The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Joe Raedle / Getty

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Yesterday, Virginia’s entire Congressional delegation begged Trump to issue a federal emergency declaration for Virginia, which is currently more exposed to the destructive force of the monster hurricane Florence than North Carolina, and is likely to be hit as hard as South Carolina. But initially, Trump only offered emergency declarations for North and South Carolina. He completely ignored Virginia. For many, this omission looked very political. Virginia is now a blue state, as Trump very well knows. By excluding Virginia up until just this afternoon, he sent a clear message of how disasters in the age of climate change will be handled by the emergency government agencies he now controls. If you are a blue state, then he is going to treat you in the same way he treated Puerto Rico (over 4,000 dead, no electricity for a year, etc.). If you are blue, you are as good as brown.


From The Hill:

As of Monday night, the president had not yet declared a state of emergency in Virginia, which is also expected to receive damaging rains and winds after the storm makes landfall.

Virginia's congressional delegation called on Trump earlier in the day to issue such a declaration to assist with the state's emergency response.

From Eric Boehlert of Share Blue:

The idea that a president might play politics with disaster relief where people’s lives are in danger was once considered unthinkable.

But after the Trump administration, led by FEMA, provided drastically different levels of relief last year for storms that hit Texas and Louisiana and then for Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and killed approximately 3,000 U.S. citizens, it’s not past Trump to view federal assistance as a form of political payback.

Seattle must pay close attention to how all of this plays out. We live on a ticking time bomb that could explode at any moment. If the huge earthquake everyone is expecting hits while Trump is power, we would face not one but two disasters—seismic destruction, and the deaths caused by a slow and disinterested federal response.

Most of the deaths that occurred after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria last year were not caused by nature but by human negligence and indifference. If the federal government had acted on that disaster in the way it aggressively acted on the ones that hit red states Florida and Texas, most of PR's deaths would have been limited to the direct destruction caused by the hurricane. This is how Trump treats brown people. He doesn't care if they die. What yesterday's declarations signaled (and the long delay between those declarations and the one finally made for Virginia this afternoon) is that he has it in mind to treat white people who live in blue states differently than white people who live in red states. Seattle, do not miss this important message. Blue-state whites are now just brown to him.