In light of Hurricane Dorian’s recent appearance, or lack thereof, in the United States, there are many discussions of the light damage left when there are large hurricanes.
Parts of the U.S coast were scraped, and areas of South Carolina and even Canada faced the wrath of the storm. But there was nothing that couldn’t be fixed, nothing that couldn’t be repaired with a couple of months, maybe even weeks, worth of work. At least that’s what we bother knowing, as long as we weren’t affected. If we didn’t face any damage, there’s no need to trouble ourselves with the burden.
But Dorian was not so merciful to the Bahamas.
At least 44 people have been confirmed dead, and thousands are missing, some swept away in currents and lost at sea. Homes were destroyed, lives ruined forever, and in a desperate attempt to save themselves, citizens are fleeing their country. Hundreds were crowded onto a ferry boat headed towards Florida, able to bypass the need for a visa so long as they were able to provide a passport and a clean criminal record. After days of unbearable turmoil, surviving Bahamians saw the Florida coast and allowed themselves to be filled with the briefest moment of joy, thinking that they would be provided with resources, water, clothes, the basic necessities.
Only they were then turned away.
The Trump Administration stated that they had never made visa claims, even though there are multiple sources that suggest otherwise, and added that it had no qualms about aiding Bahamians. But 100 people were removed from a ferry boat headed to South Florida. The president himself would not say whether Bahamians could receive Temporary Protected Status.
What many do not understand is that this has not historically been a political issue.
There have usually not been “sides” or differences of opinions, left and right. When it comes to human lives in the balance, when it involves children with blood smeared across their faces, siblings separated from their families, and parents not knowing if their children are even alive, it should not be a matter of what political party you favor or who you’ll be voting for in these upcoming elections.
This is a humanitarian issue, the root word being human.
And when it comes to the matter of humans dying of thirst, hunger, and exposure, lost in their desperate pleas for aid, there is no justifiable reason to turn your head and send them away. The despicable actions inflicted on the already suffering Bahamians are a cruel acts, rooted in inhumanity and ignorance.