“Heart in a Hurricane” 2009, by Lee Quinones. Image © Lee Quinones
As a response to the humanitarian crises that is unfolding right now in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, many New Yorkers are calling out for help to city, state, and federal agencies as well as their fellow citizens to help the people in PR. Naturally Street Artists and graffiti writers are joining in the debate and here we publish an open public letter from famed NYC graffiti train writer “LEE” Quinones, a life long New Yorker and Puerto Rican.
Mi Gente, All people,
If you have not yet, please find the moral compasses in your hearts to rise up and help give to the dire needs of the people of Puerto Rico along with the rest of the Caribbean during these very dreadful and challenging circumstances.
Sure I’m proud to say that I’m a proud Puerto Rican, but I’m also part of the human race and that includes us all. Contrary to what we may believe that this is someone else’s problem, it’s we who will bare the burden of a spiritual guilt if we don’t help because it is we who claim to be good neighbors, a good people.
Please forward what you can to any of the charities below that I am standing with:
- United for Puerto Rico
- The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico
- Community Foundation of the US Virgin Islands
This was a storm that did not have any bias, it doesn’t know that fate, but we do. This storm has effectively invaded all of us, so for those who are standing or sitting in the safe periphery, to do nothing is truly an imprint of a real catastrophe. It is not Mother Nature’s so-called wrath that is to be feared, but more the lack of human decency to act and to act fast in light of such an awakening.
You want to argue the point of Americans exercising their rights to rightfully protest by POLITELY kneeling during the national anthem as un-American? The last I remember, kneeling was not a contested debate of being a disrespectful act, but of giving your heart to a standing majesty with a proposal, an idea, a pledge, or perhaps… a request.
In any argument, there is a halfway point. So let us fully agree on this; the act of kneeling is to be a discourse for a patient round table that has the luxury of time on its hands.
But to not give precedence to a humanitarian emergency that has no luxury of time, that in itself is below half way and is not American.
The people of Puerto Rico are American citizens first and foremost, and our first duty as fellow citizens giving to assist is already underway, but when all of this morphs into yesterday’s news it will be then that our second duty as Americans should commence and that will be to vote people into office that will do the right thing when the unthinkably wrong happens.
Thank you for your ears and may God bless the world.
Lee Quinones. 2017