On Sunday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter rant, brashly directing “‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” – presumed to be Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar – to “go back” to the places “they came from” and “help fix” those “totally broken and crime infested places.”
....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Trump’s statements were widely criticized as being racist and factually inaccurate, considering all of the women he was referring to (other than Omar, who was born in Somalia) were born in the U.S. Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Monday to respond to the president’s tweet, accusing him of using “white supremecist” rhetoric. Ocasio-Cortez, as was mentioned quite a few times on her campaign trail and thereafter, is from the Bronx. Her dad is from New York. And her mother is from Puerto Rico.
Left out of the national conversation about whether Trump’s comments were racist is an important distinction: Puerto Rico isn’t a foreign country. It’s part of the United States.
The small Caribbean island is a United States territory (technically an “unincorporated territory”) and has been since 1898, after the U.S. claimed victory in the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans have American citizenship and are able to travel throughout the U.S. mainland as they please – and it’s under the jurisdiction of the current occupant of the Oval Office.
It appears that the president – who hails from New York, the state that contains the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the country – is either not entirely aware that Puerto Rico is not another country, or is refusing to acknowledge that it’s a part of the United States.
After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, leaving the island in a devastated state and taking the lives of roughly 3,000 individuals, Trump was criticized for failing to provide the island with the funds needed to rehabilitate it fast enough. He famously threw paper towels to Puerto Rico’s hurricane victims months after the island was ravaged, during a visit to the island, which became a symbol of the ineffectual federal response. In early June, Trump signed a $19 billion disaster relief bill that will provide Puerto Rico with aid after resisting the legislation because he believed it would send too much money to the island – and as of late last month, the U.S. territory has yet to receive any money.
Naturally, the internet decided to weigh in. Here are a couple of the most notable reactions to Trump’s latest online bluster:
Among all the other bullshit in The Tweets, it’s worth noting that Trump for the millionth time simply refuses to believe that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.— Jonathan M. Katz (@KatzOnEarth) July 14, 2019
Given that @aoc’s mother came from Puerto Rico - i.e., the United States - and her father was born in New York, she has deeper American roots than Trump. Not that it should matter. https://t.co/ovtia0FbiM— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) July 15, 2019
If AOC were to "go back to where she came from" she'd end up in the worlds oldest colony: #PuertoRico— Andrew J. Padilla (@apadillafilm6) July 14, 2019
*Which Trump abandoned and insulted during its darkest hours*
Ah! I'm told that AOC's grandparents are from Puerto Rico so their country -- unlike that of Donald Trump's grandparents -- is the United States. https://t.co/grgopcJLcJ— walter dellinger (@walterdellinger) July 14, 2019
So once again @realDonaldTrump displays his complete ignorance of the fact that Puerto Rico is part of the USA.— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 14, 2019
Is he senile or just plain stupid?
Right-wingers reading this won’t even realize their racism as they genuinely believe that somehow Scotland is more American than Puerto Rico. You never say Trump (or his wife, all of his wives) should go back to where they came from because they came from largely white countries.— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) July 15, 2019
AOC’s parents are of Puerto Rican descent!— Ryan Hill (@RyanHillMI) July 14, 2019
Just because you don’t give a d*mn about Puerto Rico doesn’t mean they aren’t American Citizens.
Maybe you should pick up a history book!
The Jones-Shafroth Act enacted on March 2, 1917— granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans! pic.twitter.com/uZ0Ybal3qh
Says the man whose mother was born in Scotland. @AOC’s parents were born in America. Technically she’s more American than you.— Matthew Karsten (@ExpertVagabond) July 15, 2019
PS. YOU are the President of Puerto Rico you moron...
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