Lahaina Fire Survivor Blasts Jeff Bezos and Oprah During Emergency Council Meeting: “Jeff Bezos, You Got What You Wanted. Oprah, You Got What You Wanted — F*** Us All Over”

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On August 8th, a devastating fire swept through the historic town of Lahaina, leaving a community in anguish and despair. Homes were razed, businesses destroyed, and lives disrupted.

The fire killed hundreds, and thousands are still missing. The Hawaii State Department of Education issued a report Thursday stating that 2,025 students are not accounted in the Lahaina public school system in the wake of the August 8 fire that ravaged the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui.

The four schools, two elementary, one intermediary and one high school that comprised the Lahaina school district had a total of 3,001 students enrolled before the fire. The schools are closed due to damage from the fires, with one elementary school heavily damaged and not likely to re-open for some time. The other three suffered damage from high winds, debris and soot. The report does not mention whether–or even the likelihood–many of the missing children were killed in the fire.

On August 22nd, the Maui County Council held an emergency meeting, with community members expressing their anger and calling for transparency and accountability from various agencies involved. Concerns were raised about the emergency proclamation, lack of communication and coordination, and the need for immediate and affordable housing solutions.

Among those giving testimony was 61-year-old Christine Borge, a Lahaina resident who lost her home in the fire.

“My name is Christine Borge, I guess you could say I’m a kapuna [honored elder]. I was living on 18th Street when it happened. I walked away with nothing except my dog,” Borge began.

Her testimony highlighted the challenges she and her community face in navigating aid processes that are culturally insensitive and overwhelmingly bureaucratic.

Borge slammed FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) for their conflicting guidelines and paperwork. “I walked out yesterday because I’m hearing conflicting stories of what paper I should fill out,” she said. According to Borge, four out of five people in her community lost their homes, yet they are being met with labyrinthine processes that make it difficult to access even basic aid.

“So many people, my employees, they’re Filipino, and they don’t know how to fill these papers out. Four out of five of us lost our homes; it was burned to the ground.”

“We busted our ass and this is what we get. Nobody called us. Our phones didn’t work from five in the morning. The fire was not 10 o’clock when I went to work. The fire was still there. There was no water. Tell me if that’s that’s coincidence. No water, no warning. And everybody talking about the satellite city before the fire. Lahaina gonna be the first satellite city.”

Borge did not mince her words when she accused high-profile individuals such as Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey of exploiting the situation.

“Jeff Bezos, you got what you wanted. Oprah, you got what you wanted — F*** us all over,” she said, implying that the disaster would benefit wealthy individuals who have vested interests in the area.

The accusation seemed to tie into longstanding local fears that Lahaina was being transformed into a “Satellite City” for wealthy individuals and corporations at the expense of local communities.

Borge also criticized those discouraging tourism, a vital industry for the local economy.

“Don’t say don’t come to Maui, because you’re not speaking for us, the working people,” she stated. According to her, the locals need tourism to survive, especially as they rebuild their lives post-disaster.

WATCH:

Borge was not alone. Many other residents expressed similar sentiments.

WATCH the highlight of the meeting below:

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

You can email Jim Hᴏft here, and read more of Jim Hᴏft's articles here.

 

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