This morning the disparity “thing” between a territory and a state has magnified. Puerto Ricans are American citizens—no different from Floridians or Texans. A recent poll indicated that many Americans were ignorant of this fact and out of that ignorance were less than supportive of providing aid to the island. Puerto Ricans hold US citizenship; they are Americans (however, they do not vote in presidential elections, but they do send one nonvoting representative to Congress). That’s the disparity “thing” between a territory (Commonwealth) and a state, or is it?
“This is an island surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water,” Mr. Trump said yesterday in an attempt to explain the dire situation in Puerto Rico. Earlier in the week he seemed to place blame on Puerto Rico for the present chaos, noting the US territory’s “broken infrastructure & massive debt” in a tweet. Shackled by the Jones Act of 1920, Puerto Rico has been economically crippled (“food cost twice as much in Puerto Rio as in nearby Florida, and has drained as much as $17 billion from the island between 1990 and 2010”). This has forced Puerto Rico to enter a kind of bankruptcy situation. That is why Trump tweeted throughout the past week about , “big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding, ” and the “billions owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with…”
After a week of living in the dark and without basic needs our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico are frustrated and angry. They feel like second-class citizens. The kind of relief after Katrina in New Orleans and the relief given to Texas and Florida far exceeds that which has been given to Puerto Rico to date, according to most sources. In desperation, Mayor Cruz of San Juan, unleashed some harsh criticism about the relief efforts yesterday.
Here is the “Tweet” reaction from Mr. Trump this morning.
4:19 AM-30 Sep “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump”
4:26 AM-30 Sep “…Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They…
4:29 AM-30 Sep “…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
4:48 AM-30 Sep “Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump.’ No fair to FR or effort!”
5:01 AM-30 Sep “The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame!”