15 November 2008

katrina diaspora and electoral cleansing


[T]he Bush administration’s sustained negligence in the wake of Katrina paid off twice for the GOP: first, by driving Dem-leaning black populations out of southern Louisiana, and second, by fostering a racist backlash in the surrounding region most heavily affected by Katrina evacuees’ migrations and resettlements.

Of course, the big picture is that the administration’s inept handling of Katrina played a decisive role in the collapse of public support for the administration.

But if there is in fact a correlation between evacuees’ migration and the GOP’s regional electoral gains, some of the reddest areas of the South in yesterday’s election may be less resistant to the overall bluing of the nation than generic analyses (e.g., “Bible Belt”) would suggest—and, instead, that they might have voted based in part on a racially tinged experience of social and economic dislocation that the rest of the nation never experienced so directly. ~ read more