Editorials: In the fight for Puerto Rican statehood, is San Juan the new Selma? | Julio Ricardo Varela/Quartz

Leave it to a British comic to school us all on the least talked-about race problem in America—well, except the millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. John Oliver’s recent viral video about the Insular Cases, and their role in this country’s ugly racial past entertained and shocked a lot of Americans, just hours after President Obama told a crowd gathered in Selma that “our work is never done.” Oliver’s wit, framed around Obama’s words, created a perfect storm of discovery. Though, you would think, in 2015, this wouldn’t seem so surprising—yes, the American government was blatantly racist toward peoples conquered as spoils of war. But anyone from non-state territories like the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico—especially, Puerto Rico—could have told you that. The problem was no one was really listening until Oliver gave the Insular Cases comedic street cred.

Full Article: In the fight for Puerto Rican statehood, is San Juan the new Selma? - Quartz.

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