Did Hurricane Katrina Expose Racism in America

Adolph Reed is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and Stephen Steinberg is a professor of sociology at Queens College in New York City. Both Reed and Steinberg challenge the tendency of policy makers and other commentators to focus on African-Americans as the source of the problems faced by New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and emphasize the need to address race and poverty concerns effectively. In Reed and Steinbergs argument they expose the “moving to opportunity” policy.

The supposed goal of the program is to “break up the concentrations of poverty, to break up the federal enclaves of poverty which existed in the city and to really give those low income residents more choice and opportunity. ” Reed and Steinberg look at the “moving to opportunity”policy as a false theory and an empty slogan. When the “moving to opportunity” policy is stripped of all its varnish it is just a program that will result in a “smaller” New Orleans that is depleted of its poverty population.

Despite the 200 plus signatories of well known individuals in American social science, the secret agenda of the program was evidently overshadowed. Reed and Steinberg state how the federal Government is solely focusing on the drug dealers and gang members of the ghettos and poverty struck neighborhoods overlooking the industrious single mothers and infamous heroic grandmothers that also stay in those same communities; leaving a majority of them to fend for themselves. Reed and Steinberg provide information that show the true colors of the “moving to opportunity” policy. Providing quotes from citizens in powerful positions.

A politically connected white lawyer in the city remarked that Katrina provided the perfect opportunity to rebuild New Orleans into a city much like Charleston. Keep in mind that Charleston has only ample black servant class for its tourist economy but a white electoral majority. Which leads to another point made by Reed and Steinberg, if the “moving to opportunity” policy is passed and everything pans out as planned than Louisiana will than be a Republican state. And somehow out of all the evident flaws in the “moving to opportunity” policy the 200 plus signatories failed to realize them or at least recognize them.

Reed and Steinberg did a wonderful job in supporting their clause, it would have been a tad bit better if they had included another example other than the “moving to opportunity” policy. Shelby Steele is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and political commentator argues that the African-Americans of New Orleans and other African-Americans should focus on meaningful methods for overcoming their underdevelopment as revealed by Hurricane Katrina rather than emphasizing the shame of White racism as the cause of their phlight.

Steele states the single greatest problem in America is African-Americans and Whites are forever blaming one another for each others great shames. Steele expresses her opinion of how this despair is not something that was just formulated among the poverty stricken but a feeling that has always been there, harvesting below the surface of our culture. A state of being in which is just now in the new millennium being discovered. Black inferiority can not be overcame by white responsibility. Blacks most also take responsibility for the change they want to see.

Steele is saying each race is equally at guilt and how much of a shame it is that it takes a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina for the nation to take notice of this social issue. Steele had a good thesis, the idea just needed more detail and elaboration. Vincetta Ashley Dunnell November 18, 2010 5:30 P. M On that note my personal opinion lies with Reed and Steinberg in that I do believe Hurricane Katrina exposed racism in America. How could a force of nature have racial preferences and prejudice?

It can’t. It just so happened that Hurricane Katrina was the perfect excuse to play the racial blame game. It was a great reason to release years of built of racial tension. And the perfect opportunity to push low class,poverty stricken blacks out of a infamous city because of racial stigmas. The federal government is using the “moving to opportunity” policy as a coverup to deceive the public into accepting the policy as a beneficial program but failing to truthful tell who the policy is benefiting.

Somehow this terrible scheme slipped by the eyes of 200 plus prominent individuals of the American social science community. They failed to recognize that if this policy is passed yes there will be no gang patrolled, drug infested New Orleans but there will also be no essence in New Orleans, all the history and pride will be wiped away. All the kind-hearted, working Blacks just attempting to make a better day for their families will be left in a worse position than they began in.

All for the sake of America trying to perceive the ideal of a perfect nation; thinking that they can sweep all the dirt under the rug, forgetting that when you do so the lump of dirt is still there. Ignoring the problem that our nation has forever had is not going to help any. Trying to push the low class blacks out of New Orleans just to build suburbs and tourist attractions will help the economy but the social status will not change. While poverty still exists so does the main problem in America.

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