Wikipedia has the best definition that I have researched in the Internet: It defines discrimination in the following manner: Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, as well as other categories. Discrimination especially occurs when individuals or groups are unfairly treated in a way that is worse than other people are treated, on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in certain groups or social categories. It involves restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to members of another group. Last week the Supreme Court of the United States decided in a ruling in United States v. Vaello-Madero. The case file by Mr. Vaello-Madero a resident of the State of New York who was receiving Supplemental Social Security and lost when he moved to the American territory of Puerto Rico.
The essence of the 8 to 1 ruling ( Sonia Sotomayor was the only dissenting opinion ) stated that residents of the territory of Puerto Rico are not entitled to reive the Supplemental Social Security “because they do not pay enough taxes.” Justice Sotomayor wrote, “In view of that core purpose, denying benefits to hundreds of thousands of eligible Puerto Rico residents because they do not pay enough in taxes is utterly irrational. Congress’s decision to deny to the U. S. citizens of Puerto Rico a social safety net that it provides to almost all other U.S. citizens is especially cruel given those citizens’ dire need for aid,” she wrote. “Puerto Rico has a disproportionately large population of seniors and people with disabilities.” She added: “that Congress should determine the fate of the territorial residents’ equal access to the benefits of citizenship by noting that they have no say in Congress because they also lack equal access to democratic representation. “Equal treatment of citizens should not be left to the vagaries of the political process,” Sotomayor wrote. “Because residents of Puerto Rico do not have voting representation in Congress, they cannot rely on their elected representatives to remedy the punishing disparities suffered by citizen residents of Puerto Rico under Congress’ unequal treatment.” The Supreme Court decision is a two-edged sword. For the following reasons; First, the 8-1 ruling, including two members of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court who sided with the conservative majority in declaring that the “so-called “Free Associated State” ‘commonwealth’ is nothing but a territory or property of the U.S. Congress and therefore the big lie promoted both by the Truman administration and then Governor Muñoz Marin that law 600 ( the adoption of the Puerto Rican territorial Constitution), “resolved once and for all the status of Puerto Rico ‘was a big lie’. Secondly, it does confirm a new theory “Congress has the powers above the Constitution to discriminate and segregate American citizens in territories. The Supreme Court by issuing this ruling literally reaffirmed the discriminatory rulings of the “Insular Cases.” The ruling in the United States v. Vaello-Madero is yet another in a long line of cases related to a series of 100-year-old decisions known as the Insular Cases. Those cases limit the equal access of territorial residents to government benefits and democratic representation based on their race. The court in those decisions deemed them “savage tribes” or “alien” and “uncivilized race[s]” who were “absolutely unfit to receive” the benefits of U.S. citizenship. But the major blunder made by our Nation’s highest Court is that it did not take in consideration the fact that the United State Congress has the power to be above the Constitution when it extended Supplemental Social Security to American citizens retired in the Republic of Costa Rica. More than 100,000 American citizens live in the Republic of Costa Rica and receive equal treatment in the SSI program. This fact was expressed to me by Senator Tom Harkin, then Chair of the powerful Senate Labor-Health and Education Commission in his office at the Hart Building in Washington DC.. The Supreme Court also ignored that American citizens residing in the colonial territory of Puerto Rico pay more Federal Taxes than six states of the Union that reive the SSI program
Finally, the Supreme Court once again is sending a strong message to the American citizens residing in the territory. The message is simple: the only way to be treated equally is by supporting and demanding statehood. Only by becoming a member of the Union of states, American citizens residing in the territory will put an end to discrimination and segregationist policies from Washington, D.C. The experience of Hawaiian statehood made it possible for Hawaiian living in the archipelago to return to their ancestral land and the population increased from 444,000 in 1959 to 1,400,000 in 2015. Currently, the colonial segregationist and discriminatory nature of the territory of Puerto Rico have forced the migration of 67% of the Puerto Rican population to live in the United States. This is a historical fact of dismembering the Puerto Rican ethnicity. Denying the SSI program in the territory strengthens the theory of taxation without representation when Puerto Rico pays more Federal taxes than six states of the Union that are entitled and receiving equal treatment under the SSI program: See The Economist “America’s Fiscal Union.” https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2011/08/01/the-red-and-the-black Read The Dark Side of American colonialism at: https://franklindelanolopez.com/2022/02/08/the-dark-side-of-colonialism/
Only statehood will unite American citizens from Puerto Rico in the new state. It is all the ruling in United States v. Vaello-Madero is yet another in a long line of cases related to a series of 100-year-old decisions known as the Insular Cases. Those cases limit the equal access of territorial residents to government benefits and democratic representation based on their race. The court in those decisions deemed them “savage tribes” or “alien” and “uncivilized race[s]” who were “absolutely unfit to receive” the benefits of U.S. citizenship. It is always the time to do the right thing: Statehood for Puerto Rico now o equality NOW!