Regarding, “Weekly column promotes ignorance," I salute and congratulate Danny Mota for his response to the piece on Puerto Rico.
His was a most needed voice. The fact that some readers would not understand the bad taste in the original post shows how much work we still need to reduce insensitivity and isolation.
But as an online comment briefly mentioned, satire, as with other forms of conscientious humor (i.e. comedy), is meant to reveal problems in need of solution and bring attention to hidden, but important issues. We, then, should question what issues and problems were the original piece wanting to spotlight?
Certainly, this would have been a satire if it would have attempted to improve our understanding of the situation it insisted to ridicule.
If the purpose of writing would have been to show how trivial people could be in perceiving the problems on the island, then it would have been a proper way to laugh.
If the column would have pointed out how senseless some people's perceptions are of a nation we occupied and colonized, then it would have been a useful way to point out a real problem.
If the article would have said that the far-reaching political and economic decisions we take affecting other people are often made from indifference, and even worse, from incurious attitudes toward others, then it would have been an extremely intelligent and funny piece.
Unfortunately, the piece did not mean any of these. Instead, the author seemed to show he placed more value on popular-culture icons than on people's lives. True, near the end he admitted the shallowness of his points, but did not detract them and left it implied as if that was how he really felt. Funny was cheap that day.
It was surreal, but I heard people laugh when they read the original piece because they could relate, they said. But as Danny argued, this indicates little care for the plights of others and takes for granted our position of power (power is meant for justice).
Perhaps Puerto Rico will never join the union or no critical number of Puerto Ricans will ever want to apply. The situation is more complicated than it seems. Take for example that the United Nations approved this year yet another resolution urging the U.S. to decolonize Puerto Rico.
Yet, democracy only works when we are able to laugh at our mistakes, society's weaknesses and our political system (try that in North Korea). So let's make fun of that, then, and not of a colonized country.
Comedy directed toward others to highlight their unimportance is not simply a cheap form of humor; it is also a dangerous one. Ask any enslaved or racially branded person, or any other subjugated group, and they will explain it to you like no book would.
So, hopefully, we will continue to have more watchful students concerned with fairness.
Dennis R. Hidalgo