Writing my last email I thought of the words “Charity begins at home,” and it occurred to me: “Do I know if, since President Trump left office, anything has been done about the plight of Puerto Rico due to the hurricane that hit there?” I honestly do not know. I know during Trump’s term that U.S. territory had been neglected. It bothered me a great deal at the time… yet perhaps everyone who cares should write to President Biden and Vice President Harris to ask about this place that ought to be considered part of the United States, whatever their official status.
It would be tragic if despite our fine resolutions abroad–whether in Ukraine or in Syria/Texas–we failed to meet that standard at home. Of course, during the terms of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump, our record abroad was abysmal. Still, George W. Bush mishandling of Hurricane Katerina in New Orleans and Donald J. Trump’s mishandling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico ought to put a damper on anybody’s enthusiasm for either president. It is especially blatant an injustice when a person hears about how New York–with its considerable wealth and influence–was helped back onto its feet whereas these other two cities became examples in the locals’ minds of how if a person was a poor member of a minority the powers that be would simply ignore his or her plight.
This said, I do not know if either New Orleans or Puerto Rico have recovered from the disasters that struck them. It is as if for the media “out of sight, out of mind.” I remember taking a week long trip to New Orleans with Catholic Charities during the Bush years in order to try to help with the rubble… I don’t really like bragging; what I did was a pittance, really, but somebody who is a news reporter ought to get a camera out and go see if New Orleans really has recovered, and then go to Puerto Rico to see the same thing there.
This is by no means to denigrate the good done for Ukraine and Syria-Turkey–there is no reason to believe as a nation the United States cannot “do it all.”