Things That Matter

Two Weeks After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Still Needs Lots Of Help

While Donald Trump went on to attack San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz via Twitter this weekend, the situation in Puerto Rico continues to be a desperate one, despite some improvement.

USA Today reports that obtaining food, water, or gas is a daylong goal. Each mission to get any of these things can take several hours.

CREDIT: Ricardo Arduengo / Getty

“Tomorrow we’re going to try to find gasoline,” Michelle Rebollo told USA Today. “Then, we’ll try to get money. Each one is a whole day.”

Various reporters and celebrities on the ground in Puerto Rico are saying that people remain without running water and basic necessities.

“I haven’t seen any help and we’re running out of water,” Pedro Gonzalez, told a local ABC news affiliate, adding that he has a daughter with Down syndrome and has decided to move to Louisiana. “We’re getting out of here.”

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said that 714 gas stations now have fuel, but USA Today reports that several gas stations they have seen are either closed or say “No hay gasolina.”

Rosselló also said that 47 percent of water and sewer service is working, but added that the number isn’t a certain because 1,400 generators are powering the water services. And because they’re without power, the generators can stop working from time to time, but Rosselló says “general progress is being made.”

Rosselló also said that a quarter of the island should regain power next month.

While there is food and water finally in Puerto Rico, after Trump waived the Jones Act (for now), the items are not being distributed to areas in need.

Yulín Cruz tweeted that they have supplies coming in, but can’t distribute because the roads are not clear.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who is working in Puerto Rico along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), says one of the worst problems is the roads. “The roads are not clear on the outside of the island, and we’re slowly working our way in,” Buchanan said to PBS. “But we obviously need to get all the roads cleared so we can get supplies to people who desperately need them. Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

President Trump falsely said that all buildings had now been inspected and cleared.

The president and First Lady Melania are expected to be in Puerto Rico tomorrow.

Click here for a list of charities and crowdfunding campaigns that are helping people in Puerto Rico.

READ: The Mayor Of San Juan Let The Trump Administration Have It In A Press Conference

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JetBlue Issued An Official Apology After One Employee In Florida Dressed Up As A Hurricane Maria Victim

Things That Matter

JetBlue Issued An Official Apology After One Employee In Florida Dressed Up As A Hurricane Maria Victim

@nats248 / Twitter

Every Halloween, we have the misfortune of reporting on how white people still don’t understand that culture, poverty, and other races are not costumes. JetBlue has recently issued an apology after one of its employees at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport showed up to work in a homeless Hurricane Maria refugee for Halloween. With tattered hair, makeup smeared across her face, and ripped disheveled clothing, the woman carried a cup for change and an offensive sign. It read, “Homeless, Need help trying to get back home to Puerto Rico or Cuba.”

According to one Twitter user, the costume “sparked controversy” at the airport, offending both employees and travelers alike. The Twitter user decided to take to the Internet to gather public opinion, tweeting, “This was the costume of a JetBlue employee at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I want to read your opinions.” Needless to say, the employee has been adequately roasted by Latinos everywhere, JetBlue has issued an apology, and has told NBC News that “the situation was immediately addressed.” 

Immediately, people took offense to the idea of dressing up as a Hurricane Maria refugee.

Credit: @nats248 / Twitter

“It seems fatal to me. It doesn’t matter if she didn’t say Cuba or Puerto Rico,” one offended Twitter user said in Spanish. She went on to say, “Many people don’t care about the homeless because they think they “asked for it,” but that is the sad reality of life. So many don’t care or respect the pain or difficulties of others.” Another Latino commented, “This IS offensive. Not because the name of my country is there, that only reflects their ignorance. But the issue of being homeless is too delicate and it is not funny at all to not have a roof, food, or clean clothes … but that’s just me.”

Meanwhile, Florida has become a hub for displaced Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria decimated the island.

Credit: @nats248 / Twitter

One woman took offense to the degrading imitation of the immigrants “who created and are the basis of this country.” Another woman suggested that the staff be given some sensitivity training regarding the community they serve, actual Cubans and Puerto Ricans. “Not sure if they know but thousands of people lost everything due to Hurricane Maria,” tweeted another dissenter. “For this JetBlue employee to think it’s OK to joke about the epidemic of homelessness in Puerto Rico and the U.S. is sickening and completely unacceptable. That’s NO JOKE.”

Another Latina was absolutely incredulous that a JetBlue employee actually “showed up to work in this racist and highly offensive ‘costume.’ People’s hardship and suffering should not be mocked like this.”

Then, the Twitter trolls infiltrated, calling Latinos “snowflakes” and “virtue signalers” for taking offense at the costume.

Credit: @dhock47 / @greciamaria / Twitter

We’ll spare you some of the more pointedly racist remarks. One user defended the costume, wondering out loud to a group of Latinos if, “maybe she couldn’t afford an expensive store bought costume, so she used what she had.” She went on to say, “I was a gypsy practically every year growing up, I’m sure that’s offensive too these days!” 🦗🦗🦗

Someone else jokingly pointed out that the costume is a fail because there is zero bandera pride. 🇵🇷🇨🇺

Credit: @ElGeorgeRiveraR / Twitter

“It grates me because a true homeless Boricua would have the flag, even if it was painted on their teeth,” tweeted Mr. Rivera. The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York reported that more than 135,000 Puerto Ricans fled the island for the mainland United States within six months after Hurricane Maria made landfall. Nearly 57,000 of them moved to Florida. Puerto Rican homelessness is no laughing matter. Hurricane Maria made significant, generational impacts on Puerto Ricans. Whether the JetBlue employee decided to take on that traumatic event as a weak pander to vacation on the Caribbean island, or if she truly was so ignorant that we cannot find reason for her costume, commenting Latinos are largely “furious.”

Others are demanding that JetBlue actually “leave her jobless to find the joke in her ‘costume.'”

Credit: @dominopr777 / Twitter

“Shame on @JetBlue and their management for not sending this employee home as soon as they saw this highly inappropriate & insensitive ‘costume’. SHAME!,” commented one user. Jetblue has not responded to the tweet that set the public roasting in motion. Jetblue’s manager of corporate communications, Derek Dombrowski, emailed NBC News to issue an apology: “In the spirit of Halloween, our crew members are welcome to celebrate in costume, but one crew member chose a costume that was clearly insensitive and not in line with our costume policy. The situation was immediately addressed, and we apologize to anyone who was offended.”

While JetBlue has apologized for the offense, folks still want to know how the employee was “immediately addressed.”

READ: This Latina’s Chanclazo Costume Has Us All Terrified And Really Made Halloween A Time To Remember

Nicky Jam And Daddy Yankee Allegedly Had To Flee Puerto Rico After Death Threats

Entertainment

Nicky Jam And Daddy Yankee Allegedly Had To Flee Puerto Rico After Death Threats

nickyjampr / Instagram

Nicky Jam just confessed to a wide range of shocking statements while on a popular talk show in Spain. The reggaetonero sat down with El Hormiguero to promote his newly released album, Intimo, and Netflix’s “Nicky Jam: El Ganador,” the dramatized retelling of Nicky Jam’s life story, and the launch of reggaeton itself. Those who have seen “El Ganador” know about the artist’s previous drug addiction, but nobody knew about the death threats.

The 38-year-old Grammy winner told El Hormiguero host Pablo Motos that Daddy Yankee and he had to flee Puerto Rico because of death threats. 

Los Cangris only returned to Puerto Rico when the person threatening them died in a street fight.

Credit: @AudienciaSerie1 / Twitter

Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee first rose to fame as the Los Cangris duo. During that time, they were still in dangerous neighborhoods. Nicky Jam recalls how a music business parter to Los Cangris was murdered, which prompted a slew of threats. Both Yankee and Nicky Jam received a death threat, which Nicky Jam says is the reason they fled to New York City. “Let’s go back and confront that guy who wants to kill us and let’s make music,” Nicky told Yankee. “Porque es que nosotros lo que hacemos es música!”

According to The Dial, that person who continued to threaten the duo ended up dying in a separate street brawl, which effectively ended Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee’s bar from the island.

Though Nicky Jam made sure his audience knew that Puerto Rico produces “high society” people like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony.

Credit: @nickyjampr / Instagram

No way Nicky Jam was going to let people think his candid story is a blanket statement on his island. “Don’t go thinking that we’re all from the hood,” Nicky jam assured his audience. “There are Puerto Ricans of high society who do not speak like me…,” he joked. He went onto list Luis Fonsi, Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony as “normal Puerto Ricans.” No te preocupes, Nicky Jam, not even a man armed with paper towels could tarnish the hard-working, resilient and brilliant nature of Boricuas. For good measure, he encouraged the audience to visit Puerto Rico, saying “Puerto Rico is a beautiful country… you can go and enjoy the beaches.”

He acknowledged that the graphic depiction of his childhood in “El Ganador” and subsequent drug abuse was intentional.

Credit: @alvaroher78 / Twitter

He told Motos that he knew he could have presented a rosy picture of his teenage years, but that it would accomplish nothing for the young people watching. “I wanted them to see that there are two roads,” he said. “If you take the negative, all the bad things that happened to me will happen to you.” He was candid about his drug addiction and how it overtook his family. He told the audience that even his doctor told him that “tienes dos opciones: morirte o quitarte,” you have two options, kill yourself or get clean. He told the cheering crowd that he’s been clean of drugs and alcohol for ten years, “gracias a Dios.”

Nicky Jam said that his sobriety prompted both his parents to get clean as well.

Credit: @nickyjampr / Instagram

I was the one who broke the chains and the whole family got ready,” he said. More than that, he talked about how his mother was a huge driver of his success, but not for the reasons you’d expect. Nick Rivera Caminero was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father. When he was ten years old, they moved to Barrio Obrero in Puerto Rico. As Nicky Jam’s addiction progressed to 39 pills a day of Percocet mixed with other drugs, his relationship with his parents disintegrated. By the time he was 30 years old, he didn’t know how to find his mother, and hoped that fame might bring her to him. One day, he said, “I went to do a show in the Dominican Republic and my bodyguard told me that there was a lady outside saying she was my mother.” Both his parents were struggling with their own addictions, and, reunited, he helped them gain sobriety.

Needless to say, the Internet is deeply emotionally shaken.

Credit: @jonlearreta / Twitter

“El Ganador” is no longer available on Netflix, though it’s finally been made available to Univision subscribers. You can listen to his new album “Intimo,” streaming worldwide, which was just released to patient fans on Nov. 1. We’re glad you made it out okay, Nicky Jam. Felicidades.

READ: Watch These Celebs And Dancers Take Nicky Jam And J Balvin’s ‘X Challenge’