This is the text of a letter I wrote to Michael Steele, the African-American Lieutenant Governor of Maryland regarding the late action of the federal government in helping victims of Hurricane Katrinia, specifically the ones in New Orleans
Lt. Governor Steele:
My name is Anthony Nurse and I am a resident of Montgomery County. I moved to this state in 2001, so I am not intimately familiar with Maryland politics in general or you in particular. I do know three things about you though; you are the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, you are rumored to be running for U.S. Senate in 2006, and you are black.
I’m sure you, along with the rest of the country, have watched in horror the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in New Orleans. I have been absolutely stunned by the late response from the federal government to help people stranded in the city without food, power or water. I’ve seen what this country can do for people in need both in and outside this country during times of natural disasters, and it wasn’t done in this case in a timely matter. The only difference in this case is the majority of the affected are black, like you and I.
Outside of rank incompetence, I can’t think of any other reason the federal government would be so lax in helping people, except that the pain of black people doesn’t mean much to them. The federal government which is currently controlled by your party.
I want to be wrong. I don’t want to be so cynical about the current leadership of this country that I believe latent racism would cause a delay in getting help out, but I don’t see any other reason. I don’t want to believe a man like yourself, who must have a level of intelligence and personal success to be chosen for such a significant post would willingly throw his lot with a group who thinks less of people that look like you and I. That is why I have written this letter to you. I want you to convince me otherwise.
If there is another reason for the failings of the federal government, I need to know. If there isn’t; if the rank and file members of the Republican party can’t be bothered to help black people, like you and I, in a time of desperate need, I can’t be bothered to vote for any members of the Republican party. Including ones who run for Maryland senate seats.