In the last few weeks, the weather has been less than optimal. In most places, especially right down the Midwest, it has been dangerously cold. Last week it was so dangerously cold that our power grids could not keep up with the amount of energy used to keep homes warm. Many have suffered due to this, with power outages, despite rolling blackouts to prevent them, meaning no heat and frozen pipes leading to a lack of water.
Texas, a state that typically does not experience frigid temperatures, snow and ice, faced all of these issues. However, since Texas does not experience these often, they were not equipped to deal with such temperatures, leading to disaster. Texans experienced loss of power, loss of clean water, and due to road conditions, a lack of groceries. According to a CBS news report on Feb 17, there had been 24 deaths in the last week due to the weather conditions.
In the midst of this crisis U.S. Senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, decided to take a Cancun vacation with his family. Cruz faced almost immediate backlash from not just Texans, but many people all over social media. Cruz returned to Texas that Thursday facing protestors chanting for him to resign. Cruz then apologized for his “obvious mistake” and released a statement saying he also lost power and heat.
Cruz proceeded to explain in his statement that since they had lost their heat and power and school was cancelled his daughters wanted to go on a trip with friends. I’m sure many Texans would have loved to go on a trip with friends to a warm location away from the fear of hypothermia in their own homes, a lack of clean water and limited groceries. According to what Cruz said in the statement to cover his tracks, it is acceptable in the middle of a crisis to travel somewhere with livable conditions with your family. An interesting thought process from someone who supports ICE. Apparently leaving the country to protect one’s family is allowed when the one doing it is a white man with money. Families have been separated and locked up in ICE detainment centers for crossing the border to protect their families from unsafe living conditions, yet it is seen as a simple vacation for the Cruz family.
U.S. Senators main focus should be focused on protecting those in their state. Yes, family is important but so are the other families who did not have the luxury of leaving the country. However, while Ted Cruz left the country, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) helped raise $4 million for Texans affected by the weather. AOC is a representative for New York and despite not living in Texas, gave her time to help those in need. AOC even went to Texas to help with fundraising, she was assisted by Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, democratic Texas representatives. This winter weather crisis has shown Texans and everyone else, who cares about them and who does not. Some representatives were out hosting fundraisers, donating food, helping raise money for homelessness and elder care. Then, others like Ted Cruz, left to go to Cancun where it was warm.