With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

HNN Poll: What Does Katrina Tell Us About American Society?

Note Registration was not required to post a comment on this page. Anyone could participate. We do ask all readers to abide by our civility guidelines whether they register or not. Registration is now required, as the time for the poll has passed

  • News Story:

    Jesse Jackson describes the New Orleans convention center, where tens of thousands live in fetid conditions, as"the hull of a slaveship."
  • Jim Sleeper, lecturer in political science at Yale University:

    [The US is being shamed by] the spectacle of a Baghdad on the Mississippi River and our own people being so poor and so destitute and so helpless at a time when we are talking about trying to spread democracy and curb looting in Baghdad.
  • Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild:

    Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died.
  • Conservative columnist Marie Jon:

    Our president is working to take care of the total breakdown of communications and the lawlessness that now seems to reign. We have seen America's breakdown as God has been shoved aside as if he were a monster. Thanks to the ACLU and their ilk, any form of godliness is unacceptable. The very liberal and progressive one-world government envisioned by the ACLU and the United Nation seems also to be embraced by the far left in America. Thus we now see in these dire desperate days the results of their miserable works in New Orleans. Mayhem rapes the United States of her dignity at the hands of lawless thugs.
  • David Herbert Donald:

    It really makes us look very much like Bangladesh or Baghdad. I'm 84 years old. I've been around a long time, but I've never seen anything like this. [Donald added that compared with Sherman's march through the South Katrina was worse.]
  • Ralph Luker:

    How do you account for the different responses to 9/11 and 8/29? One was an alien attack and the other a"natural disaster." There were forewarnings of both for years. In the former, local, state, and national leadership were of the same party. In New Orleans and Louisiana, at least, national leadership met state and local leadership of the opposition party. There's responsibility to be shared by both. In 9/11, no race or class was spared. In 8/29, young and old, poor and sick people of color have been left in deteriorating conditions for days, while self-righteous white jerks clucked over their behavior under the circumstances. In 8/29, we've lost more than two office towers. We may have lost a whole city. That's gross negligence and incompetence. Let the impeachment proceedings begin.
  • President Bush:

    We got a lot of rebuilding to do. First we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation, and then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house - he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house -- and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch [Laughter]"
Related Links

  • HNN's Katrina Coverage