Essay about Racism Revealed: Hurricane Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina struck the city of New Orleans, Louisiana on August 29th, 2005. The events that followed would leave the whole nation in shock until this day. One of the major topics of discussion after this disaster was whether or not the government's slow reaction time had anything to do with the fact that New Orleans is sixty-seven percent African American. As helicopters circled a wasteland that was once a major tourist attraction, the racism of the Deep South, thought to be extinct, proved it was only dormant. The same racism against African Americans that could be seen on Bourbon Street in the months prior to the hurricane reared its ugly head once more in Gretna, LA and was pointed out on live television by rapper Kanye West. …show more content…
Although critics have claimed there was a racial motive behind the blockade, according to the Houston Chronicle, Lawson and Mayor Ronnie Harris argue that they "couldn't continue, manpower-wise, fuel-wise." (Riccardi)

In private though, some residents confess, "they're glad the city kept blacks out." (Riccardi) Although during press conferences and interviews the Mayor and Police Chief insist their decisions were not racially based, what is on most of the people of Gretna's minds is that if people from New Orleans, which is two thirds black, enter their city, murder and looting will plague their lives.

During NBC's celebrity telethon for Hurricane Katrina victims, rapper Kanye West went off script and declared that America is not helping the victims of the hurricane fast enough because of the fact that most of the victims are African American. He

claimed that, "George Bush doesn't care about Black people." ("Racism charged...") Not only is New Orleans sixty-seven percent black, but also most of the people who could not evacuate were living under the poverty line. Almost eighty percent of people living under the poverty line in New Orleans are African American. West also pointed out that there is a double standard in the way the media portrays Hurricane Katrina victims. The Associated Press, and later many other news outlets, posted a photo of a black

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