We are seeing the beginning of a concerted attempt to turn the crisis in Puerto Rico into “Trump’s Katrina.” And, as T. Becket Adams points out, those responsible aren’t even being subtle about it. All of a sudden, we have new talking points: Trump is ignoring Puerto Rico! Trump hates brown people! Trump doesn’t even know that Puerto Ricans are Americans!
This is unfair. Indeed, when pushed, the critique seems more to be that Trump isn’t tweeting about Puerto Rico (and then, when he does tweet, that he shouldn’t be tweeting, or that he should tweet differently, or that the timing of his tweets was wrong, or that he shouldn’t push back on Twitter against the idea that he doesn’t care about the island). But tweeting does not a rescue operation make, and until about five minutes ago, everyone in America seemed to know that. Without question, the administration will make mistakes. That is the nature of government. Thus far, however, there is no evidence that those mistakes will be the product of arrogance, of neglect, or of racism against the non-white. Here’s a transcript of an interview with Puerto Rico’s governor that ran on PBS last night: