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Media Still Largely 'Blind' to Major Storms' Devastating Impact on Poor Communities


Media Still Largely 'Blind' to Major Storms' Devastating Impact on Poor Communities

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Texas's minority and low-income communities have been disproportionately harmed by Hurricane Harvey, but you wouldn't know it by following the coverage of major American media outlets.

"Low-income families are more likely to live in flood-prone areas with deficient infrastructure."
—Jeremy Deaton, ThinkProgress


Although the fact that those people most deeply and adversely impacted by the ravages of Harvey were not addressed/mentioned verbally or in print by the MSM, seeing all photos and film footage with humans the focii, it is impossible to NOT see that the decided majority of the victims are PEOPLE OF COLOR seeking refuge/shelter/food/safety who live in “poor communities” that are almost always built in flood zones or other less-than-desirable environs (not so for gated communities that were not immune from flood damage but will be rebuilt post-haste…). Houston is a toxic wasteland no matter how many “posh,” gated neighborhoods there are.


The Media shows large homes who already have several pickups in their driveways. The construction workers already tearing wet drywall down inside . Those homeowners are rich. There will be tremendous waiting lists for construction workers to even begin home repairs for most homeowners. Less than one fifth of home owners even have flood insurance. The properties will be torn down, and someone else will buy the lot and rebuild.


The most obvious prove of the claim in the title to this article is the almost total silence of the American media with regard to a very similar catastrophe now unfolding in Bangladesh. There have been far more fatalities there, as well as more displaced persons. But of course, they are all dark and poor, not pale and rich, and their properties are not insured by the American companies whose losses may be lessened by government intervention.


Sorry for the people and the animals affected by this horror. I wonder why people want to rebuild the same way in a disaster prone area? I “love” it when some idiot says" We’re going to build bigger and better than before." Why??? Pouring concrete and chemicals over rivers, streams, and swamplands eventually pays a price it seems. Some volunteer rescue worker said that he rescued people with his boat. Yes, this is amazing. He also said that he couldn’t take animals because shelters would not allow them. That made me sick.
A reporter said that over 100000 people per year moved to Houston so they have all this development. When are humans going to wake up and realize that overpopulation and over development are huge contributors of not only disasters but environmental and economic problems in general. Wild animals have only 15% of space of what they did previously.


Great post! Yes, the disaster in Bangladesh has barely been mentioned by the MSM. I heard that nearly 2000 people have died there. Also, we keep hearing about the “gas and oil” in Texas as if that is the only point of the disaster. The disaster took and displaced lives of people , animals, and the natural environment.


Please google population connection. This is an organization devoted to connecting the problems of over population and many other issues as well.


Of course the media are “blind” to poor people and communities. In a capitalist political economy, the purposes of poor people (and most of the rest of us) are to provide low-cost labor and be immersed in credit slavery to consume the massive amount of crap that is over-produced. These things are obvious and not complicated, just violations of human rights and the rights of Grandmother Earth.


As you point out about Bangladesh, that are even in much worse shape, the poor that fatten the rich’s wallets are the first to suffer and the last to recover, if ever. And I bet there are American corps that, again, fatten the capitalists wallets from Bangladesh. Just a few of the many ills of the "system’. Sad!
edit: I actually worked for some rich Bangladesh owners of a restaurant that I worked for?!


Population is the huge “elephant” never mentioned. When I was in school in the late 60’s and early 70’s population was talked about in every grade from the 8th on 'till I graduated. WTF happened??


Question is will the corrections to the damage start from the top and work down or from the bottom and work up.


“Media Still Largely ‘Blind’ to Major Storms’ Devastating Impact on Poor Communities”

Of course they are - because WE still are !

"Dr. Bullard concluded that “when we talk about the impact of sea level rise and we talk about the impacts of climate change, you’re talking about a disproportionate impact on communities of color, on poor people, on people who don’t have health insurance, communities that don’t have access to food and grocery stores.” (last paragraph of the article).

I’m afraid both Dr. Bullard and WE are again missing the point.

When WE, as a society, turn a blind eye to the disadvantaged in our midst - WE hurt ourselves.

In fact, THEY (the poor) - are more whole than WE (the middle class).

WE still measure all effects by MONEY.

WE must CHANGE this way of thinking.


Yep, Zero Population Growth. IIRC, they recommended that each family have only 1.5 children so that our resources could be renewed and sustained. They must have given up when their warnings were ignored.


Thank goodness for Democracy Now for their August 31, 2017 interview with Hilton Kelley in Port Arthur, Texas (Cancer Alley) which is currently under water. A very insightful interview about how things really are, please read the transcript. Also, how on this blue green earth can America’s 4th largest city not have zoning laws. It is said if one wanted to build a skyscraper next to residential neighborhood homes in Houston it would pass muster. Also, where is the discussion about the good people who have to sleep on the streets every night, remember they use to be you.


One ABC reporter wasn’t blind to the poor. The good little winger called the cops on desperate victims searching for potable drinking water.


Why does the MSM refer to the devastating storm in Houston as a “natural disaster” ? That is another thing the media is blind about.


That was about the time China instituted population controls and had the one child policy. Communism bad, lots of American children good…and then there was Reagan and the religious right.


Harvey reportedly caused $200 billion in damages, equivalent to about 1% of the national debt. If so, the rich people’s federal flood insurance program should be bankrupt in, oh, about 15 days. Memo to the wealthy: get your claims in fast, it’s like a run on the bank! So the fight in Congress will be all about making good on the rich people’s losses. And that, not Cancer Alley squared, will be next week’s headlines.


Answer to your question largely lies in your post. JFK is responsible here, this in respect to his implementing the “War on Poverty”. Revealed is the disposition of the national media to focus on what initiates in the Federal Government. What Kennedy initiated, reflective of the times, and feeling rather humble ascending to the Presidency by virtue of assassination, Lyndon Johnson continued on Kennedy’s legacy with the Great Society. Unacknowledged by the media of the time was the unhappiness of those whose status commensurately declined with the raising of status of minorities and–perhaps even more importantly–women. This anger has finally exploded with the Tea Party and Trump. Relevantly, this anger flies in the face of the now legitimized minorities and women, who didn’t vote for Hillary or the Democrats in the last election because of affinity by Clintonian New Democrats for business interests. Exception only was Hillary’s expression of support for African Americans. Minorities, including African Americans, and women, as well as Caucasian males committed to their interests, are now so aroused, Republicans–and the still Clintonian dominated DNC–need fear the next election. These aroused groups need be feared because together they form a distinct majority. Also to be feared, however, is Republican gerrymandering and strictures on voting. Because of this latter, my apparent previously expressed optimism need be qualified. Republican voting manipulation threaten a kind of new “Dark Ages”.


I agree but don’t understand the motive…are they trying to encourage envy and indifference? Or are the well to do areas just easier to get to?
The poorer and to some extent, darker, neighborhoods need attention to boost their morale. They are also interesting. Their comments and expressions and close families are inspiring to viewers.
I hope their areas aren’t bought up, gentrified, and turned into Texas-Disney for foreign investment. My Olde South city is unrecognizable now…not one breakfast with grits and gravy!!!