Many Americans have been asking President Donald Trump why he has had such a slow and inadequate response to the suffering in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, but we already know the answer.
Trump's racism is at the root of his pitiful mishandling of this disaster.
Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking territory with a poverty rate of nearly 45 percent, not a mainland state. Trump’s swift reactions after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were driven by the fact that many of the victims of those storms looked just like him.
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted more than a dozen times about the NFL and the national anthem protests but didn’t even bother to acknowledge the devastation in Puerto Rico until Monday.
Even when he finally did address the Puerto Rican plight, he blamed the island’s inadequate economic infrastructure and debt for their demise instead of discussing how the government plans to help our fellow citizens.
After several days of criticism and backlash, Trump finally lifted the Jones Act to help bring relief to Puerto Rico, yet there was no hesitation to waive this outdated law — which requires all ships traveling from American coast to American coast to be American built, owned, flagged, and crewed — for Texas and Florida following Harvey and Irma.
To put it plainly, the people of Puerto Rico are being treated like forgotten Americans by the president himself, and his anti-Latino sentiments are fueling his apathy.
His own words give the impression that he doesn't even see Puerto Ricans as Americans, much less as humans.
Trump took two back-to-back trips to Texas after he completely dropped the ball during the first visit and failed to meet with any Hurricane Harvey victims, but he won’t be heading to Puerto Rico until next Tuesday, CNN reports.
His excuse for dragging his feet is the fact that the complete devastation there is making it more difficult to get to, but the bottom line is if he had the will, he would find a way.
"It's very tough because it's an island. In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there, you know, we've got A-pluses on Texas and Florida and we will also on Puerto Rico, but the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean, and it's a big ocean, it's a very big ocean,” Trump said.
Is it really the “very big ocean” keeping you away, Mr. President, or the fact that you couldn't care less about the brown people of Puerto Rico’s struggles, and you’re only doing the bare minimum under pressure from the rest of the nation?
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters, Alvin Baez