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Hurricane Katrina and Racism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By mattdepalm
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Racism and Hurricane Katrina

Matt DePalma

Geography 1000
Assignment 1
October 4, 2013

Under the presidency of George W. Bush, Hurricane Katrina was deemed as a national, political, and racial disaster. From preparations of the hurricane, rescue efforts provided, and money funded for the storm, Hurricane Katrina represented a nationwide failure and the casualties and emotional scars it left on the people of New Orleans is evidence. Monday, August 29, 2005 will forever live on as a day of infamy in New Orleans, a day where not only poor planning was obvious but racial inequalities also became even more apparent to the people. In the aftermath of its destruction, Katrina showed the world just how racist New Orleans was, and how corrupt and slowly the government acted towards saving lives. Unfortunately, New Orleans the the United States government left the black, poverty stricken population for dead, exposing a city still full of racism for had they not been, more lives could have been rescued. For starters, Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans during the storm had issued a mandatory evacuation of the city in preparation of the storm (Trouble the Water). This is a seemingly righteous and smart political move on Nagin’s part except that he also provided no transportation for those without cars or money. As a mayor, Nagin had to know that not every single person in his city could afford the luxury of travel for evacuation of Katrina. Nagin left 100,000 people, most of who were black left to fend for themselves. Patricia Thompson, a victim of Hurricane Katrina stated in an interview with NBC’s Kerry Sanders that New Orleans and Katrina was an “issue of race” and after the evacuation the remaining people “were mostly black”. Thompson and others also compared the conditions of the refugee camps to those of a “concentration camp in the Holocaust”. (Sanders,...

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