CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle’s opinion piece, “Three Million Americans Not Part of Trump’s Agenda,” was published in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle Sunday, November 5, 2017. Read the full text here:

“As we sat in comfort on the USA mainland Tuesday watching the World Series or hosting trick-or treaters, what did that say about our nation and about ourselves given the fact that many weeks after Hurricane Maria, over 3 million American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are sitting in the dark without electricity or fresh water?

I said 3 million Americans. Three million fellow citizens are living in nearly medieval conditions. These are not persons from outside the country who snuck across the border illegally. These are not Muslim terrorists from six or seven banned nations who have been blocked from entering the US. These are taxpayers, military veterans, hard-working small business owners who depend upon the tourist industry of cruise ships, ocean-front hotels, and quaint restaurants dating back hundreds of years where visitors drink pina coladas or take strolls along white sandy beaches.

The absence of power and electricity has also brought to a grinding halt the fragile economies of these Caribbean nations. Seventy percent of these people have no electricity and no fresh water for drinking or bathing or cooking. But they also have no jobs and so they now have no money.

I repeat that these are 3 million American citizens. How on earth has this been allowed to happen in the richest and most technologically advanced country in the history of the world? 

It was weeks ago when Donald Trump was seen bringing “emergency relief” as he tossed rolls of paper towels to people whose island homes were under water. A few days later, Trump gave himself a grade of A+ for the response his administration has made to this humanity crisis involving 3 million American citizens.

I am afraid I will have to give Trump and FEMA a failing grade because they have been painfully slow, even inactive, as this crisis has lingered to the point that people are baking in the 90 degree tropical heat. It takes electrical power and money to enjoy the lives we have enjoyed every day since the hurricanes hit. There must be a reason why such suffering on the part of American citizens is being allowed to go on since the storms hit on September 20.

This was not Trump’s and FEMA’s response in Houston, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida. In every other case, the response was robust and those regions are on the road to recovery. Why didn’t the same robust response occur in the Caribbean? Trump said the problem was that the region consists of “islands surrounded by water.” Most islands are, by definition, surrounded by water: deep ocean water.

No amount of water is an impediment for a determined nation. On D-Day, June 6, 1944 the U.S. military landed on Omaha and Utah beaches under withering enemy machine gun and mortar fire. However, despite the water and the Nazis, they took the beaches and went on to win World War II. This country can accomplish anything it sets its mind to accomplish. After so much of Europe had been destroyed during World War II, we developed the Marshall Plan to assist in rebuilding those countries.

Yet, over two months after Hurricane Maria swamped Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 3 million Americans have no power, no water, no jobs, and no money. I will restrain myself from believing that the reason these 3 million Americans are in this dreadful state has anything to do with who is and is not part of Trump’s political coalition. Have these black, brown, and Spanish-speaking Americans been largely ignored primarily  because they are black, brown, and Spanish-speaking? I hope that is not the case, but if that is not the case, I will need someone to tell me why 3 million Americans have no electricity , no water, few jobs and are running out of money for the last 70-plus days.

The truth is there is no good reason; only pathetic tweets, unacceptable excuses, and a US President who seems not to care about 3 million Americans who are not a part of his base, and thus not part of his agenda.”

Click here for the digital link to the story: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/guest-column/2017/11/01/marvin-mcmickle-three-million-americans-not-part-trumps-agenda/821790001/