The Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) Executive Council (EC) condemns the acts of terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Like many, we are concerned by increasing white supremacist intimidation and violence in the United States. The PRSA EC reiterates its commitment to actively working toward the eradication of racism through education and community engagement. We will continue to support scholars, activists, and artists working to challenge racial hierarchies and structures of inequality within the United States, Puerto Rico, and around the globe.
As an association concerned with Puerto Rico and its diaspora, we especially wish to denounce the actions of those who participated in the brutal assault on De’Andre Harris, a Black educator and activist. Particularly a Puerto Rican man who admitted to participating in the assault, but repeatedly suggested he could not be racist because he is Puerto Rican. Unfortunately, this is a line of thinking with which we are all too familiar. As an association, the PRSA EC will continue to promote scholarship that examines anti-Black racism within Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora. We must be attentive to the ways in which histories of slavery, colonization, and spatial segregation have created and consolidated anti-Black and white supremacist ideologies within the Puerto Rican community that result in the kinds of violence we witnessed in Charlottesville.
We stand with those demanding that monuments to white supremacy be taken down. We support those taking to the streets to send the message that racism and fascism will be resisted and we applaud those fighting for a better and more inclusive future.