Opinion: Some recent comments on Trump's Puerto Rico response are divisive and unnecessary

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump take a walking tour with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, left, and his wife Beatriz Areizaga, to survey hurricane damage and recovery efforts in a neighborhood in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The president just visited Puerto Rico. The federal government has been criticized for its recovery on the island. Those efforts have not been perfect. The criticism is understandable.

What I don’t understand are comments like this one:

“This isn’t that complicated, man. It’s hurricane relief. These people need help. You just did this for white people, twice. Do the same thing. Go tell Melania to put on her flood heels, get some bottled water, some food, pack up some extra Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl t-shirts and write them up a check with our money, you cheap cracker,” comedian Michael Che said during Saturday Night Live.

Or how certain statements like these help those suffering in Puerto Rico:

Racist Trump is deliberately killing Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans?

Or how this statement causing for us to be more united as a country?

“This is what white nationalism looks like as policy. We’ve been talking about this all along. When you have a policy, when you have a belief, that only white people are true Americans - Puerto Ricans are Americans - Donald Trump doesn’t care about that,” MSNBC political commentator Jason Johnson said on AM Joy Saturday morning.

White nationalist policies? This is divisive race baiting at its worst.

The inference is that the response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma was somehow different from the response to Hurricane Maria because only white people were being helped. That is simply not true.

Are the over 12,000 federal employees aiding the recovery in Puerto Rico racist? No, they are not.

Texas and Florida, hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, are states where there is a huge minority population.

African Americans and Hispanics make up over 50 percent of the population in Texas and over 40 percent of the population in Florida.

The suggestion that the Trump administration’s response to natural disasters is somehow race-based is ludicrous.

Here is the bottom line: we live in a free country where political discourse is vital and criticism of the government is important.

What is detrimental, however, is to deliberately try and make Americans more divided than we actually are.

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