A black American male got into a friendly conversation with two black women in Oakland, California's Eastmont Town Center. When the subject of race came up, both woman politely asserted their racial and cultural confusion with a pleasant smile stating that they are not black; they are Puerto Rican.
I remember in my youth when I, in jest, referred to a white friend who happened to be a heavyweight boxer as the “Great White Hope;” one who boxing promoters were looking for to dethrone a long series of black heavyweight boxing champions. His immediate response to me was, “I'm not white, I'm Puerto Rican!”
From my travels through Latin America, it dawned on me that unlike the USA, regardless of the racism practiced in their respective countries, people are still viewed by their nationalities first and their color second. Just as they all viewed me as an American first and a black man second.
The article below gives a detailed description of how racism flourishes among Puerto Ricans (and to varying degrees many other Latin-American countries) behind the mask of mestizaje, the claim that all Puerto Ricans are a mixture of Spanish, Indigenous, and African, and that they are all one regardless of race.
Transcript of the Article