As an African American in this city, I am appalled and astonished at the absence of any electronic or print information on the status of black folk within the storm-tossed areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As I witnessed the desperate press conference on the neglected conditions of Staten Island, I wondered again about the absence of any press or media accounts of the plight of black folk in the strickened areas of the region. Why do we see the continuous media interviews with white people? Where are the black and nonwhite people? Where are the reports on such African American areas of desperation as Newark, Englewood, and others? And where are the voices/inquiries/complaints/rage of the black political/media/ministerial/business/community leadership in the midst of this calamity? Where are the Rangels Sharptons/Jesses/Daughertys/Cory Booker/black news people and commentators/city and state political leadership/Congressional Black Caucus/NAACP/National and New York Urban Leagues/black sororities and fraternities/black churches of every denomination?
Surely, we all know that black people live and work everywhere . . . many in the afflicted areas of this storm. Yet, no one speaks of or for them. And as we all, across this nation, move ever exhaustively towards Election Day, with a black president’s destiny in the balance, there are black people in our midst . . . who shiver in the darkness and the cold . . . betrayed, forgotten and overwhelmed . . . by a tsunami of silence. SHAME ON ALL THOSE WHO HAVE THE VOICE . . . BUT NOT THE WILL.
— ALLIE WOODS, JR.