Former Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla was blunt in his assessment of why Trump singled out his territory for threats this morning -- racism.
When asked about Trump's tweets, García Padilla said they "show his lack of knowledge of federal law," for starters. He pointed out that the law requires FEMA to stay on the ground until they've finished the job.
But more significantly, he gave Trump a history lesson in why Puerto Rico is a territory at all.
"We are U.S. citizens not because we asked for it," he said. "It was imposed by Congress just prior to the first world war. so our young Puerto Ricans then can go to the military service."
He went on to remind Trump of a few facts. "So it's a duty of the United States to put their boots on the ground here in Puerto Rico. It's not like we are begging. It's what we deserve. We have been in every war, we have been fighting very hard, so now we deserve for them to be here."
García Padilla continued, "At the end of the day, two main things: He is talking to his electoral base. he is not talking law. He is showing that he is racist. Let's call it the right name."
Craig Melvin seemed surprised that he would make such a claim and said so, giving García Padilla a chance to confirm that yes, he does believe Trump is racist.
He also brought some receipts.
"Why there is no same argument from President Trump after Hurricane Irma hit Florida? Why he doesn't address the same issue in Houston after Hurricane Harvey?," he asked rhetorically. "He is talking to his electoral base."
Just for good measure, he talked up House Speaker Paul Ryan and even Mike Pence before smacking Trump one last time.
"But the president I think it's a shame for the United States -- not only the way he treat Puerto Ricans, the way he is handling the presidency. I think that he do not embody the land of the free and the home of the brave," he concluded.
I agree. And it's worth remembering that when Trump plays to his base, they're racist too. They lap it up like kitties with a saucer of milk, but they represent a minority in this country. A minority who truly deserve to be marginalized and drowned out in a din of people calling for equal treatment for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.