U.S. Rep. Luis Gutíerrez offered a powerful condemnation of Donald Trump's horrid attitude toward Puerto Rico, and a poignant defense of its people.
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutíerrez was moved to tears as he spoke out powerfully in defense of his ancestral country against Donald Trump's repeated, callous treatment of Puerto Rico and its citizens.
Gutíerrez, whose parents came from Puerto Rico and who lived there himself as a teenager, minced no words in his condemnation of Trump's attitude since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the mayor of San Juan as well as her constituents — who are American citizens — and has gone to great pains to praise himself even as his administration's efforts have been all but nonexistent.
Trump may insist he's doing a great job, but Gutíerrez knows better.
"How sad, how disgraceful," he told MSNBC's Chris Hayes, "that when people are suffering so greatly, when there is such pain and anguish and fear ... that he would act with such folly and silliness" — referencing Trump's embarrassing behavior on his very brief visit to the island Tuesday.
And he had a recommendation for Trump's return to the U.S.
"Go by the Vietnam Memorial and see the hundreds of names of Puerto Ricans that are etched in that wall, who gave up their lives. They didn't say they had bone spurs — they responded. And they gave up the ultimate tax, the tax of their life."
Their American citizenship was not in doubt when they stepped up to defend the nation, but now that they are in desperate need of help and compassion from the U.S. government?
"What an offense" Trump's neglect has been, he declared.
Watching the people of Puerto Rico come together to help each other when the Trump administration has been absent, Gutíerrez said, "I've never been prouder of my Puerto Rican heritage, or the people of Puerto Rico."
If Trump were less focused on playing games, praising himself, and whining about how much money the U.S. has spent in Puerto Rico, perhaps he could see what Gutíerrez sees: a strong and proud country that has given so much of itself to us, and now needs — and deserves — all that we can do for them in return.
If Trump were a better man, such a turnaround might be possible.
What an offense, indeed.