Obviously, there is not a lot to say about this image. Suffice to say, it has been making the rounds in Puerto Rico via blogs, viral campaigns and e-mail messages in anticipation of the Puerto Rican primaries to be held June 1, according to New York-based political bloggers and journalists at Política Pop.
An image featuring a dark-skinned Barack Obama sporting -- what else? -- a stereotypical guayabera illustrates beautifully what happens when racism and class issues play a dominant role in political campaigns. (Something that is in no way exclusive to the U.S. or Latin America.) But it also sheds a light on the uncomfortable "Dominican" issue that angers many Puerto Rican voters, and transcends borders to reach voters as far as Florida or New York. (UPDATE: As a reader points out, the image was initially created by humor website 23/6. But as other readers have pointed out, the "joke" seems to have taken on a different life in Puerto Rico and in inboxes.)
It is not a secret that illegal immigration from Dominican Republic into Puerto Rico has increased dramatically over the past few decades, making Dominicans easy targets of prejudice and racism, as a majority of them are of darker skin than most Puerto Ricans.
But don't rush to judge your compadres in la Isla del Encanto. The unfortunate fate of unskilled, low-paid, dark-skinned service workers can be found among Mexicans in the U.S.; Guatemalans in Mexico; Algerians in France; Moroccans in Spain, etc. etc.
Aren't we perpetuating a global stereotype here?