Following hurricanes Harvey and Irma in a trilogy of disaster, hurricane Maria has wreaked unprecedented havoc through the Caribbean Islands.
It took President Donald J. Trump four days to tweet about Puerto Rico’s state of disaster and nearly two weeks to visit the island.
Trump has congratulated himself and his administration on the great job they’re doing on relief while the mayor of the island’s biggest city is fearful of “something close to a genocide” if the U.S. does not act now.
San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz’s public pleas for help have been met with nothing but a signature Trump twitter attack.
Trump denounced her leadership and the Puerto Rican people for “not getting their workers to help” and wanting “everything to be done for them.”
The U.S. territory still lacks electricity and clean running water with an ever-shrinking food supply. Not nearly enough aid has been provided to the island and a recurring theme of not prioritizing minorities feels too evident.
The Coast Report Editorial Board is no stranger to calling out administrations on not providing adequate support to minorities.
Our last editorial called on our own school’s administration who failed to provide support and adequate resources to DACA students in a timely response to Trump’s decision to repeal the program.
We feel this was a smaller-scale version of how the Trump administration is treating Puerto Rico — efforts were made but not soon enough and without proper preparation that should have been made for a storm of this strength.
Trump has ostracized DACA students across the nation and is now treating the American citizens of Puerto Rico as second-class citizens, feeding his elephant-in-the-room of a mission statement that the lives of people of color are less valuable than his.
Once receiving backlash on his response, Trump said the U.S. “will not rest” until the people of Puerto Rico are safe. We believe Puerto Ricans would be much closer to safety already if the federal government had acted sooner.
We’ve heard countless reckless comments from our president, but how much lower can Mr. Trump possibly go than denouncing a cry for help while tweeting from his golf resort?
People are people regardless of origin or race and Americans are Americans even if they were born in Puerto Rico. We, the Coast Report Editorial Board, call on all administrations to quit sweeping minorities under the rug and listen to the cries of those in need.
The lives of Puerto Ricans are not disposable. As Trump seems to have forgotten, they are American citizens who deserve an equal chance at life. If Trump keeps up, the spirits of the Puerto Rican people will surely haunt him until the day he rides a golf cart straight to hell.