Did Hurricane Katrina Expose Racism in America?
(A Case Study)
Before beginning this case study, Hurricane Katrina was a force of nature that ravaged the city of New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005 leaving thousands of African Americans homeless and impoverished. Assuming the affirmative position of the debate in question is Adolph Reed and Stephen Steinberg. They argue that Hurricane Katrina did, in fact expose racism in America. They want to emphasize the need to address race and poverty concerns and focus more on blacks. Opposing them is Shelby Steele. He believes that blacks should begin focusing more on ways to overcome their underdevelopment instead of blaming whites for their predicament.
Reed and Steinberg begin their argument with a quoted statement from Barbara Bush. “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.” This quote already shows the attitude of white America towards the situation of those suffering at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They also mention the “Move to Opportunity” program that basically only addresses a miniscule percentage of the poverty stricken homeless GIVEN if they were qualified. Needless to say the majority of them did not participate in this program; as a result, they were to fend for themselves. The extent of white racism was best illustrated by the signing of a government-sponsored resettlement program by 200-plus of the nation’s most renowned social science names. This program is a classified by Reed and Steinberg as a “relocation scheme” disguised as a voluntary program designed to remove impoverished and unemployed blacks out of the area in attempts to blot out some of the nation’s more darker areas. “Move to Opportunity became a perverse euphemism for policy abdication of the poor people left behind who are in desperate need of programs, services, and jobs.”
Steele dispels the accusation placed on Hurricane Katrina in regards to...
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