Monday, October 2, 2017
Trump's Puerto Rico tweets show we are heading away from who we are
UTICA, Ill. — Sometimes people ask if I ever write columns in advance, to have one in the can. I tell them the truth: You really can't, because they go stale so quickly. Events have a way of hurtling past.
For instance. Say so you hope to slip away for the weekend by tramping around Starved Rock State Park. So you write a column Friday morning, oh, suggesting that Donald Trump will be president for another seven years and change, so the best thing sentient people can do, rather than howling in horror at each new jaw-dropped lapse, is to tend your own garden, live your own rich life, baking English muffins and keeping track of the slow-motion train wreck in Washington only periodically, out of the corner of your eye, through latticed fingers. Otherwise it's just too disturbing.
Then Saturday morning arrives to find our president lashing out at the beleaguered people of Puerto Rico, writing a sentence so freighted with racism that will go down in infamy, or should:
"They want everything to be done for them," Trump wrote. "When it should be a community effort."
Ignoring that isn't an option; being disturbed isn't a distraction, it's a patriotic duty.
"They want everything to be done for them." Let's unpack that sentence. "They" are . . . who? Not hurricane survivors in general. Not the people in Houston and Florida. "They" are Puerto Ricans, 3.4 million American citizens, a status Trump no doubt discovered a few days ago.
"Everything." That would be recovery efforts, restoring electricity and rebuilding infrastructure after Hurricane Maria ravaged their island Sept. 20. "Done" that would be their government snapping into action, instead of the president mocking them from his golf course in New Jersey. "For them" — these lazy, entitled brown folks, the ones he's been ridiculing since Day One of his camp...
To continue reading, click here.