Columns, Opinion

American Protest: Trump handled Hurricane Dorian with indecency and neglect

As Hurricane Dorian’s havoc across the Atlantic slows down, the extent of the resulting destruction is becoming clearer each day. Three journalists from CNN published an article describing the apocalyptic scenes of destruction throughout the island. 

“When the wind picks up, you smell death,” the reporters said. 

The death toll is expected to rise significantly as the rescuers continue to find bodies, yet the aid given to the Bahamas pale in comparison to the catastrophic situation they are currently in. 

Donald Trump has muddied the crisis with confusion by making one contradictory comment after the next.

First, he claimed Alabama would be affected by Dorian — a lie that was quickly disproven and corrected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. But Trump held his ground and reasserted that he was correct by displaying a map demonstrating the path of Hurricane Dorian, which seems to have been altered with a marker to include Alabama in its path.

Alabama was in fact not hit by the hurricane, and much of coastal North Carolina took the brunt of the storm in the U.S. instead. President Trump was too busy ignoring meteorologists and hard science to care about that, though.

Now, the Secretary of Commerce is threatening to fire employees at the NOAA because of a tweet they sent out contradicting President Trump, clarifying that Alabama was not at risk of the hurricane and there was no reason to panic. 

While all of this is happening, people in the Bahamas are being denied entry into the U.S. because the President does not want any “bad people” coming in. He referred to the Bahamas seeking refuge as “including some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers,” and for this reason, every refugee would need “totally proper documentation.”

However, earlier that day, the acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection told reporters in a press briefing that the agency was processing entrants without documentation and said “we’ve already processed people who have travel documents and don’t have travel documents.”

The confusion led to a ferry of survivors being denied entry into Florida due to a lack of proper documentation. These are people desperately in need of refuge, coming from an area completely destroyed by Dorian and the Trump administration cannot seem to figure out if they want to help this crisis or worsen it.

It is incredibly racist of Trump to yet again use his criminals-and-drug dealer’s ploy to deny people entry into this country, especially after their home has been completely destroyed. These are families and children who barely made it out — to send them back is a potential death sentence.

Letting in refugees is one of the more integral steps in providing aid after a disaster, as tens of thousands of people are homeless and in need of help. The administration should not be worrying itself with who to fire because NOAA corrected the president, they should be helping the people with nothing left after Dorian.

America is historically a place of refuge; those lucky enough to make it out of Dorian alive should not be turned away because they lack documentation and we need to help our neighbors. 

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