America's Unnatural Disaster
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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Introduction: "Truth Crushed to Earth Will Rise Again": Katrina and Its Aftermath
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Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest and most costly hurricanes in U.S. history. It was the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third strongest on record that reached the continental United States. Katrina formed on August 23, 2005, during the Atlantic hurricane season. ...
1. Letters from a Native Son: Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
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Dearest Mother Dear (City of New Orleans),
Friday, August 26, 2005, three days before Katrina hit you, Mother Dear New Orleans, and changed our lives forever, Cousin Nakia called today and asked where we were going to evacuate. I asked her why we were evacuating this time. ...
2. After Katrina: Laying Bare the Anatomy of American Caste
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Like hundreds of thousands of others, I visited New Orleans several times in the spring and summer of 2005. On the one hand, I always considered New Orleans to be one of the great American cities. It was an outstanding convention and conference center, a cultural haven for...
3. Hurricane Katrina and the "Market" for Survival: The Role of Economic Theory in the Construction and Maintenance of Disaster
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Uncle Bob sat on the porch, reading the Sunday paper as the children played nearby. The younger ones were on the porch working intently with their crayons and coloring books. The older ones played in the yard tossing a ball. The front of the newspaper was plastered with...
4. The Internal Revenue Code Don't Care about Poor, Black People
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The federal government's immediate response to Hurricane Katrina was itself a disaster. The government was caught unaware, it claimed. Then Hurricane Rita hit. One is hard pressed not to wince and cringe when glimpsing at the spectacularly sad video images of both disasters. ...
5. Judging under Disaster: The Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the Criminal Justice System
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As the Parish of Orleans struggles to rebuild after a disaster of monumental proportion, the criminal justice system continues to hemorrhage. The prison, the courts, and the participants in each of these institutions grapple with difficulty of fashioning a remedy for problems that existed prior to Hurricane Katrina. ...
6. From Worse to Where?: African Americans, Hurricane Katrina, and the Continuing Public Health Crisis
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The relationship among race, socioeconomics, and health, particularly for African Americans, has a long and arduous history.1 Racism and the history of prejudice and discrimination toward Americans of African descent contributed significantly to the health disparities experienced by...
7. Failed Plans and Planned Failures: The Lower Ninth Ward, Hurricane Katrina, and the Continuing Story of Environmental Injustice
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An independent investigation of the New Orleans flood protection system revealed that the catastrophic destruction and devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina resulted from local, state, and federal governments' failure to plan and implement a sufficient system of protection...
8. "Still Up on the Roof": Race, Victimology, and the Response to Hurricane Katrina
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One of the most important functions of law in a civilized society is to deter harmful behavior. In tort law, this is accomplished by ensuring that wrongdoers bear the financial costs of their harmful acts. In criminal law, the threat of fine or imprisonment is used to prevent wrongdoers...
9. Governmental Liability for the Katrina Failure
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Katrina's initial imagery was that of a natural disaster without a timely or comprehensive governmental response. People on rooftops awaited rescue. Ten people clung to an overturned car as the water rose. People stood on overpasses and bridges. Private citizens rescued...
10. Katrina, Race, Refugees, and Images of the Third World
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Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane, hit land for the second time near the Louisiana-Mississippi border with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour on August 25, 2005. In its aftermath there was catastrophe, for the next day the levees that were to protect New Orleans from the waters...
11. "Been in the Storm So Long": Katrina, Reparations, and the Original Understanding of Equal Protection
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Though nature may treat us all equally, Katrina demonstrated that society does not. These violations arise directly from the failure of the U.S. government to eliminate apartheid practices against working-poor citizens of the United States, who are mostly African Americans or...
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On August 29, 2005, an unnatural tragedy unfolded in New Orleans that will undoubtedly and indefinitely haunt the United States and its citizens. Hurricane Katrina shook up and woke up the world to the singular realization that the United States is not only vulnerable to devastating...
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Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Justice and Social Inquiry