Obama Won’t Cut Martha’s Vineyard Vacation Short To Visit Louisiana, Sent Anti-Discrimination Memo To Assisting Agencies Instead

President Barack Obama is on his annual family vacation at Martha’s Vineyard and the White House has confirmed the president will not be cutting his vacation short to assess the damage from Louisiana flooding. Instead, Obama sent an anti-discrimination memo to local, state, and federal agencies assisting victims in the area reminding them that though he is not physically present, he will be watching to make sure that they are not discriminating against victims on the basis of “race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency).”

The Washington Times reports that many people in Louisiana were upset when they learned that President Barack Obama will not be cutting his family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard short to help assess and assist in the widespread flood damage. Instead of flying to Baton Rouge to survey the damage, President Obama has decided he will continue to golf and spend time with his family in Martha’s Vineyard until his previously scheduled departure date.

Recent flooding in Louisiana has resulted in 13 deaths and left an estimated 110,000 homes flooded with $20.7 billion in damage, according to the Advocate. To make matters worse, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber economic impact analysis notes that the damage total is only reflective of home values, and not other damages that may have occurred, such as loss of personal belongings or vehicles.

The survey included East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

“BRAC says the $20.7 billion estimate should not be considered a tally of damage, and that it only represents the value of homes that were subject to flooding.”

With reports indicating this is the most destructive natural disaster the Gulf Coast has seen since Hurricane Katrina, many feel that President Obama should have immediately left his personal vacation and tended to the state’s crisis.

Though President Obama will not be making himself physically present in Louisiana for the time being, he did send a memo to local, state, and federal agencies helping victims in the area, reminding them not to discriminate. The memo details that discrimination based on “race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency)” will not be tolerated following the tragedy.

However, it isn’t just President Obama who is being blasted for their absence. Hillary Clinton has also been called out for not assessing the damage and offering support to the victims. Instead, Clinton will also be at Martha’s Vineyard celebrating Bill Clinton’s 70th birthday party alongside the Obamas.

Breitbart reports that Hillary Clinton has arrived to Martha’s Vineyard and will be celebrating husband Bill Clinton’s 70th birthday on the island. Also attending the party is the Obama family. As the Clintons and Obamas prepare for the big celebration, the Baton Rouge Advocate wrote an article asking that President Obama put aside his vacation momentarily to show support for those in Louisiana. The publication noted that Obama was quick to criticize President Bush’s “fly over” of Hurricane Katrina damage noting it was a symbol of “official neglect.” However, the article notes that what Obama is doing is no better and that while golfing at Martha’s Vineyard may be more ideal, he cannot show his solidarity with the suffering Americans from the “playground for the posh.”

“Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected. We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness. Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.”

Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Donald Trump has flown to Baton Rouge alongside VP candidate Mike Pence and is offering his words of support to the victims. Trump has called out both Clinton and Obama for not making Louisiana a top priority.

What do you think of President Obama deciding to stay at Martha’s Vineyard instead of assessing the Louisiana flood damage? Is this Hurricane Katrina 2.0 showcasing Louisiana as a “symbol of neglect” on a national level?

[Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/ AP Photo]