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California wildfires shouldn’t be politicized

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California wildfires shouldn’t be politicized

By Kaitlyn McCann, Columnist

Much of the state of California is under destruction and citizens have been forced to evacuate because of raging forest fires that have taken over many communities. The Camp and Woolsey fires have burned over 170,000 acres of land, forcing 50,000+ people to evacuate. With the death toll currently at 56, hundreds of people still unaccounted for and thousands of lost homes, this is the deadliest and most dangerous fire in the state’s history.

Last Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted regarding the fire. In a series of tweets, he blames the state of California for forest mismanagement, threatens to cut federal aid, and concludes by directing the department to “Get smart!”

According to The University of California’s Forest Research and Outreach website, 57 percent of California’s forests are federally owned and managed.

Trump’s attitude toward the fires has proven to be incredibly apathetic and insensitive. Blaming the forest management is inappropriate, especially considering how California has experienced droughts for years, and not to mention the climate change he refuses to acknowledge.

Trump is obviously ill-informed; the only thing he is accomplishing is demeaning the first responders and people forced to leave their homes. This is incredibly disrespectful to the brave, selfless people who are actively putting their lives on the line to combat the fires and save others.

The tweets show his own privilege and ignorance. His comments prove the emotional detachment he has from the people he is supposed to lead. This is just another blatant example of the uncaring morals our president has.

On Monday, Trump recognized and thanked firefighters in another tweet.

In total, the president has blamed California for its own forest fire, Puerto Rico for a hurricane, mental illness for mass shootings and the weather for missing a Veteran’s Day event. These events aren’t about politics, they are about people — real people and real families who are losing their lives. Plus, you can’t possibly expect people to control the weather.

Trump has tried to run this country like a business, but in another heartbreaking situation like this, we do not need a businessman.We need a caring, patient and unifying leader. It is understandable why people are so infuriated by his lack of empathy and awareness.

What a way to kick people when they’re already down.

The bottom line is: Natural disasters and horrible events do not need to be politicized. Rather, they need to be acknowledged and supported nationwide. Times like this call for compassion and love for one another. No one needs to be blamed for something no one can control. Especially for the thousands of Californians who had no control of their homes being burned down.

We could possibly point the blame to our leader, who has the means and responsibility to at least address the changing climate, but that is difficult to do when he has already attempted to blame the victims themselves.

But, as we’ve already seen through the public anger of citizens, celebrities and political figures, Trump will not get away with it.

Let’s make sure to do everything we can to support the ones going through tragic loss and trauma instead of pointing fingers and making things worse. If you would like to help the efforts in California, and donate to families involved, some nonprofits include: American Red Cross, California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund and California Fire Foundation. These organizations have offered aid in arranging shelter, providing needs and rebuilding homes for those affected.

It is not normal to feel nothing toward people going through tragic situations. The extremity of this fire is shown through the fact countless celebrities’ million dollar homes have been burnt down. This undoubtedly is an unavoidable situation for everyone involved.

These fires are ruining lives and cannot be combated with apathy. It could be happening to anyone. it could be me. It could be you. It could be Donald Trump.

Kaitlyn is a freshman in Media.

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