September 26, 2017

While Puerto Rico is 'Apocalyptic,' Trump’s Tweeting About the NFL

 Hey everyone, for Complex News, I’m Frazier Tharpe. Over the weekend, while the American public and Donald Trump was consumed by over a dozen "presidential" attacks on the NBA and NFL, and the athlete response to it all, millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico have continued to suffer.   Throughout the weekend and into Tuesday morning, Trump paid more attention to sports than he did to the immediate devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the small U.S. Caribbean territory.   It took six days for Trump to say anything to the over 3 million U.S. citizens left to pick up their lives in Puerto Rico, and to the over five million Puerto-Rican Americans who likely still have family down there. Six entire, silent and scary days went between Hurricane Maria’s landfall and Trump’s public attention to the humanitarian crisis.   And when he finally did address the situation in Puerto Rico, it was from his Twitter account, where he essentially blamed the island for its post-Maria problems. Clearly, in his mind, Puerto Rico isn’t a protected U.S. territory that the government is responsible for. Instead to Trump, it’s some foreign vacation destination that somehow should’ve fared better on its own against a Category five hurricane.   In all, brown Puerto Rican lives are a financial burden to Wall Street and his base of quote-un-quote “Real Americans”—meaning white ones, who care more about what the flag and national anthem means than a humanitarian crisis within our borders. But just look at Trump’s tweets. They are absolute garbage: Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.. ...It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars.... ...owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. #FEMA Nowhere did Trump show any empathy for the Hurricane’s victims, or the 16 confirmed deaths. And did we see Trump criticize Florida or Texas after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma did their worst to those respective states, which have their own infrastructure ills? No. And comparatively, Puerto Rico is in much greater danger, and still is, than some places hit directly by Harvey and Irma.   Power and all communications services are either cut or completely destroyed in most of the island, and 95 percent of cell service is gone for people trying to contact loved ones at home and in the U.S. (V/O 0:00 to 0:08). 80 percent of the island’s crops are wiped out by the hurricane. Essentially, there is no more Puerto Rican agriculture.   With power cut, communications lost, and food scarce, Puerto Ricans face danger at night, because the island’s too devastated to have organized police and security units across the board. These U.S. citizens are overheated, hungry, and alone. They need more.   But unfortunately, there are still lives at stake post-Maria. Flooding from this partial dam failure puts 700,000 Puerto Rican lives, or about a fifth of the country, at risk if the dam collapses completely (V/O 0:00 to 0:06). And for those already sick or injured, hospitals are running out of supplies.   So far, FEMA has, somewhat belatedly, sent a ship full of aide and personnel to help with the crisis, but that’s not enough, and the government has been slow to approve an aid package. Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló recently urged Congress to act, as the situation in his country is, as he described, apocalyptic.   "We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now. Otherwise, there will be ... a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States." While charitable efforts can’t replace a hundred-million dollar aid bill for Puerto Rico, the work done immediate, on-the-ground charities is important. But even they’re not receiving as much help as Houston and Florida did. For example, J.J. Watt was able to raise ne


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