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ULISH CARTER

“Please help us, we are dying,” the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico cried as she pleaded on CNN as well as other TV stations that picked up the CNN feed eight days after hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed her island. Carmen Yulin Cruz also repeated the plea on an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC the following day.

After an excellent job of responding to the people of Texas and Florida who were hit by the previous two hurricanes, President Trump not only slapped Puerto Rico in the face by taking eight days before responding to them, he whacked them in the belly by insulting them, saying the people complaining wanted the government to do everything for them.

Puerto Rico, which has been completely destroyed by hurricanes Irma and Maria, needs help desperately to make sure more people don’t die because of the lack of basics such as water, food and medical supplies. Not seeing this help coming and destruction all around her, the mayor cried out for help from anyone, but primarily from the U.S.

For those of you who don’t know, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are U.S. properties and the residents are American citizens. So regardless of what Trump says, the U.S. is responsible for helping these millions of American citizens. Even if they weren’t, what kind of human being would not do all he or she could to save as many lives as possible.

Former Lt Gen. Russell Honore, who was in charge of Hurricane Katrina’s rescue efforts, stated on CNN something that should be common sense. Instead of trying to get water, food and medicine to the people in conventional ways with no electricity, blocked roads, no gas, and destroyed homes, send in the military; they are trained for this.

The government knew well in advance that hurricanes were going to destroy the islands, so they could have sent a carrier loaded with helicopters and supplies to search every part of the islands for survivors as well as dropping water, food and medicine to any home or area they saw people who needed them. I repeat what Gen. Honore said; our military is trained for this.

Knowing that we have hurricanes every year, and they are getting worse every other year, why don’t we bring our military people home to save American lives instead of stationing them someplace in Europe or the Middle East?

Trump showed once again just how sick he is by insulting the people of Puerto Rico by actually calling them lazy and stupid when he said they want the federal government to do it all for them. Well, these people pay taxes just like the people in Texas and Florida, and they deserve to be treated with respect. He should apologize but he won’t.

I watched CNN and MSNBC so I saw the lines of cars for gas, the lines of people waiting for medical care, for food and water, as well as trying to get out. I saw the people helping each other as well as doing all they could to clean the areas blocking streets and homes. But there’s only so much people can do without the proper tools or electricity. It will be a blessing from God, and the work from these people, not Trump, if there aren’t an extreme number of deaths during the rescue period that could have been saved.

Another storm started by Trump was his calling all the NFL players who protested during the National Anthem “Sons of B____.” CNN recently held a special town hall meeting with Spike Lee and NFL players and ex-players answering questions from the audience

Most White people still believe the protest is about the military; even Hines Ward seemed confused, but Colin Kaepernick started the protest by taking a knee to protest the ongoing killings of mostly-unarmed Black males by police. This is the same issue that created the Black Lives Matter movement. There were several Whites and parents of military people killed in combat but I saw no parents of any of the young Black males killed by police.

Are Trump and Whites once again saying that the lives of young men who die in the military (dying for your country) are more important than innocent young Black males killed by police? The Bible I read says all men/women are created equal and so does the Constitution. If they are saying Blacks are unpatriotic, history says they are wrong. Blacks have fought and died in every war this country has been involved in, the declared as well as the undeclared wars.

Matter of fact, the Pittsburgh Courier led a campaign during World War II (1940 through 1945) called the Double V campaign. The “V” stood for Victory at home as well as Victory abroad. The victory at home was aimed at racism, which we still haven’t overcome 77 years later. For some reason no one bothered to talk to Kaepernick, or maybe I missed it.

In other news…

The Republicans’ last ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed because they could not get enough votes. They needed 50 with the vice president making 51. Now they will need 60. They are continuing their efforts to kill it in the states by underfunding it.

(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

 

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