As a dam cracked in Puerto Rico, spreading fear across an already devastated island, Donald Trump was in Alabama, calling a black former NFL player a “son-of-a-bitch.”
During a 90-minute rant that veered from incoherence to the raw belligerence we’ve come to know in the Age of Trump, the madman who is president went after sidelined NFL quarterback Collin Kaepernick without calling him by name.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now,” Trump growled to wild cheers from the all-white crowd. “He is fired. He’s fired!'”
“You know some owner’s going to do that,” Trump’s little mouth grinned. “He’s going to say, `That guy who disrespects our flag, he’s fired!‘ ”
The fissure in the earthen structure holding back the Guajataca River threatened to put 70,000 souls in the path of 11 billion gallons of water flowing through Northwestern Puerto Rico to the ocean. While officials on the island rushed to evacuate and save lives, the president of the United States was rambling about “Rocket Man,” his nickname for his erratic counterpart in North Korea, and reveling in guttural chants of “lock her up!” – referring to his vanquished opponent in the presidential race that concluded ten long months ago. He waved his little hands around in absolute delight, telling his screaming Alabama fans they’d have to “ask Jeff Sessions about that.” He said Republicans in congress don’t have the “guts” to repeal Obamacare and leave 30 million Americans without healthcare.
Meanwhile, in Hurricane Maria’s wake, 3.5 million Puerto Ricans face months without power. The island, already reeling from a debt crisis, is awash in despair.
“San Germán,” says a friend at work, as I scroll through my phone trying to find updated news about the town where his mother lives. He has been unable to reach her and doesn’t know if she’s ok; if she got out of her house. Another co-worker has been unable to reach her family members either, on an island with no phone lines and almost no power.
You can read the rest of the piece at The Daily Beast.