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The Wrong Complexion for ProtectionHow the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities$
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Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814799932

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814799932.001.0001

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The Legacy of Bias

The Legacy of Bias

Hurricanes, Droughts, and Floods

(p.47) 3. The Legacy of Bias
The Wrong Complexion for Protection

Robert D. Bullard

Beverly Wright

NYU Press

This chapter examines how bias figures in government response to disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods. Focusing on natural disasters that have occurred over the past eight decades, including the 1927 flood along the Mississippi and the 1999 Hurricane Floyd in eastern North Carolina, the chapter highlights the impact of race and class dynamics on vulnerability and adaptation. It considers the claim that “natural” disasters are in fact acts of social injustice perpetuated by government and business on the poor, African Americans and other minorities, and the elderly, and that measures to prevent or contain the effects of disaster vulnerability are not equally provided to all. It also looks at the ways that black farmers were subjected to institutional racism when applying for the Department of Agriculture's disaster relief.

Keywords:   government response, hurricanes, floods, natural disasters, race, social injustice, disaster vulnerability, African Americans, institutional racism, disaster relief

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