Thinking About Puerto Rico

When the hurricane first came through, I had an argument with someone about Puerto Rico. “Why should we help a foreign country?” he asked. I patiently (at least that’s how I choose to remember it) explained that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country and that they are US citizens. A few more exchanges that included disbelief and denial and I was ready to move away from the fact-challenged (fill in the blank). I followed that up with a concentrated social media blast. After all, at least the people who haven’t unfriended me, blocked me, hid me, etc… would understand that we were not doing Puerto Ricans a favor. We owed them our support as fellow citizens.

So, now I am watching reports that are saying the “official” death count is thousands of people different. Thousands, not dozens or hundreds… thousands! Yet, there is very little outrage in my part of the world. I wonder if this would play out differently if we were talking about Texas or Florida? I’m betting the answer is a resounding “YES” and that is really a national “shame on us.” These are not just numbers, these are people — mothers, fathers, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors — and they are US Citizens.

When I am outraged by poverty, war refugees, famine, etc… around the world, I have often been lectured by the good people of this country that “we need to take care of own first”. Those type of comments often lead me to an internal melt down, but now I want to know where they are. Where are you? The sound of your indifference is deafening.

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