A decade after Hurricane Katrina gripped the nation and devastated New Orleans, the racial disparity thrust into mainstream headlines following FEMA's embarrassingly slow reaction time (and noted public figures' admirable dedication to exposing that reaction time's inherent promotion of inequality) seems to have sadly persisted throughout the recovery process.
According to a new study from Louisiana State University, nearly 80 percent of white residents believe the area has "mostly recovered" since Katrina. However, 60 percent of black residents disagree entirely, agreeing instead that the area has "mostly not recovered" since the storm. As noted by the Washington Post, an estimated 73 percent of those citizens displaced by Katrina were black.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit New Orleans on Wednesday, in a united effort to highlight the progress of the region toward a full-on recovery. That progress, assisted by billions of dollars in federal funding, is visible to the eye. However, the continued disparity beneath the surface is still clearly in need of addressing. “Look, there are some gains, there are real gains,” Andre M. Perry, an education consultant who came to New Orleans after Katrina, tells the New York Times. “But this 10th anniversary in so many ways is dangerous. I think a lot of people are saying ‘Look at what we’ve done,’ as if the work is finished, and we’re nowhere near finished.”