Why Saving Puerto Rico Is Being Shopped As Mission Impossible
While lives hang in the balance and the media drives us crazy
I remember when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans back in 2005. The devastation was immense and even though there was no 24/7 streaming of captured videos or images — bound together to exert the urgency of life — the assigned reporters were able to convey the precarious circumstances unfolding — without the security of clickbait.
As a Nigerian-American it was appalling not to mention disheartening — to witness Black people — baking in the sun with tattered coverings and the stench of bloated bodies — floating under the guidance of an unforgiving sky — with the imprint of abandoned souls.
I couldn’t quite comprehend or accept that the United States of America — the country my parents vouched for with every inch of their soul — could possibly be the center of a brutal massacre.
When Kanye said this that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” that’s when it clicked.
While growing up in Nigeria— I was exposed to the gangster climate of the eighties. Bribery and corruption initiated a slew of military coups in response to the utter chaos — that stemmed from gross mismanagement — and the formulated disdain for the general population.
Nigerians are aware of how the federal government gives two fucks about their overall stability and comfort — and two decades later — the situation is even more dire and infuriating as Boko Haram continues to ravage the North — while the Niger Delta remains a death trap for residents stationed around the oil pipelines and the greed that spills over.
I wasn’t prepared for the truth of America. I didn’t quite comprehend the plight of Black America and I certainly wasn’t trained to recognize that White lives matter more when it comes to the instinctual response of a sophisticated system that was built for tragic unfairness.
Puerto Rico is heroically battling the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and there is no doubt that this is beyond just the classification of an emergency. The parade of footage captures the intensity of a heightened status that is getting even more problematic — under the evil eye of a president who has no empathy for non-White sufferers who keep demanding the right to be saved.
Elevating Puerto Rico from the jaws of death and destruction is being shopped as mission impossible — and the craziest thing is that the frantic headlines literally recall the hellishness of Katrina — as President Bush was pummeled for giving the world a bird’s-eye view to how the most powerful country in the universe— manages an unprecedented situation with Black lives at stake.
As Bush made his rounds after his long overdue arrival — the Texas native tried to smile his way through tasteless jokes and the casual survey of makeshift burial grounds — his mother and former First Lady — Barbara Bush was also on hand to peruse through the weary and unfortunate — with the upper crust air of curiosity that stems from privilege.
The New York Times reported on how Mrs. Bush, while touring the Astrodome, shared her observations of the woefully displaced as only someone with her pedigree can muster:
“And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she said, “so this is working very well for them.”
The attitude of those in power as it pertains to a community that is already mired in the challenges that plague societal rejects who are born and fostered in the cycle of systematic oppression — seems to have to mirrored the attitude of a wealthy White woman from an iconic dynasty — who believed that the casualties of a horrific event — were actually living their best life — in a crowded space — that traps the robbed and desperate.
The President’s mother may have been able to escape relentless criticism on the level that we’ve become accustomed — but I’m convinced that many of us who heard — will never forget the delicate callousness of observation — that ultimately sum up exactly how White Americans view Black Americans — who are too lazy to shake off the burden of a dynasty that was distorted to their gross disadvantage.
Twelve years later and we’re faced with the same reception from the current Commander-in-Chief who is more invested in his battle to save the dignity of the national anthem — from the deviousness of Black men with a shit load of money — and the audacity to stand up for what the country of their birth owes them in bundles.
Trump took quite some time before expressing his thoughts about Puerto Rico — and even when he did manage to summon the courage to be presidential — his message was soured in blinding pettiness — that was aimed to exaggerate the narrative of an island that is positioned as its own worst enemy.
Not only is Puerto Rico in “the middle of the ocean,” but it’s handicapped by the typical symptoms that struggling territories exhibit when they are swept into mountains of debt and “broken infrastructures.”
As lives hang in the balance and the media drives us nuts with the daily posts that almost numb us into existence — Trump cowardly follows the tradition of White presidents who are used to calculating the worth of citizens based on race.
We’re supposed to believe that access to an island that is sinking is difficult as fuck — yet — back in the sixties — American astronauts were propelled to the moon. Media outlets help to spread the word of the pompous leader who needs to shamelessly plug why citizens of modest means are a pain in the ass.
It is no secret that privileged Americans who are mostly White — are fearlessly protective of their legacy — despite the stain of Black blood that was shed to secure the future generations of Whites — who can’t ever tolerate the truth of their betrayal.
Trump was lethal in his assessment of a national crisis — that required his complete adherence to the oath he tastelessly blurted out the morning America died. The oldest trick in the book is to deplete the worth of worthy humans who are being punished for the crime of being ordinary enough for stark negligence.
Trump wasn’t born to lead, and he’s not particularly skilled in the practice of faking affection for the sake of a united front. His divisive rhetoric — coupled with the venom-laced tweets that evoke the musings of a mad man on the loose with no filters or threat of discipline —proves the length that it takes for White people to save their own.
In the meantime — as the reality of Puerto Rico continues to gain momentum — we are fed the pros and cons facing the “island in the middle of a very big ocean,” that is begging for mercy — despite all the fucking money owed to Wall Street.
It’s hard to imagine White people accommodating sinking environments as strangers gawk with the excitement of gamers. It’s tough assimilating the abuse of victims that have already been spun on their head with explosive results.
Worst of all — it sucks being the American who is typically impossible to save.