“Superstorm Sandy did not discriminate. But the Christie administration appears to be doing so,” says Alan Mallach.
Surely all victims of the 2012 storm deserve the help they need, regardless of race. But in New Jersey funds are disproportionately being funneled to white applicants versus black and Latino applicants.
Mallach writes, “For thousands of New Jersey residents of color, this unequal treatment is like a second devastating storm surge, sweeping them farther and farther from economic security, family stability and a return to normalcy more than a year after the storm. And it potentially violates federal laws requiring state and local governments using federal funds to protect civil rights and affirmatively further fair housing.”
What does this mean for Christie and his aspirations to the presidency? Mallach explains: “Voters of color will be watching closely how Christie responds to this latest crisis. Will he belittle the concerns and attack the messengers, as he initially did with the George Washington Bridge scandal? Or will he take in the evidence of unequal opportunity—derived from the state’s own data—and develop a plan to correct it?”