Posts

Showing posts with the label angelofalcon ramonvelez puertorican newyorkcity southbronx thebronx bronx

The Legacy of Ramon Velez and the Social Amnesia of a Community

Viewpoint The news of the death of South Bronx power broker Ramon S. Velez this past week left me a bit divided in my feelings. He was such a huge figure in stateside Puerto Rican politics, leaving behind a major institution he built in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, that he is hard to ignore. However, the amnesia about how controversial he was by the likes of what were his mortal enemies at the time, such as Herman Badillo, Ed Koch, Juan Gonzalez, Wayne Barrett and others (are they all getting too sentimental in their old age?), took me aback. Velez was genuinely proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and his homeland, Puerto Rico, but his legacy, represented in the sorry state of Puerto Rican politics in the South Bronx today, needs to be examined much more critically. Whether you liked him or not, he had a major influence on the shape of Puerto Rican politics today, and his death, after battling Alzheimer's for so long, should be a time of reflection of the man and his impac