I met my idol and I’m devastated. While he seemed authentic when I met him in person, he made a promise he hasn’t kept as far as I can tell. I’ve been holding my breath for 20 days now, hoping that today will be the day he’ll have one of his people contact me so we can frantically begin advocating for our fellow Puerto Ricans banned from voting for their own President during this election year.
Maybe Marc Anthony doesn’t care about the disenfranchisement of more than 2 million eligible voters who are American citizens, but I do. Maybe he doesn’t realize that his celebrity could be used to bring attention to this issue. Maybe he doesn’t even vote. Maybe he’s just not the guy I think he is.
I think its pathetic to watch Democrats and Republicans both working at a frenzied pace to capture the Latino vote, while knowingly ignoring the glaring injustice that is the plight of our fellow Americans (Hispanic and otherwise) who choose to live on the island of Puerto Rico. The way things stand right now, if you claim residency on the island of Puerto Rico, you’re immediately excluded from choosing America’s president.
While Obama supports the upcoming referendum vote in Puerto Rico (but knowingly ignores the disenfranchisement issue) and speculation about Romney choosing a Latino for his VP runs rampant, the proverbial “elephant in the room” is that these same politicians know that we’re intentionally penalizing innocent Americans.
This issue is looming too large for me to ignore any longer. This is why when I met Marc Anthony at the Broadway production of “Evita,” I used my 3 minutes to beg him to step up and lead the charge on this issue. I gave him my business card and asked him to please visit my website, comment there and join with me to increase public awareness.
Now, I understand he’s busy and I don’t expect him to necessarily partner with little old me, but doesn’t he realize we’re smack dab in the middle of an election year (where every single day really matters) and this is the perfect time to engage the media and the political parties by turning up the heat and the volume for the sake of our people?
While I believe that Puerto Rico’s congressman, Pedro Pierluisi is doing all he can to empower his fellow Puerto Ricans, surely he shouldn’t have to do this all by himself. The lack of leadership in my Hispanic community really is shocking and I’m doing all I can to be a change agent. Let me continue on this path by challenging my fellow Boricuas Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and other well-known Puerto Ricans to step up and use their star power for their people and not just for themselves.