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

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.

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments