Michael Steele Oreo Incident Eyewitness Report

Various lefties have questioned (see Dave Pierre on NewsBusters for a roundup) whether other lefties ever threw Oreo cookies at Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a black conservative, during a gubernatorial campaign debate in 2002.

Project 21’s Kevin Martin was present at that debate and an eyewitness. We asked him to tell us what he saw. The following is his full response, unedited:

I was present at the Morgan State University Maryland gubernatorial debate in 2002 where Oreo cookies were present and used as a means of ridiculing then-candidate for lieutenant governor Michael Steele.When I walked towards the auditorium where the debate was held, I saw a young girl approaching me holding some Oreo cookies. She attempted to hand me some. When I asked her what they were, she cheerfully replied, “they’re Michael Steele cookies.”

I did see an Oreo cookie fly through the air in the direction of Mr. Steele during the event, but I did not see it hit him. The cookies were just part of a wide-ranging intimidation campaign employed against him and Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich that night which included booing, insults directed at the candidates’ families and vandalism of their supporters’ cars. While the thrown Oreo cookies may not have been “thick in the air like locusts” as Paul Schurick, spokesman for Governor Robert Ehrlich, has said, I feel compelled to ask those who are trying to downplay the events just how many Oreo cookies would constitute being offensive?

The term Oreo and the symbolism of the cookie is meant to imply that a black person is really wants to be Caucasian and otherwise ashamed of his or her race. The mere mention of them is insult enough. It is outrageous that Michael Steele’s political opponents are trying to deflect their improper behavior by implying the event never happened. It did. Michael Steele may not have been pelted with a large number of cookies that night, but the epithets were there – both baked and yelled.

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