Same goes for pan-Latinism. In truth, Latin America is no more united than Europe, and the bonds of friendship between Mexico and Puerto Rico are nearly as weak as those between Germany and France.
The reaction was mixed. But my experiences at the personal level are precisely what allow me to reach the conclusion that Mexicans, generally speaking, hate Puerto Ricans, and the other way round. Still, every Latino Chicagoan knows this to be the case.
The Puerto Ricans in Humboldt Park have their own cultural and community organizations, with their own events, their own schools and their own businesses. Same goes for the Mexicans in La Villita. There are Puerto Rican gangs and Mexican gangs, obviously. I came to Pilsen as writer for a predominately Mexican art-activism media company based in the neighborhood, and for a while I was the only writer who discussed Puerto Rican issues and the goings-on in Humboldt Park.
Mind you, nearly everyone in "Puerto rican and mexican dating culture" group was Mexican, young and progressive; many were even leftists. The summer after second grade, my Honduran mother finally left my Puerto Rican father and moved us from predominately-Puerto-Rican Humboldt Park to a predominately-Mexican suburb.
The marriage soon collapsed and my uncle went away, taking his Mexicanness with him. Our neighborhood was a bit rough. I then opted for an Asian — a Korean J. I learned about Cantinflas when she compared his comedic movements to the way I dance banda.
Everything Mexicans say about Puerto Ricans they say equally about blacks: Just within the last few months, during a chat about the early days, Rocio admitted to me that she had been waiting for the moment when my inner Puerto Rican would reveal his machista self and either start limiting her freedom, or worse.
She was surprised to find my masculinity present but muted, which she found strange, for a Puerto Rican. Her fears centered on the old stereotype about Puerto Rican men being Lotharios. Many Puerto Ricans blame the negative perception — and the rotten treatment — of Latinos in the United States on Mexicans, who make up 60 percent of all Latinos in the United States and therefore have an weighted influence on the Latino image.
As the majority group, all the sins of the Mexican communities fall on the entire Latino population. Asians get the same treatment when non-Asians, not the difference between Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese or Singaporean, label everybody Chinese. Fortunately, much of my accusations carry less weight among the younger generations of Latinos, who are increasingly American-born, American-raised and, thus, more cosmopolitan and multicultural than their foreign-born, nationalistic and monocultural predecessors.
Younger Latinos more and more see themselves as being in the same boat with not only other Latinos but also other minority groups — with all young people, really. For many Latino millennials, being a millennial is more significant to their identities than being Latino. And that was my point from the beginning: Puerto rican and mexican dating culture are serious times, politically, economically, socially, locally, nationally and globally, which will require the forces of progress to stand united in the face of ascendant reactionary forces.
Trump and his lot won the most recent battle for the soul of the country because the rest of us were too divided and fuzzy-headed. Now is not to time to pretend things are another way. So I say again: Mexicans hate Puerto Ricans, and vice versa.