Tuesday, September 17, 2019

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 â€Å"moving to opportunity† policy. The supposed goal of the program is to â€Å"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 â€Å"moving to opportunity†policy as a false theory and an empty slogan. When the â€Å"moving to opportunity† policy is stripped of all its varnish it is just a program that will result in a â€Å"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 â€Å"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 â€Å"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 â€Å"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 â€Å"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 â€Å"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. Did Hurricane Katrina Expose Racism in America? 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. â€Å"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 â€Å"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 â€Å"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. â€Å"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 ac cusation placed on Hurricane Katrina in regards to exposing racism in America by sourcing the cause in blacks themselves.Steele explains that whites have in a sense, owned up to their responsibilities and made themselves witness to racism. That we as blacks blame our inferiority on white racism therefore increasing white shame. Subsequently, for whites to admit that black inferiority is a product of white shame, they are admitting racism. Steele advocates that both races, especially blacks accept responsibility for their shames as each race constantly tries to usurp power from the other. We are attributing our underdevelopment to whites in order to shame them instead of claiming responsibility for our own progress or lack thereof.The progression of blacks in America is undermined by the constant irresponsibility of the race as a whole. From things to not taking care of our children to crimes, we essentially placed ourselves into this predicament. We are not living up to our end of t he bargain. Black responsibility needs to be acknowledged by us in order for us to progress. Were we to do this, our open acknowledgment of our own underdevelopment will allow whites to hold witness over us; however they will have to acknowledge our overcoming of our underdevelopment.In a nutshell Steele is saying we must hold ourselves accountable for our own underdevelopment and by doing so we can finally achieve the long awaited progression that we have been looking for. After evaluating both sides of the debate, I chose to identify with Shelby Steele’s argument. Not only does his argument directly answer the question, it allows for more personal questioning among blacks. Are we really using whites as a clutch as to why we have not progressed? Is it more of clutch or more of an innate bitterness between blacks and whites that has developed and evolved over centuries of conflict?Blacks have been at the bottom of the totem pole of society for centuries by the hands of whites . Although I believe that whites in fact do impede black progression in society due to concealed racism among other things, I do not agree however that it is entirely their fault. Both races are in a power struggle; straining to take control and to make the other look inferior. It is this childish nature of these two races that halt the progression of our country as a whole. When both races accept responsibility for their shames then proper progress can be possible.Until then, racism will always be a factor of white shame and inferiority will always be a factor of black shame. I believe that Hurricane Katrina played a part in exposing racism. I feel as if Hurricane Katrina forced racism out into the open. No white person would have expressed any racist concerns prior to Katrina. Katrina basically served as a mental agent for white America, effectively expressing their attitudes towards black America. Also, I believe that if the majority of the population ravaged by Katrina were whit e they would have been rescued almost immediately if not sooner.The painstakingly long response time to the crisis was evidently showed the amount of concern and sympathy the government had for the blacks of New Orleans. Racism is still alive they are just concealing it. Thousands of blacks in New Orleans depended on the government to rescue them from a travesty that they could not control. And additionally the government attempted to relocate the survivors of the incident to remove the poor blacks and replace the area with whites. This illustrated the true intentions of the government.The strife that exists between whites and blacks are so low-key that it takes an act of God to bring it out of the shadows. There is no doubt that racism is still alive in America; however the extent of racism has definitely lessened over time. I chose to side with Steele’s argument because I identify with the argument that blacks and whites have a complex that won’t allow them to accept responsibility for their shames. If it were not for Hurricane Katrina, racism may have never been brought into the light.

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