Things That Matter

People Are Not Happy With Donald Trump’s Tweets About The Disaster In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has been suffering for a week since Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico. In the wake of the devastation, President Trump has remained silent about the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the Caribbean island. Instead he’s focused on attacking athletes as they choose to kneel during the national anthem in response to police brutality, racial injustice and the president referring to those who kneel as “sons of bitches” during a rally. Trump has finally responded to the crisis in Puerto Rico, but his tweets have left many people angry.

President Trump began his mini address on Puerto Rico via Twitter mentioning their infrastructure problems and debt.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory meaning that they pay all kinds of taxes, excluding personal income tax. In total, the tax revenue generated by Puerto Rico is more than $3 billion, according to The New York Times.

And continued to talk about their “old electrical grid” as a result of the infrastructure.

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He wrapped by talking about Puerto Rico’s debt to Wall Street.

Quick question: Why is owing Wall Street money a necessary thing to mention when considering emergency relief funds?

People immediately went after the president for his tone deaf remarks.

Nothing like being told your home is subpar and should have been better prepared after a natural disaster.

People are seriously pissed that the president would talk this way about American citizens suffering major losses.

Rather than talk about the infrastructure, it might be good to try and get some federal relief funds in order for the struggling island.

The Wall Street comment really angered people.

One of the ways the U.S. could significantly help Puerto Rico is to remove the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a.k.a. the Jones Act. The law, which has been around since World War I, effectively limits the ships that are allowed to go to Puerto Rico with goods through a series of tariffs, fees and taxes unless they are American owned, American built, and crewed by Americans. These extra fees get passed down to the consumers in Puerto Rico unless the ships dock in the U.S., unload the goods, reload them onto American ships and then delivered to Puerto Rico, which also accrues fees paid by Puerto Rican consumers.

A couple people are impressed that Trump finally learned that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S.

If they are part of the U.S. then that means they are American citizens and the federal government should be focused on helping American citizens.

Though others think Hillary Clinton slamming his lack of a response as the only reason he said something.

“At the same time that he was doing all of that, we had American citizens in Puerto Rico who are in a desperate condition,” Hillary Clinton said in a radio interview before Trump’s tweets, according to The Washington Post. “He has not said one word about them, about other American citizens in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I’m not sure he knows that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.”

People have already started calling Hurricane Maria Trump’s Katrina.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. In the aftermath, people criticized then-president George W. Bush’s administration for not responding appropriately to the disaster, prolonging relief and aid for thousands of residents, according to The Times-Picayune. Trump’s current focus on NFL protests instead of the disaster in Puerto Rico echoes that situation.

Perhaps now that he has tweeted about it, Trump will finally focus on recovery efforts in Puerto Rico rather than demonizing athletes protesting racial injustice.

Trump is scheduled to make a trip to Puerto Rico next Tuesday, Oct. 3, to survey the damage. At the time of his visit, it will be 13 days since Hurricane Maria first made landfall in the country.


READ: People Have Packed Puerto Rico’s San Juan Airport And Are Standing In Hot, Humid Conditions So They Don’t Lose Their Place In Line

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Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

Things That Matter

Ice Cube Catches Massive Blowback For Teaming Up With the Trump Campaign; Denies He’s Endorsing Him

Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Ice Cube is catching lots of heat for meeting with the Trump campaign to collaborate on policy. According to Ice Cube, he met with the Trump campaign to discuss what he calls a “Contract with Black America“. His 13-point plan proposes a robust overhaul of everything from the banking industry to prison reform.

After meeting with Ice Cube, the Trump campaign adapted the Contract with Black America into what Trump has called his “Platinum Plan”. Trump’s Platinum Plan outlined vague promises of continuing “to seek immediate and generational advancement for Black Americans”. The Platinum Plan proposal also claimed Trump “works every day to advance a fair and just America for the Black Community.”

Ice Cube, for his part, has refuted reports that he approached the Trump campaign specifically. “I didn’t ‘run’ to go work with any campaign. Both campaigns contacted me. Both campaigns wanted to talk to me about the Contract with Black America,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN addressing the controversy.

He continued: “[The Biden] campaign said, ‘We love what you have, but let’s really dig into after the election.’ And [the Trump] campaign said ‘We love what you have, do you mind talking to us about it?’ And that’s what I did, so I didn’t ‘run’ to nobody.”

Although Ice Cube says that he would have met with any political party regardless of affiliation in order to get his plan off the ground, critics are still annoyed that he decided to team up with a man who has such a dismal track record with Black Americans.

President Donald Trump has been plagued by accusations of racism throughout his tenure as president as well as before. Not only did he hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma (the historical location of a racial massacre) on Juneteenth, but he recently canceled racial sensitivity training, claiming it was “racist”. More recently, Trump has refused to condemn white supremacist organizations like the Proud Boys.

Critics are also expressing concern that the Trump campaign is using Ice Cube as a ploy to entice more Black Americans into voting Republican. These concerns were made more apparent when the President’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted out a photoshopped picture of Ice Cube and 50 Cent sitting side-by-side, both wearing MAGA hats. To his credit, Ice Cube quickly condemned him.

But Ice Cube insists he isn’t endorsing Donald Trump, per se–he’s simply teaming up with whatever political party is more willing to collaborate with him.

“I’m not playing no more of these political games, we’re not part of a team…so I’m going to whoever’s in power and I’m going to speak to them about our problems, specifically,” Ice Cube said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

It should be worth noting that Ice Cube recently took to his Instagram page to encourage his followers not to vote “unless you get something out of it”.

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Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Things That Matter

Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

On Monday, Twitter announced that it has suspended 15 Twitter accounts of “Black Trump supporters” that they discovered were fake. The accounts were similar in nature, tweeting out nearly identical messages, like “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN”. The accounts quickly amassed thousands of followers and retweets.

The fake “Black Trump Supporter” accounts were discovered by social media disinformation researcher Darren Linvill, who flagged the accounts and reported them to Twitter.

The accounts violate Twitter’s rule barring users from using the platform “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”

The Twitter accounts sourced their profile photos through internet image searches. One profile photo even included the search term “black man photo” at the top of the profile photo–proving that someone stole the photo from the internet and (sloppily) cropped it. Others were revealed, via reverse-image searching, to be generic stock photos of Black people.

The accounts seemed to follow a pattern: the Black Trump supporters were devout Christians, veterans, blue-collar workers, police officers…you get the picture. 

“They are impersonating Black Trump supporters, Black authoritative figures such as veterans and police officers, and various prominent individuals in order to gain rapid traction and virality,” said cybersecurity manager Lee Foster to The Washington Post.

Linvill says that the accounts don’t necessarily appear to be a coordinated campaign, although he did find traces of the Russian alphabet  in the accounts’ online records. Linvill hypothesizes that the accounts might have had monetary motives–they often tweeted out links to buy Trump merchandise. 

Another theory is that, based on the timing, whoever created the fake accounts is trying to change what appears to be the persistent narrative that President Trump is racist. The accounts became much more active in recent months, around the time when Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups on national TV. These “Black Trump supporters” make it seem like he actually has the support of Black Americans. 

But polls and surveys prove that Trump is highly unpopular among Black Americans. The Pew Research Center shows that 81% of Black voters support Biden in the upcoming election. 

These most recent fake Twitter accounts are one of the many ways that the Republican Party has been attempting to manipulate voters this election cycle. Along with spreading disinformation, the party has set up unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes across California. The Governor of Texas, Rick Abbott (R) also made headlines recently for restricting the amount of official ballot boxes in Texas to only one per county–a move that critics slammed as a transparent attempt to suppress the Latino vote.

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