Really? In today’s World?

After reading Un-Habitat’s New Orleans: Poor Residents Suffer Deepest Impact of Hurricane Katrina, I realized that the natural disaster in New Orleans was about more than I ever thought.  At first glance, this article is about hurricane Katrina and the devastation she caused to the city of New Orleans, but it really is about the people who were affected and how the government is failing to serve them. It is easy to think that in the twenty-first century racism and segregation do not exist, yet this is not the case. We are taught in history class that segregation ended in the 1950’s, and we learn all about Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech that called for action. The current status of segregation is rarely mentioned. In New Orleans, the lowest parts of the city were where the minorities lived, because housing was cheaper, and when the hurricane hit, they were stuck because they did not have the resources to leave the area. The natural disaster in the United States was compared to the war-torn country of Somalia, mainly because the resources to stay safe were not available. There is a huge gap between the poverty stricken and minorities (which are often the same group) and the middle to wealthy class, who are usually white. There needs to be some sort of change. No matter how much money or societal status a person has, they should all be given the same access to basic living standards. I can’t even imagine being one of the 28% of people in New Orleans living in poverty, and hearing that Katrina was coming, yet not being able to do anything about it. I don’t understand how there can be such a huge gap in basic needs. I think being aware of the great differences will instill a passion for people to want to make a change.  Together, let’s try to take a stand and shorten the gap between social and economic classes. 

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