Today marks the seven year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. My eyes, as they once were, are glued to the Weather Channel, waiting with dread to see what damage Isaac will bring. As it happens, The Wrong Complexion for Protection, Robert Bullard’s book on how government response to disaster endangers vulnerable communities, is in my peripheral vision. A hopeful New Orleanian-at-heart, I’d like to believe America has learned from Katrina. But have we?
Most likely, whether or not you’ve seen When the Levees Broke or Treme, or read Zeitoun, you know the stories of Katrina. Today, especially, many people are remembering these stories—using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to engage in a national conversation about the legacy of Katrina, and express support for the city and its residents as New Orleans “hunkers down” for another storm. (For a snapshot, see this awesome collection of tweets, from Mashable. Or, #RememberKatrina.)
In light of this widespread share-and-tell and the anniversary of Katrina, we, at NYU Press, would like to share a chapter on New Orleans from The Wrong Complexion for Protection. And to those in areas affected by Hurricane Isaac, we wish you safety!