While President Donald Trump gets criticized for his slow response to the plight of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria decimated the American territory, many in the Hip Hop community have stepped up to help. Included among them are Rihanna, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Fat Joe and Common.
Rihanna called out the President on Twitter and Instagram this week by mentioning him in tweets concerning Puerto Rico, since it appeared he was more concerned with the issue of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Rih attempted to divert Trump’s attention to Puerto Rico by mentioning him in several tweets about the devastation that hit the island’s 3.4 million inhabitants. In one tweet, the Bajan singer mentioned Trump in a clip showing how much damage the hurricane did.
Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island last Wednesday (September 20) and is reportedly the worst hurricane to hit the territory in over 90 years. It is also the second hurricane to hit Puerto Rico this month (Hurricane Irma skirted by earlier in September).
Fellow Boricua Jennifer Lopez is donating $1 million of the money she earned from her Las Vegas shows to provide relief to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. She also launched a GoFundMe for a new initiative called Somos Una Voz (We Are One Voice) with her ex-husband Marc Anthony. The initiative is described as an alliance among industry heavyweights to help Puerto Rico recover. Somos Una Voz has raised over $100,000 so far and is slated to benefit American Red Cross, Reach Out Worldwide, United Way and United For Puerto Rico.
Pitbull sent his own private plane to the U.S. territory to transport cancer patients to the mainland so they could continue necessary treatments and chemotherapy.
Puerto Rico is still in dire need of help. The massive 50-mile-wide hurricane knocked out the entire island’s power grid and a week later, a majority of homes are still without electricity. Gasoline is scarce and there is barely any clean drinking water.
On Thursday morning (September 28), a statement announced that Trump had temporarily waived the Jones Act, which requires all goods shipped between U.S. ports to be on ships built, owned and operated by America. He stated the previous day that he was getting pushback from the shipping industry about waiving the act, which was slowing relief efforts. “A lot of people that work in the shipping industry … don’t want the Jones Act lifted,” he said. “And we have a lot of ships out there right now.”
Puerto Rico is currently getting help from the U.S. government through FEMA. It’s estimated the hurricane has caused between $40 billion to $85 billion in damages, mostly in Puerto Rico, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
See more social media posts from members of the music community supporting and spreading the word on how to help out Puerto Rico below.