Bill Maher is a comedian and TV personality that I have enjoyed listening to for years. I generally agree with most of his opinions. But now sadly I have a bone to pick with Mr. Maher. On Friday’s show he did a bit about celebrity endorsements of political figures. He showed what the celebrities stated reasons were for supporting a candidate and then humorously stated why they were really supporting the candidate. Some funny stuff. But then he gets to Jennifer Lopez and her real reason for supporting Hillary Clinton – so that she doesn’t deport her and her Mom.
Now I am not thin skinned (I am Puerto Rican) and am not upset about the joke per se, and actually I am not really upset just astonished. Bill Maher is supposedly a well informed, left leaning (liberal) personality. Which is why I am so surprised that he has no clue that Puerto Ricans (which Jennifer Lopez is) are U.S. citizens. All Puerto Rican were made U.S. citizens back in 1917 when the U.S. was looking for cheap sources of labor after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 effectively halted a source of cheap labor for U.S. Corporations. The first Puerto Rican migrants (notice I did not say immigrants) were field workers for Sugar Plantations in Hawaii.
Must I now must question all of Bill Maher’s statements and opinions? I already do, as any intelligent person should when confronted by information from secondary sources.
Latinos are not all the same. It is a hugely diverse group tied together by a language and a history of exploitation by the Spanish Crown. We are not all Mexican landscapers or Dominican hotel staff or Cuban entertainers. Puerto Ricans do not live in fear that they will be deported back to Puerto Rico and a large percentage of Puerto Ricans (66%) in the U.S were born here. I was.