17:39:19 EDT 2017

  The Dark Truth, of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

June 12, 2016 (last year)


*By Nelson Denis*

The Puerto Rican Day Parade has a dark secret.

It has nothing to do with celebrities, rich corporations, or slick 

It is a deep mystery, from the heart and history of Puerto Rico, which 
explains the whole parade…

Seventy years ago, Boricuas were given the worst jobs and housing in New 
York City. They were also beaten by their neighbors and the NYPD.

And yet in 1958, some brave Boricuas dared to hold a humble parade where 
they could march with pride, arm-in-arm, through the heart of Manhattan.

Mothers clapped their hands…to the /bombas/ and /plenas/ of their childhood.

Fathers schooled their children…explaining the floats dedicated to 
Puerto Rican towns known for sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, pineapples and 

The Puerto Rican pride spread rapidly.

By 1966, the parade was already a “must do” event for politicians and 

Today, the parade is a celebrity spectacle with 2 million spectators, 
100,000 marchers, and a stampede of corporate sponsors.

Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Hillary Clinton 
and Mayor Bloomberg have all “starred” in it.

This year Rosario Dawson, Carmelo Anthony, Ednita Nazario and Adam 
Rodríguez will lead the parade up Fifth Avenue. (2016)

But even as “The Parade” has become one of the nation’s largest outdoor 
celebrations, there is a secret that few people suspect…

A secret that reaches into the heart of every Puerto Rican, without 
their even knowing it.

It is the secret of the Puerto Rican flag.


Have you ever noticed the wild, uncontrollable, impassioned display of 
flags at every Puerto Rican Day Parade?

No matter where you look…it is a tidal wave of flags!

Mile after mile, you see this:

And this:

And this:

And even this:

This is no coincidence.

There is a *_deep_*_*reason*_ for this emotional attachment.

There is a *_reason_* why /Que Bonita Bandera/ and /Preciosa /bring 
tears to our eyes…and sometimes we don’t even know why.

It is because this flag represents an ideal…the ideal of lost youth 
and forgotten illusions…just like last night’s dream, or tomorrow’s TV 

But there is one more reason, why this flag is the emotional heart of 
the parade.

It is the secret which explains *_everything_*.

We adore our flag because for many years, any Puerto Rican who owned 
one, would go to jail for ten years.


For many years, the United States wanted only _one_ flag in Puerto Rico.

Here is that flag, in the inauguration of the first US Governor of 
Puerto Rico, in April 1900:

Pedro Albizu Campos refused to salute this flag.

In order to crush Don Pedro and the Nationalist movement, a law was 
passed in 1948, right after Don Pedro got out of jail.

It was called *Public Law 53*, and also known as /La Ley de la 
Mordaza/…the Gag Law.

Law 53 made it a felony to sing a song, whistle a tune, or utter *_one 
word_* against the US government, or in favor of Puerto Rican independence.

This included singing /La Borinqueña/, or owning a Puerto Rican flag.

Own a flag…ten years in jail.

Every day, the FBI and Insular Police raided people’s homes, searched 
for flags, and hauled Puerto Ricans off to jail.

They did it *_all over_* the island.

In November 1950, they arrested *_3,000_ *Puerto Ricans within one week! 
Some of them were only eight years old.

In many cases the flag – all by itself – was the sole piece of evidence.

Own a flag…ten years in jail.


The Gag Law violated the US constitution. But it took nine years to 
repeal it, in 1957.

The very *_next_* year, in 1958, the first *Puerto Rican Day Parade* was 
held in New York City.


The Puerto Rican flags and celebration were everywhere…the passion was 
astonishing…New York had never seen anything like it!

The Puerto Rican Day parade exploded into New York City, with the 
emotion and power of an entire people…that had finally found a voice…for 
one day…on Fifth Avenue.

The politicians couldn’t explain it, but they did know one thing…that 
they better get in front of this parade, and yell /“¡Que viva Puerto Rico!”/

That much they _did_ understand.


The deep secret of the Puerto Rican Day Parade is this:

*The parade was born in the hearts of an entire natio**n…**where 
everyone was declared a crimina**l… **if they dared to show their flag.*

And now for one beautiful day, through the heart of New York City, we 
show that flag to the whole world.

Let them throw a Financial Control Board at us.

Let the US Supreme Court call us a “territorial possession.”

We all *_know_* what is in our hearts, and in our memory…

We will *_never_* give up our island…

And that is why we will *_win_*.

*/Que bonita bandera/**//*

*/Que bonita bandera/**//*

*/Que bonita bandera es la bandera Puertorriqueña/*


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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