Trump Treats Texas And Puerto Rico Hurricane Disasters Differently

By on October 12, 2017
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President Donald Trump this morning lashed out at Puerto Rico, suggesting that he may pull Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials out of the island territory prematurely, due in part to its outstanding debts.

“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders [in Puerto Rico] forever!” Trump explained.

Trump made similar comments at the end of last month. “Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with,” the president tweeted on September 25.

Trump’s latest commentary is a stark departure from Trump’s comments prior to Hurricane Maria. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August, for instance, Trump tweeted out his commitment to the state that was hit with devastating flooding, a point that New York Times columnist Charles Blow made this morning:

In tweets just after Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, Blow reminds us that Trump tweeted out, “We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow, and we will be with you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, and REBUILD!”

Texas, it should be noted, is also tens of billions of dollars in debt. But while Texas is being told by Trump that everything will be done to restore the state to what it once was, Puerto Rico is being told by the president that he’ll help, but not forever, using their high debt as justification as to why he won’t.

Many observers are suggesting that Trump’s justification is a ruse, and that the real reason he won’t help is due to thinly veiled racist biases against the Hispanic island territory. Indeed, some questioned the president when he made a claim in a tweet that Puerto Ricans wanted “everything to be done for them,” suggesting that he thought the citizens there were lazy.

Whatever the case may be, it’s inhumane of Trump to promise the world to a U.S. state after a natural disaster, and to disregard and/or sugarcoat the outcome of an island territory after they faced a similar event. The people of both places are American citizens, and deserve equal treatment from Trump and his administration.