Woman From Lahaina Accuses Jeff Bezos, Oprah of ‘Getting What They Want’ After Maui Fires

Originally published August 28, 2023 4:00 pm PDT

A Lahaina resident conveyed her disdain for the bureaucratic response to the wildfires.

  • A 61-year-old Lahaina resident, Christine Borge, expressed her frustration with the government’s response to the recent, deadly fires during a Maui County Council emergency meeting.
  • “My name is Christine Borge, I guess you could say I’m a kapuna,” she said, using a term for an honored elder. “I was living on 18th Street when it happened. I walked away with nothing except my dog.”
  • She condemned government agencies involved with handling the aftermath of the fires, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), for issuing conflicting guidelines on paperwork moving forward.
  • “I walked out yesterday because I’m hearing conflicting stories of what paper I should fill out,” Borge said, describing the layers of processes she and others must walk through to obtain rudimentary 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.”
  • She suggested that the fires may have benefited wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to transform the area into a satellite city.
  • “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,” Borge proclaimed. “There was no water. Tell me if that’s a coincidence. No water, no warning. And everybody talking about the satellite city before the fire. Lahaina gonna be the first satellite city.”
  • “Jeff Bezos, you got what you wanted. Oprah, you got what you wanted,” the enraged citizen continued.

Warning: The video below has explicit language.

  • “We need help in Lahaina,” Borge said. “Who’s gonna come now and ask us, ‘Can I pray for you, can I help you with your paperwork?'”
  • “All we got so far was $700 and we don’t know who to call or anything.”
  • “It’s culturally insensitive in that zone,” she added.
  • American Faith reported that FEMA recently announced diversity training for its employees.
  • The initiative was introduced in a July email as “part of our ongoing commitment to instill Equity as a Foundation of Emergency Management.”
  • The topic comes amid the agency’s criticized handling of the Maui disaster.
  • “FEMA booked themselves in the five-star luxury Hawaiian resorts, relaxing at the cocktail bar, knocking back drinks, 45 minutes away from Lahaina, the city consumed by an inferno,” Fox News host Jesse Watters stated. “They’re shacking up at the Maui Four Seasons, beachfront of course. Rooms there are $1,000 a night. The presidential suite goes for $29,000 a night. We sure hope they’re not staying there.”