11 Things You Should Never Say To A Puerto Rican
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

11 Things You Should Never Say To A Puerto Rican

Don't Be That Person

9808
11 Things You Should Never Say To A Puerto Rican
Jessica Pinero

Puerto Ricans. They are very proud people and whether they were born on the island or born in the United States by Puerto Rican parent(s). It gets even better when they meet another fellow Puerto Rican or Latino in general. You’ll know quickly if they are Puerto Rican whether the flag is printed somewhere on their person or whether they tell you or whether the famous phrase “wepa!” is said.

As a Puerto Rican born in Ohio who has a very Puerto Rican family, I can tell you that there are also things that you shouldn’t say to us. Here are the most common no-no’s that have been said to Puerto Ricans.

1. “Oh, so you/your family are immigrants!”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095693021482561-1970890607_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=278&h=2570624cf62f462f95bd89aaf6fd6fde5ba4f1f97f225780a9aa8ccead5f14d7&size=980x&c=3666062206 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095693021482561-1970890607_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D278%26h%3D2570624cf62f462f95bd89aaf6fd6fde5ba4f1f97f225780a9aa8ccead5f14d7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3666062206%22%7D" expand=1]

Puerto Rico is not an independent country. It is one of a few United States territories that have their own local government but abide by U.S. law and U.S. leaders. Everyone on that island is a U.S. citizen so no, my family members are not immigrants.

2. “Is Puerto Rico near Mexico?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095694198136671-781543561_tumblr_n19edgajZU1tqs1heo1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=528&h=80d16793e4c3484fb005689579cab4c1ee07ef55617671fb2d39050cb43d22d3&size=980x&c=3748399293 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095694198136671-781543561_tumblr_n19edgajZU1tqs1heo1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D528%26h%3D80d16793e4c3484fb005689579cab4c1ee07ef55617671fb2d39050cb43d22d3%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3748399293%22%7D" expand=1]

Okay, Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island in, you guessed it, the Caribbean Sea along with a bunch of other islands. Each of those islands has a unique culture and history so why do you always assume all Latin nations/territories are near or associated with Mexico?

3. “Do you speak Puerto Rican?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095695021796024-1422973509_tumblr_lvlzc9QStE1qcvyp7.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=150&h=f563314d19c22e46254d8e2325d81b701e4ca8e55c149dcd3cd57fc6e618df1c&size=980x&c=634068493 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095695021796024-1422973509_tumblr_lvlzc9QStE1qcvyp7.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D150%26h%3Df563314d19c22e46254d8e2325d81b701e4ca8e55c149dcd3cd57fc6e618df1c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D634068493%22%7D" expand=1]

Even though Puerto Rico has its own slang, there is no such thing as a language called “Puerto Rican.” Puerto Ricans speak Spanish. Period.

4. “You look too light/dark to be Puerto Rican.”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095695900944794-464578397_tumblr_inline_niglfpwUL51t5zld5.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=350&h=6d1225e1ed9a19626a162d4125a2b9f95f5b0f52384994df1e1374b71b7abb48&size=980x&c=3430887993 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095695900944794-464578397_tumblr_inline_niglfpwUL51t5zld5.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D350%26h%3D6d1225e1ed9a19626a162d4125a2b9f95f5b0f52384994df1e1374b71b7abb48%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3430887993%22%7D" expand=1]

This comment irritates me to no end. Puerto Ricans- and Latinos, for that matter- are extremely diverse. Our descendant range from the Spanish conquistadors to the indigenous groups who lived before colonization to the African slaves who were brought to the region. Not all of us fit the stereotypical mold of appearance.

5. “Do I need my passport to go to Puerto Rico?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095696882118618369923455_large.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=325&h=4a21c51a6fd9601d540d101db19be18739b5c9cd86717dc765eced29dcf47205&size=980x&c=1334055505 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095696882118618369923455_large.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D325%26h%3D4a21c51a6fd9601d540d101db19be18739b5c9cd86717dc765eced29dcf47205%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1334055505%22%7D" expand=1]

Again, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory not a country, therefore, you don’t need a passport to go there.

6. “Geez, you are obsessed with your flag. We get it, you’re Puerto Rican.”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095697974580269-1314373887_tumblr_ltmy25NI9w1r4ghkoo1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=614&h=1d1e4cf424303a2e3e03e84a71170279f36a34c4bf3dbcd142bed7d3eef51fec&size=980x&c=1353211996 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095697974580269-1314373887_tumblr_ltmy25NI9w1r4ghkoo1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D614%26h%3D1d1e4cf424303a2e3e03e84a71170279f36a34c4bf3dbcd142bed7d3eef51fec%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1353211996%22%7D" expand=1]

Since when was it a bad thing to show pride towards one’s heritage? Last time I checked, no one was making fun of patriotic folks who waves the stars and stripes of the U.S. flag.

7. “Why are you so loud?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F6360956987615963341973515363_tumblr_lioubsKuLK1qfr6kl.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=366&h=97962fd3b33fa274ca920306e56972b8dafe5af5b3788e951fefb644f6ab3136&size=980x&c=4098181764 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F6360956987615963341973515363_tumblr_lioubsKuLK1qfr6kl.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D366%26h%3D97962fd3b33fa274ca920306e56972b8dafe5af5b3788e951fefb644f6ab3136%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4098181764%22%7D" expand=1]

We are just loud people. If you don’t like it, don’t talk to us.

8. “So does your family know English?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095700198639120434913686_tumblr_inline_mr5sorRcBX1qz4rgp.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=516&h=19798c98b6598cf5ff71c7668f254d59b247656bdce2333343d14de689613fb3&size=980x&c=1701043687 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095700198639120434913686_tumblr_inline_mr5sorRcBX1qz4rgp.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D516%26h%3D19798c98b6598cf5ff71c7668f254d59b247656bdce2333343d14de689613fb3%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1701043687%22%7D" expand=1]

Puerto Ricans are taught Spanish and English. Both are the official languages. Technically, Spanish is the first language of many Puerto Ricans on the island, but they understand and speak English. In fact, there are schools on the island that teach in English.

9. “Oh my god, Puerto Ricans are so spicy.”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095702097786877-788293908_giphy-1.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=10&h=f26749f0cf090ce2e4c965ddc2cd5968861fcea7d98ed2c43a4369c0f4812c70&size=980x&c=3679170098 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095702097786877-788293908_giphy-1.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D10%26h%3Df26749f0cf090ce2e4c965ddc2cd5968861fcea7d98ed2c43a4369c0f4812c70%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3679170098%22%7D" expand=1]

This is an annoying stereotype that also plagues much of the Latino community. We can be sassy, but that’s just an individual personality trait that doesn’t apply to everyone.

10. “So did you eat a lot of tacos?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F6360957028574549581342845166_tumblr_m8qaoqjxEr1qgqe12o1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=907&h=7ea38743f7ec08dec7ff7d0bee7f62ad422b4f9adfd7d07020c61555d962c4a6&size=980x&c=410805995 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F6360957028574549581342845166_tumblr_m8qaoqjxEr1qgqe12o1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D907%26h%3D7ea38743f7ec08dec7ff7d0bee7f62ad422b4f9adfd7d07020c61555d962c4a6%26size%3D980x%26c%3D410805995%22%7D" expand=1]

Let’s see… did I grow up eating food from Mexico? No, because my family is Puerto Rican, not Mexican. Puerto Rico has its own cuisines. I grew up eating Puerto Rican food. Stop merging cultures.

11. “Are you Mexican?”

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F09%2F15%2F636095703464334576323815402_tumblr_m0cd5uK6LD1rqfhi2o1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=689&h=927d643e171709cd8d8111e9af29f8931d588ce5c46d401d1dcb4760914ab3e8&size=980x&c=1479137954 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F09%252F15%252F636095703464334576323815402_tumblr_m0cd5uK6LD1rqfhi2o1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D689%26h%3D927d643e171709cd8d8111e9af29f8931d588ce5c46d401d1dcb4760914ab3e8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1479137954%22%7D" expand=1]

No. Stop. Not every Latino is Mexican. Mexicans are Mexicans, Puerto Ricans are Puerto Rican, and so on. Do not be that person.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How I Celebrate Valentine's Day

Every person, every couple celebrates Valentines in different ways, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

1595
How I Celebrate Valentine's Day
https://stokpic.com/project/love-heart-art-on-urban-street/

Ah, Valentines Day, a day of excitement for some and heart break for many. There are three kinds of people on Valentine's Day: the ones who make it a big deal, a little deal, and those who are single, but Valentine's Day can be fun for anyone if you have the right spirit in mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Warner Bros. Television

1. You don't have to feel guilty about flirting with customers for tips (or just for shits and giggles).

2. You can be obnoxiously flirtatious with anyone you want. You are free to be that girl that flirts with everybody and makes 'em all smile (it's especially fun when the guy is as cute as Collin Jost). No shame.

3. Making random men nervous with your superior beauty and intense eye contact just for the hell of it is really amusing and empowering.

4. No one gives two poops if ya legs are hairy (your man shouldn't either but *Kermit the Frog meme* That's none of my business)

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Black History Month? Try Black History Year

What does Black History Month mean to you?

1899
madamenoire

African Americans have done so much and will forever be remembered for their accomplishments. In my opinion, there is no such thing as Black History Month. All year, we should celebrate the amazing poetry, music, inventions, and accomplishments that has surfaced over the last 100 years. Let's take a look...

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

A TikTok Ban? Nope, That's Not Happening

We've seen this movie before with the popular social media app.

4800
tiktok

Here we go again. There's a groundswell of support to ban TikTok in the United States.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Check out what's trending on Odyssey!

4884
writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something
c1.staticflickr.com

Looking for some inspiration to kick off your Monday? Check out these articles by our talented team of response writers! From poetry to tips for manifesting your dream life, there's something for everyone.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments