The Internet Is Calling Attention to the Crisis in Puerto Rico, and Calling Trump Out
Donald Trump spent the weekend having Tweetstorm fits about black athletes who kneel during the anthem in order to protest police brutality and social injustice. Meanwhile, the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico are facing a massive humanitarian disaster. Trump is fiddling while Puerto Rico drowns.
Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, are U.S. territories and their residents are American citizens. But because they are not formal states, the islands lack Congressional representation, voting power, and Electoral College votes, and thus do not wield the kind of political power in Washington that Trump and his ilk care about. So a complete lack of urgency has greeted the incredibly dire situation there. While some measure of aid has begun, Trump passed the weekend picking a fight with the NFL and the NBA and squawking about the flag and patriotism instead of talking about the real suffering of American citizens.
Contrast Puerto Rico’s devastation to the political and media attention on hurricanes in Texas and Florida. This is one instance where social media is proving valuable in trying to refocus the conversation from Trump’s antics to the lives and blood that will be on his hands without significant U.S. aid and response. And people have taken disaster relief into their own hands, which restores some of my faith in humanity but isn’t the way this is supposed to work.
Hawaiian Senator Brian Schatz would like everyone to remember:
THESE ARE AMERICANS https://t.co/O4O76hefzd
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) September 25, 2017
From a friend in Puerto Rico: “We prepared for the worse, now we need to prepare for what we couldn’t even conceive could be the worst.”
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) September 25, 2017
This American flag flew over Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria hit the island but Trump still doesn’t care.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) September 25, 2017
This is not soon enough, by any stretch of the imagination.
Senior Hill aide says WH expected to send disaster aid request to Congress in 1st/2nd week of Oct for Puerto Rico. That gets ball rolling.
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 25, 2017
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 25, 2017
Hi sorry to interrupt your dot dot dot but the American citizens of Puerto Rico don’t have electricity or drinking water. https://t.co/BQiT8gUKi8
— Kibblesmith ⚔️ (@kibblesmith) September 23, 2017
There are more US citizens in Puerto Rico than in Alaska, Iowa, Idaho, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire,…
— Carmen Rojas, PhD (@crojasphd) September 25, 2017
Puerto Rico is facing the possibility of more than 6 months without any electricity. But more immediately, they face a lack of food, injuries, disease, infrastructure collapse, failing hospital generators, and a myriad of other logistical issues that amount to a humanitarian nightmare.
“There will be no food in Puerto Rico. There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico.” https://t.co/YLV4UkOU59
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 25, 2017
“No drinking water. No food. No medicine. No dialysis. No insulin. No homes. No fuel for generators. No president.” https://t.co/oUfkVIE71i
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 25, 2017
Imagine if the people of Puerto Rico could vote in America’s national elections:
Imagine your home is flooded, you’ve lost power, you don’t know if it’ll get better, and you see the President is busy uninviting NBA stars. https://t.co/ZU4YprrANt
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 23, 2017
The fact that Puerto Rico remains a colony of the United States in 2017 is bonkers. 3.6 million American citizens with no American voice.
— Hank Green 🐢 (@hankgreen) September 25, 2017
If our national leaders were as quick to send aid to Puerto Rico as they are to send tweets about NFL players we might actually help someone
— Anthony (@BigJigglyPanda) September 25, 2017
Why isn’t this huge and growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico commanding more attention and action? Too busy on anthems and epithets.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 25, 2017
Here’s what a competent President would be doing right around now, in the mirror universe where I wish to live:
President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens. https://t.co/J2FVg4II0n
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 24, 2017
Never forget that this is the GOP and Trump’s joint priority:
Fighting to repeal health care while millions of Americans in #PuertoRico are struggling to find shelter is unconscionable.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 25, 2017
I knew I wasn’t the only one who kept hearing echoes of “heckuva job, Brownie” all this awful weekend. But at least Bush acknowledged the disaster at his doorstep, even while he terribly botched the response:
By the way, Trump’s Katrina is happening right now in Puerto Rico. He’s trolling the NFL while an entire US territory is devastated.
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) September 24, 2017
The Governor of Puerto Rico is begging for help:
Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello pleads for help from the Trump admin and congress after “unprecedented disaster” pic.twitter.com/Vg5wvdQKUi
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) September 25, 2017
Welcome to America:
It’s telling tht so many ppl dont realize Puerto Rico is part of the US but also telling tht this is our metric of whether they deserve help
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) September 25, 2017
3.5M American citizens in Puerto Rico need a functioning President. Instead, they get this pic.twitter.com/wWNHwDcQh8
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) September 25, 2017
[on the brink of nuclear war]
[devastation in puerto rico]
[health care debate]
TRUMP: the big football boys are disrespecting the flag!
— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) September 25, 2017
Maybe Trump hasn’t been updated by his primary news source:
Dear Fox News, you could save some lives by covering the disaster in Puerto Rico so the President finds out about it.
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) September 25, 2017
Or maybe the residents should start marching with Tiki torches, screaming about nationalism, to get some attention?
White supremacy is a system that gives a hundred Nazis in Charlottesville more political power than 3.6 million US citizens in Puerto Rico.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) September 25, 2017
Meanwhile, celebrities seem to be doing more for humanitarian disaster relief than the government:
We must help Puerto Rico now not later! Later is too late! Now! https://t.co/77q6GHXeII
— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) September 25, 2017
Jennifer Lopez donates $1m to Puerto Rico hurricane recovery effort https://t.co/STUhT4isOf
— The Guardian (@guardian) September 25, 2017
Thanks to your generosity, first responders from NY are on a chartered plane em route to 🇵🇷. Don’t stop now: https://t.co/pxx7qvHPdf
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 23, 2017
And here’s what you can do, right now:
Help Puerto Rico: A List of Trusted Organizations Offering Aid https://t.co/MGGuwVLNpQ
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) September 25, 2017
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