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Commentary :: Race
BTL:Class and Race Issues Played Major Role in Hurricane Survival
12 Sep 2005
Interview with Darryl Malek-Wiley, Sierra Club's environmental justice staffer, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Class and Race Issues Played Major Role in Hurricane Survival

Interview with Darryl Malek-Wiley, Sierra Club's environmental justice staffer, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of cities and towns along the Gulf coast, some media outlets have pointed out that the poor and mostly African American residents of New Orleans suffered disproportionately -- with fewer resources to call upon to flee the approaching killer storm. Other outlets have focused attention on looting and violence, painting the whole black community of New Orleans, comprising almost 70 percent of the city's population, of being responsible for their own plight.

The regions hit by the hurricane, including New Orleans, are made up of some of the poorest communities in the U.S. People living in the worst hit areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama had incomes $10,000 below the national average, owned fewer cars and had significantly less health insurance coverage than other Americans.

Derrick Malek-Jones is the Sierra Club's environmental justice staffer in Louisiana. He's lived in New Orleans for 20 years, and worked with the city's poor and minority residents to oppose the concentration of pollution-generating industries in their neighborhoods. After being evacuated to Texas, he spoke with Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus about the issues of race and poverty effecting problems with evacuation and the task ahead of rebuilding New Orleans.

For more information call (415) 977-5500 or visit the group's website at

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2005 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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