I wish I believed in the Christian teachings of my childhood, because I could rest assured that justice awaits Donald Trump. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted Saturday that Trump was going straight to hell, and I would love nothing more than to believe that to be true. It can’t happen soon enough. Unfortunately, it’s 3.5 million Puerto Ricans who are living in hell on Earth right now, and it’s the devil incarnate who has their fate in his hands.
For a long time, when Americans asked how we would survive this presidency, it was metaphoric. But now it has become an actual matter of life or death for so many of the residents of Puerto Rico and for all of us. The most ignorant, cruelest, most narcissistic and inhumane man to ever sit in the Oval Office is in charge of the armed forces, FEMA and the nuclear codes. Really, I ask in earnest, how will we survive this?
But to the matter most pressingly at hand, how will the people of Puerto Rico recover from the most devastating hurricane of their lifetime if the United States government is not 100 percent on its side? Donald Trump still hasn’t sent enough troops to help the island ― including the even more isolated Vieques and tiny Culebra off its eastern coast. It is a case of much too little, much too late. And then Saturday morning from the luxurious distance of his Bedminister, N.J. golf club, he blamed the mayor of San Juan for not doing enough, for waiting around for government help. Carmen Yulin Cruz spends her days in hip waders trudging through filthy flood waters, going door to door to rescue people in need, and begging, sometimes through tears, for the White House to do more to save her people, all while Trump plays golf. But Trump chose to dig down into his endless personal pit of corrosive anger to blame her for his own staggering ineptitude.
“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 want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
That was the saddest moment of this presidency.
The subtext isn’t even a subtext. If you can’t read between the Twitter lines here, you haven’t been paying attention. This is blatantly racist. Trump is calling the brown, Spanish-speaking people of Puerto Rico – which he does not really consider to be part of his America – lazy and expecting a handout. That is an age-old trope of American racists. Add it to the pile of all of the other racist things he has said and done since becoming a presidential candidate, particularly his rant against the black players of the NFL which began as Puerto Rico was suffering, and you have the full picture of the disdain this man has for any person of color who dares to challenge white men in charge, who dares to challenge him.
Rosie Perez, the Puerto Rican actor and activist who has been outspoken about the need for the United States government to help her people, said recently on CNN that she goes to sleep crying and wakes up angry. Every American should go to sleep heart broken for the people of Puerto Rico and wake up incensed at the president’s horrific tweets. And that includes the pathetic so-called leaders of the Republican party who would allow Donald Trump to denigrate their fellow citizens. They are undeniably complicit.
I wish I believed in the teachings of Christianity because I don’t have an ounce of faith that our government will take down Donald Trump. I don’t think the spineless cast of Republican characters who were elected to Washington will ever do anything about the devil in our midst ― the man who seeks to divide and destroy this country ― not as long as his base still supports him. But if I’m wrong and hell does exist, I have faith that there is a special place there for Donald J. Trump.