After the recent hurricane, Puerto Rico is facing major resource devastation – shortages in water, electricity, and fuel being some of the most pressing in the recovery period. Being an island incorporated into United States territory, citizens are naturally expecting aid from the United States government. However, it is coming much slower than will allow for many Puerto Ricans to survive.
A CNN article published on September 27 states, “Puerto Ricans still waiting for aid a week after Maria’s devastation.” This points at these resource shortages, the present destruction to communities, and how Puerto Ricans see the present as well as the near future after this natural disaster. Many locals have taken to the mountain streams for water, and are still waiting for external aid as community support can only stretch so far especially with a backdrop of United States colonialism.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump (who I prefer to refer to as Donald as a political choice) is on Twitter again. He is not only eschewing the significance of global processes of destruction and exploitation by not using his platform and cultural power to speak about this crisis — which I can’t imagine any politician (especially not him) doing “well” because that would require an actual acknowledgment of the impact of United States colonialism in its past and present thereby revealing its present desires for empire-building — but he is actively encouraging anti-Black violence. By anti-Black violence, I mean that Donald is condemning (even peaceful) NFL protestors of state violence against Black lives.
It’s easy to scoff about this as yet another ridiculous insensitivity by Donald – that he is racist and violent and that he doesn’t care about Puerto Ricans because they’re brown people on an island far away. “He needs to think about the important issues!” you might claim.
In fact, Wanda Sykes went on to say basically that. On September 5, she tweeted “Dear NFL Players, please go to Puerto Rico and kneel to trick @realDonaldTrump into focusing on what the f**k he should be focusing on.” Honestly, it’s a funny tweet that made me say “HA! Yes. Tell him.”
But, really, is it just that Donald isn’t focusing on important issues? That he is lazily disregarding the crisis because he finds it more enjoyable to promote racism on Twitter? I adamantly don’t believe so.
Donald is very intentional about his violence, actually, and his public performances on and off Twitter are placing importance on protecting and promoting State violence on the mainland and beyond.
So, United States aid is on the way, according to a statement by a spokesperson with US Customs and Border Protection from the article above. Specifically, a plane carrying 3,500 pounds of water, Army meals, diapers, and other supplies will fly from Miami to Puerto Rico sometime soon. However, when that happens, it will in no way confront the real issues — or, as Wanda Sykes says, “what the f**k he should be focusing on.”
It will simply be a compulsory yet delayed performance in which Donald engages, while still advancing anti-Black, anti-indigenous, imperialism. He will continue portraying Puerto Ricans as incompetent and helpless brown people — literally stating at a tax reform speech in Washington that they are “we’re closely coordinated with the territorial and local governments, which are totally and unfortunately unable to handle this catastrophic crisis on their own. Tsk, just totally unable to.”
His advancement of victim-blaming ideologies, and his own financial investment in this destruction aren’t coming to an end any time soon.
I always say — if you’re not doing something to combat anti-racism now, then you’re complicit in Donald’s destruction. He is just a symbol of the complacency that a white supremacist country, and a capitalist world has had towards Black and Brown people’s exploitation for years.