Some of this can be chalked up to trolling. The idea that “triggered” liberals can’t handle masculine feats of heroism is reliable right-wing clickbait. And it’s easy to laugh off Limbaugh’s conspiracy-theorizing, given that he’s evacuated his own home in Palm Beach. But once Irma has hit Florida, and more heartwarming stories emerge from the wreckage, conservative pundits will be at it again—and many millions of Americans will be listening. What none of those listeners will hear is the truth: that global warming is causing more extreme weather events, and that the victims are disproportionately poor. That’s the real story about hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Any claims to the contrary are the true hustle.
"Affluent white people fled the Big Easy in their SUVs, while the old and car-less--mainly Black--were left behind in their below-sea-level shotgun shacks and aging tenements to face the watery wrath," activist Mike Davis wrote of the evacuation plans for Ivan. "New Orleans had spent decades preparing for inevitable submersion by the storm surge of a class-five hurricane. Civil defense officials conceded they had 10,000 body bags on hand to deal with the worst-case scenario. But no one seemed to have bothered to devise a plan to evacuate the citys poorest or most infirm residents."
As Hurricane Katrina ravaged the South and drowned large parts of New Orleans this past September, the ugly reality of our nation’s continuing problem with class, poverty, and race became apparent. Many Americans began to question the possibility of racism being a deciding factor in the fate of many New Orleans citizens who were black and who lived in the poorest, most low-lying portion of the city, the Ninth Ward. Many, including First Lady Laura Bush, denounce critics who say race played a role in the federal government’s slow response to the victims of Katrina. While it is possible that the government’s slow response to the disaster was not directly due to racism, there are many unanswered questions suggesting the protection of the city was ignored because the people who lived within it were poor and primarily black, thus having little political power.