Things That Matter

After Blaming Puerto Rico’s Infrastructure And Economy, Trump Says Hurricane Aid Can’t Last ‘Forever’

This week, President Donald Trump issued another blow to the already battered island of Puerto Rico, claiming that he can’t keep aid there “forever.” Just last week, Trump was shooting paper towel free-throws at hurricane survivors and taking shots at the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who was waist deep in water helping Puerto Ricans in need. Trump then golfed and dedicated his trophy to the victims of the disaster. Oh, and he also “celebrated” Hispanic Heritage Month by pronouncing “Puerto Rico” with some bullshit accent. Worst of all, he blamed survivors for not doing enough, calling them lazy by saying they want “everything to be done for them.”

Trump said Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is to blame for the lack of electricity, food and clean drinking water on the island.

He said there is a limit on how much help they can provide to the starving, stranded, and battered survivors of Hurricane Maria.

Come on, they can’t be there “forever.” The superlative “forever” is so condescendingly juvenile it is maddening. FOREVER? As in until the end of time and then some? Like eternally? The end of the number line? The unimaginable span of time that goes on infinitely? How about at least as long as Hurricane Harvey survivors? Or at least until people aren’t dying?

Carmen Yulín Cruz came through on Twitter and clapped back much more gracefully and intelligently than I would have.

Cruz then released a much more in-depth and biting letter, saying in all caps: “Help us. Without robust and consistent help, we will die.”

“Tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis. While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots and the world are sending love and help our way. Condemn us to a slow death of non-drinkable water, lack of food, lack of medicine while you keep others eager to help from reaching us since they face the impediment of the Jones Act,” wrote Cruz.

Others chimed in to underline how dire the situation in Puerto Rico continues to be.

Governor Ricardo Rossello spoke out against losing support on the island.

As did other politicians, like California Congresswoman Nanette D. Barragán.

Congressman Don Beyer made sure to support staying in Puerto Rico, as well as reminding everyone that the US Virgin Islands are still suffering, too.

FEMA’s deputy director of public affairs Eileen Lainez posted this message to Twitter in response to Trump.

“FEMA will be w/Puerto Rico, USVI, every state, territory impacted by a disaster every day, supporting throughout their response & recovery,” posted Lainez.

And according to the New York Times, even though Trump claims that aid won’t be there “forever,” several organizations have said otherwise.

“Other agencies were committed to long-term efforts as well. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, for example, is helping rebuild the electrical grid badly damaged by the storm, a construction effort that could take years. In addition, other agencies helping in recovery efforts, like the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, have a permanent presence on the island and are unlikely to go anywhere.”

Hopefully Puerto Ricans aren’t waiting “forever” to get help.


[H/T] New York Times

READ: He Called Trump Out On Twitter And Is Owning Every Word He Tweeted About His Puerto Rico Response


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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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