The Death of Puerto Rican Nationalism

    Puerto Rican nationalism, that deep felt sense of belonging to a particular collectivity with its own unique set of values and attributes, will not necessarily die of 'assassination by the opponent'.  In other words, Puerto Rican nationalism, and the rich cultural complexity it stands for, will not necessarily be killed by an overwhelming use of force by the US driven FBI.  It will not necessarily be killed by annexation to the United States via a coup d'etat by a Rossello driven statehood party.  It will not be plundered by corporate arms swarming the island, seeking to suck every drop and penny from the ignorant consumer.  Neither will it be demolished by postmodernists who either pretend it doesn't exist or deny its merit.  Rather, Puerto Rican nationalism will die gradually, long after it debates have ended.  It will suffer the constant but nearly invisible attack of banality, of suffocation by trivia.  The warm movement under shaded red flamboyan trees will be replaced by the smooth flow of electronic highways.   The kind greeting at the local coffee shop will be replaced by the ever-present smiley face of chat programs.   The appreciation of the morning fog covering the hills where the jibaro so long ago stoically resided will be replaced by the appreciation of a welcome screen on the computer monitor.  The death of Puerto Rican nationalism will come about gradually, silently, and invisibly, with the passing of generations--without ever hearing a whim of protest.   Its valiant heroes will die in complete ignorance of the ultimate futility of their noble efforts.

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