A racist image of a Puerto Rican candidate for U.S. Resident Commissioner, Dr. Rafael Cox Alomar, has been posted on Twitter, sparking outrage ahead of November's election.
The image, posted on Twitter, portrays Alomar alongside the words, R.I.P. Yuyo.
Yuyo was the name of a well-known chimpanzee who lived in one of Puerto Rico's zoos.
Cox Alomar says this is not the first time he's faced racism due to his Afro-Puerto Rican heritage. But this time, his supporters are outraged because the photo was shared on Twitter by none other than Zaida Hernández, the former Speaker of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives.
In response to backlash against the offensive image, Hernández claimed innocence. I started on Twitter a week ago, she said, according to Fox News Latino. I don't know what the photo is about, and I haven't seen it. I'm not capable of such a despicable act. I discuss my business right up front.
Coz Alomar said that incidents like these were all about the politics of underhanded racism.
Cox Alomar is a member of the Partido Popular Democrático, or PPD, which favors a continuation of Puerto Rico's status as a U.S. commonwealth. Hernández represented the Partido Nuevo Progresista, or PNP, which favors official statehood.
Cox Alomar is running for the position of Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico; he will face off against PNP incumbent Pedro Pierluisi. If Cox Alomar wins the election on November 6 of this year, he will serve a four-year renewable term at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Resident Commissioners can serve on Capitol Hill committees, but cannot vote on legislation like U.S. Representatives can.
Cox Alomar was born and raised in San Juan, but pursued higher education at Cornell University, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University in England. He is an expert in international law and has worked as a columnist, lawyer and professor.
As for Yuyo, he was a famous chimpanzee who recently died in captivity at the Luis A. Ferre Science Park Zoo in Bayamon, a municipality of Puerto Rico. His life was the stuff of legend, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He escaped many years ago from a zoo and roamed the mountains and valleys of Puerto Rico, stealing food from people's homes. He became a legend and everyone loved him... He was finally caught, but don't feel sorry for him. He [lived] in pleasant luxury and [was] quite happy. Yuyo died in April at the age of 47.