Environmental Inequality Essay examples

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In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina vigorously tore apart the U.S. Gulf Coast Region killing at least 1500 people, ranking at the third deadliest hurricane in United States history. Author of Survival and Death in New Orleans, Patrick Sharkey (2007), looked specifically at data on New Orleans residents that perished during Katrina in an attempt to look at the communities that were most affected by this unfortunate disaster. The storm took the largest toll on the elderly population and by African Americans, who he argued were overrepresented in comparison to whites. The toll was not only physical but mentally damaging as well, due to the overwhelming amount of loss to their homes, family members, pets, and childhood neighborhoods in which …show more content…
In contrary, Sharkey acknowledges that the Knight Ridder Newspaper published a report that found that Blacks represented only a small majority of those who had passed away from Katrina despite the fact that they make up a large majority of the population that was affected the most. (Sharkey 2007) Therefore data used in Sharkey’s analysis uses descriptions of people and the communities that were directly affected by Katrina as a basis for sociological understand of survival and deaths caused by the storm. His findings concluded that, the storm hit New Orleans’s black communities hardest and found that African Americans were disproportionately likely to die in Katrina and were more likely to remain missing. (Sharkey 2007) This is also known as “geography of risk” (Sharkey 2007) as social characteristics are imbalanced and the fact that low income could have made it more difficult to evacuate the city, especially for those without cars or who were unable to get transportation. The government’s lack of organization created extra chaos for those with vehicles as they tried to flee their homes. Since it was decided last minute that the city needed to be evacuated, citizens flooding the streets in a panic for survival.
Despite the media reports of racism in mostly white areas of Louisiana, Freudenburg et al. (2009) notes that hundreds of white
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