Distancing Rural Poverty
Debra Lyn Bassett
Southwestern Law School
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, Vol. 13, 2006
FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 172
U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 832090
The horrifying images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath - frightened, mostly African-American, survivors huddling on rooftops awaiting rescue, without food or water, abandoned for five desperate days, herded into the Superdome with an astonishing lack of planning that left the survivors surrounded by dead bodies, sewage, stench, and inadequate police protection - were televised again and again, bringing issues of race and poverty to the forefront of the collective public consciousness. Although the ravaged areas often were referred to as the Gulf Coast region, the focus of media attention was, unmistakably, New Orleans - with, at most, an occasional passing reference to the even greater devastation in rural Mississippi and Louisiana. The omission of any serious focus on rural areas following Hurricane Katrina is consistent with the lack of attention given to rural areas generally. Even in the subsequent well-intentioned consciousness-raising that called for increased attention to, and discussion of, issues pertaining to race and poverty, one consideration has consistently been overlooked. There are not two, but three components to the population that is forgotten, hidden, and indeed repressed from view and memory - components not only of race and poverty, but also of place.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Date posted: October 25, 2005
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