The third Hyper-Hurricane in a row left the American island of Puerto Rico desolate. There have been no flotillas of the US Navy carrying water, food, solar collectors. No fleets of the US Air Force carrying anything. No President of the United States flying over, expressing shock at the devastation. No emergency Congregational appropriations of billions of dollars for recovery. No large-hearted redirections of Caribbean cruise ships with food and water aboard, to meet the life-or-death needs of desperate Puerto-Rican Americans instead of the luxurious wants of deep-pocketed Anglos.
Is there something intrinsically inferior, dislikable, about Puerto Rican-Americans?
Of course. Their skin color is a few shades darker than that of Scotch-Irish Americans, Norwegian-Americans, Irish-Americans, most Jewish-Americans. And they talk Spanish.
They have no representatives in Congress, and they don’t vote for President. Another proof of their inferiority.
So when their “Commonwealth” was hard hit by the Wall-Street caused depression of 2008, they ended up getting a bail-out for the banks that had lent them money, but not for the people. Their infrastructure (like electric power lines) began to rot, even worse than the rotting infrastructures of the “states” in the “United States.”
When in 2008 the “United States” elected a Congress that could never take serious steps to heal our planet from global scorching and the climate crisis, and then in 2016 a President and Congress who have taken vigorous steps to worsen global scorching and the climate crisis, these hapless Puerto-Rican Americans had no voice in preventing Hyper-Hurricanes that could destroy them.
And once the destruction happened, the week when help was most urgently needed was also the week when on-shore American progressives were bending every effort to prevent passage of Trumpcare Disgusting Version 3, or maybe Disgusting Version 5.
I’m not saying that was a mistake. But let’s acknowledge, it had its shadow side. And now, with that victory won, maybe those brownish Spanish-speaking islander Americans could get our attention.
The attention of anti-racist activists.
The attention of climate-crisis activists.
The attention of anti-Wall Street activists.
The attention of pro-democracy, anti-fascism activists.
What kind of attention might make a difference?
Phone calls, letters, and especially bodies flooding Congressional offices. (The only kind of flood that gives life, not death.)
“Congressperson Y, Where are the Air Force and the Navy? Getting ready to destroy 25 million North Koreans? That can wait a couple of weeks. Let’s get food and water and medicine and electricity to these Americans first, how about it?”
“Here, Senator Q: Cans of tuna and veggies and lots of bread my neighborhood gathered. Will you have your Committee on [Whatever] charter a plane to parachute them down to Puerto-Rican Americans? I’m not leaving till you promise.”
“Mr. Vice-President, I know you love the Bible. Just this past Saturday I sat in synagogue and heard this troublemaker that we call the Prophet Isaiah demand we observe the Solemn Fast by feeding the hungry. We’re still reading it 2500 years later! Must be something to it. So -- how about feeding those Puerto Ricans? If this guy Isaiah thought it was important to feed folks who talked Hebrew, I guess Spanish is OK too.”
“Mr. Secretary of State, you know what your old buddies at Exxon knew about burning oil: It is destroying our Mother Earth, and now these folks in Puerto Rico are in real trouble from a hyper-hurricane you sponsored. I wouldn’t want to accuse you of willful manslaughter, but could you get to work to prevent the next dozen unnatural disasters?”
Nu already? What about it?