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Puerto Rican councilwoman: "Out of touch" Trump treating us like "second-class citizens"

Before heading out for a round of golf at his New Jersey resort, Donald Trump found the time to unleash a series of racist tweets aimed at the people of Puerto Rico. After the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, literally begged on national television for the White House’s help to save lives, Trump […]

By Dan Desai Martin - September 30, 2017
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Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito
Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito

After the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, literally begged on national television for the White House’s help to save lives, Trump took to Twitter to lash out at her and others in her country, saying she was being “nasty” and slamming the “poor leadership” on the island.

Rather ironic, considering the source: it is Trump who is displaying an utter dearth of leadership, and no concern whatsoever with doing any better.

Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was born in Puerto Rico, did not hold back her criticism for a man who is treating the people there as “second-class citizens.”

“He’s just demonstrating how unfit he is to be the commander in chief,” she declared to MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

“He is demonstrating again that lack of empathy, and his racism is really being exhibited on his sleeve” with those tweets, she added.

I mean, he’s just demonstrating how unfit he is to be the commander in chief, and obviously how out of touch and unaware he is of who we are as a people and our political context and reality when it comes to our relationship with the United States. The fact is that, in being on the island a couple of days after this, you saw the resiliency of people, people coming together, not waiting for government to do anything for them, clearing paths, trying to provide for each other and supporting each other. If your neighbor had an issue, if an elderly person — people were coming together. That’s the spirit of who we are, and also our contributions to this society and to this country, having served in the armed forces, giving our lives, so many contributions that have happened.

We are treated as second class citizens. That is a reality. And there has been so much that we have given, and what we’re asking is for equal treatment and to be receiving the level of support and resources that other disasters and response to disasters have merited.

So, he is unqualified. He is demonstrating again that lack of empathy, and his racism is really being exhibited on his sleeve, that somehow those of us on the island of Puerto Rico, those of us on the U.S. Virgin Islands just don’t merit equal treatment. That is clearly what he is saying in terms of these tweets.

Trump has tried to blame his low-energy response on the fact that Puerto Rico is an island surrounded by “big water,” and, of course, whining about the press coverage.

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, whom George W. Bush brought in to help lead the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, called Trump’s statements siding with shipping tycoons instead of Puerto Rican citizens a “crying damn shame,” and said that it was clear that Trump “don’t give a damn about poor people, don’t give a damn about people of color.”

And in response to Trump lashing out at the San Juan mayor, Honoré was succinct:

And Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, called Trump’s tweets  “abhorrent, baseless, and beneath the dignity of the office of the Presidency.”

“It is painfully clear that the federal response is woefully inadequate and Administration is not doing nearly enough,” Thompson continued. “This is not a PR campaign that the President and the Administration can spin their way out of.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s entire tenure in the White House has displayed such abhorrent lack of dignity in every possible way.

Even in the midst of a massive natural disaster that left devastation across the entire island of Puerto Rico — an island of American citizens — Trump is more focused on his own image and ego, and on pushing his radical agenda, than on humanitarian efforts and the dire need to save lives.

Once again, and in the cruelest instance possible, Trump has shown that he is now, and will always be, unfit to serve.


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