Race and class identity of various groups of people render a great deal of influence on the experience one faces after a natural disaster. Unfortunately, oppression comes along with the quality of life for poor and middle classes. Thus, the experiences of higher and lower social classes are vastly different in terms of physical and psychological effects on the people. Higher social classes have the ability to restore any damages caused from a natural disaster in a timely manner, such as Hurricane Matthew. On the contrary, those people of the lower economic and social classes affected by the hurricane in Haiti, Bahamas, and Jamaica this past weekend will take a number of months or even years to rebuild their prior lifestyles. On pg. 4 in the
In this paper, I will analyze both the effects of the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 and of the 2005 cyclone Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. I argue that victim blaming in the turmoil of “natural” disasters is the result of both a crucial injustice of government and an insufficient display and abuse of power. Furthermore, I will stress that the astronomical death tolls following both events are avoidable and are therefore an unjust distribution of human rights. I will emphasize how my understanding of the term “natural disaster” has become challenged upon reading Eric Klinenberg’s essay on denaturalizing disaster and in watching Spike Lee’s film on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
Environmental justice links a number of social movements—anti-racism, Aboriginals rights, and the mainstream environmental movement—and addresses the problem of environmental racism (Gosine & Teelucksignh, 2008, p. 11). The concept of environmental justice in the U.S was associated with the struggles over toxic waste sites and the call for equal treatment of all communities, radicalized or not (p. 9). It was about looking at human health rather than preserving areas deemed as “playgrounds for the rich.”
Here the authors address an important solution; allow residents to hire their own experts from the community who are well versed in delivering the proponents message to the residents in a manner that does not exclude anyone from the process. The landfill began operating in 2006, as the proponents deemed there was not any substantive opposition to the project through official Environmental Impact Assessment (Deacon & Baxter, 2013). Deacon and Baxter in this case set out to understand the role and relation between power and participation as it relates to procedural environmental justice in order to challenge understanding of environmental justice and cease production and reproduction of environmental injustice. The residents protested as they felt they were being sacrificed for economic growth, “the landfill has become a symbol of the slow decline of the community of Lincolnville” (Race and Waste in Nova Scotia, 2006). They call this environmental racism, which is the racial discrimination in the enforcement of environmental rules and regulations, targeting minority communities for the siting of polluting industries or the exclusion of people of color from public and private boards, commissions and regulatory bodies (Race and Waste in Nova Scotia,
It is not surprising that much of the world has been shocked by the destruction in New Orleans and the ongoing failures exposed at almost every level of government. While it is almost impossible not to be appalled by this series of events, veterans of the environmental-justice movement are not surprised by what happened. In fact, they say that this disaster has confirmed what they have thought all along. They believed that blacks in New Orleans were much more vulnerable and less protected by environmental problems than white folks in areas close to the city. They maintain that the people in power who included Mayor Ray Nagin, an African-American himself viewed the city's poor, black residents as expendable. Robert Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, has been leading a research project of official responses to environmental disasters. He believes that "blacks and other people of color are all too often overlooked in such crises," he told Liza
Pezzullo investigates in this article the strategies of environmental justice advocates in Warren County, North Carolina. The rhetorical efforts shown by these advocates vigorously urged the state of North Carolina to clean up a local toxic landfill caused by a truck illegally dumping oil contaminated with PCBs in the middle of the night.
Hurricane Katrina is one of the U.S’s most catastrophic events, and this was due to the number of people who were killed and displaced. Most of those effected most harshly by the storm were those that were of the poor community, which in New Orleans was mostly black. These people were not able to evacuate the storm, and also had the most trouble to try to rebuild after the storm. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s documentary on Hurricane Katrina, Trouble the Water, portrays Hurricane Katrina in a different light, one that constantly get ignored by the popular media. By answering five main questions based on this documentary, a close to accurate portrayal of Hurricane Katrina can be made.
Since African Americans are limited to such opportunities, New Orleans is considered what is presumed to be a “racially segregated landscape of differentiated risk” -- spatial benefits of the post natural disastrous situation flowed to those who weren't from the lower socioeconomic tier. The racial projects that emphasize this formulation are found in how mainstream press coverage viewed those who were stranded and how structural programs not only failed to prepare relief but also intensified city
Following Hurricane Katrina, many people were homeless, and thought that the minorities were not being treated fairly post-hurricane. Media images that were shown from Katrina showed that nearly all those left behind to suffer and some die were black Americans. Families that were most able to afford homes in flood-protected areas and that had resources to evacuate easily suffered a great deal less than poorer families. There was not enough resources for them and they were forced to leave all of their belongings. Post-Katrina, many of the minorities were not allowed back into their homes because it was a hazard. Parts of the city was covered deep in water and thousands had been unable to evacuate, leaving them to die. As news spread fast
The storm unearthed weaknesses, inequalities, and prejudices that were present throughout the Gulf Coast and U.S. society long before the storm (Levitt 2). By unveiling the black poor of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina had the potential to become a turning point that would force the United States to take another look at race and class relations in a supposedly “post-racial” and “democratic” society, spurring brand new conversation about the structural racial and classist intersections from which societal inequalities and institutionalized racism are produced. However, this hurricane did not become that turning point, and we were instead steered back to our ideological bases while we watched the unending coverage of the crisis. We were able to
There are disasters occurring all around the world that most individuals will not hear of due to a lack of media coverage. Many of these disasters can have incredibly detrimental effects on entire populations, and those at risk deserve a chance to educate themselves. Two of the disasters found were the West Fertilizer plant explosion and the increasing rate of acidification of ocean water. Despite the fact that these disasters pose such incredible dangers, they were found to be among the least reported on stories amongst media outlets. Although these disasters have not been covered nearly as much as other major catastrophes, such as hurricane Katrina, they still have far reaching physical and emotional consequences and have their own unique story.
As stated in the thesis, environmental injustice mostly affects minority communities. In a map presented by the Los Angeles Times, in Southeast LA there are 26 communities- which 83.9% of the inhabitants are of minority groups (Southeast, n.d.). Similarly, another map released by EPA from the 1990 U.S. Census illustrates that in places where there is 80 to 100% of people of color there is at least 2
The notion of justice is existence of proper balance of rights and its access under the laws of land. It refers to not depriving any person from availing privileges, opportunities etc. John Rawls writes, "Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override"It means that the interaction in a society must be free from any sort of discrimination such as religion, race, color, caste or sex. It ensures fair distribution of assets and equal opportunity. José P. Laurel defines Social Justice as “Social justice is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the state so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.”