It’s been a month since the hurricane hit and the conditions are not getting better anytime soon. There are many groups of people going down to help with the restoration. But what’s most shocking is how little help the citizens in Puerto Rico are getting from the government.
Puerto Rico is a US territory, which technically makes the people on that island American citizens. Our infamous President, Donald Trump, has reluctantly sent aid from FEMA to help with recovery efforts, and he has already expressed interest in bringing them back home to the mainland.
In a tweet written on October 12, 2017, he said “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” He is basically saying that the safety and restoration of American citizens lives is not a number one priority at the moment. He also had the audacity to bring up how much debt Puerto Rico is in as this humanitarian crisis takes place (CNN).
What we’re all witnessing is the most unpresidential president this country has EVER seen. I have never seen or heard of such a childlike man in the highest position of authority in this world. I mean, what kind of person brings up the amount of debt an island is in and hints at taking away aid efforts only weeks after a hurricane hits?
Also, in a series of tweets, he attacked the mayor of San Juan for calling him out on his statements about the country’s debt. How he is handling the situation is immature and ridiculous. It also brings feelings of uncertainty and anger to the citizens of Puerto Rico.
While the president is getting into Twitter rants and throwing paper towel rolls at desperate Puerto Rican’s like he’s on some kind of game show, celebrities have taken it upon themselves to help with relief efforts. One of the most outspoken about this issue is Lin Manuel-Miranda. I’ve written about him before, but if you haven’t kept up with my blogs, Miranda is an award-winning broadway star, creating wonderful musicals like Hamilton and In the Heights. He is passionate about Latino culture, which is why he has taken it upon himself to bring attention to this dire crisis.
In collaboration with other well-known Latino artists Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, and others, he wrote a beautiful song titled “Almost Like Praying,” taking a phrase from the song “Maria” in the musical West Side Story. He combined all of the names of the municipalities in Puerto Rico and put them all into this catchy song. Every purchase of this song has helped raise money to send to the island.
His inspiration for putting all the names of the municipalities into one song was from witnessing many on social media calling out and trying to find loved ones they lost during the disaster. It serves as a reminder that no one on that island is forgotten about.
Watching the way these two men handled the crisis happening in Puerto Rico shows a major split in the understanding of what’s truly happening and what’s at stake. Miranda himself made it publicly clear that he does not approve of how Trump has handled the situation, saying he’s “going straight to hell.”
In light of all of this, I urge people to make a change. If you can’t go and physically help those in need, please consider buying the song or donating to the website at the end of this blog. Help out our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. Donate today.