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Name of Article:
Analyzing U.S. Commitment to Socioeconomic Human Rights 
Title of Book/Journal:
Akron Law Review 
English Translation:
Publication Date:
Pages: 323 - 372  
Corporate Author:
EPA Number:
Other Number:
The severe storm, Katrina, which, on August 29, 2005, hit New Orleans and other communities in the gulf region of the United States, has drawn attention to the problem of dire poverty in the country. Many of the hundreds of persons from New Orleans who perished in the hurricane were individuals who could not leave town before the destructive storm hit because they were so poor they could not afford a bus ticket. With more than one out of every four of its residents poor, New Orleans ranks dubiously among the poorest communities in the United States. If the survivors of Katrina look like something out of the Third World, Professor Cornel West says, it is precisely because they are. "New Orleans was Third World long before the hurricane. It's not just Katrina, it's povertina. People were quick to call them refugees because they looked as if they were from another country. They are. Exiles in America. Their humanity had been rendered invisible." Focusing on the federal government's laggard response to the disaster, Senator Barack Obama, Democrat from Illinois, spoke in a similar vein: "The people of New Orleans weren't just abandoned during the hurricane, they were abandoned long ago - to murder and mayhem in the streets, to substandard schools, to dilapidated housing, to inadequate health care, to a pervasive sense of hopelessness."

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