Racial Bias Seen In Reports And Treatment Of Black Caribbean Islanders After Hurricane Irma
The hurricane exposes underlying racial tensions in the European territories.
One week ago, Hurricane Irma, a monstrous category 5 storm, ravished tiny Caribbean islands—leaving scores of people homeless, as they struggle to survive without essentials like food and drinkable water. Aid is finally trickling in from European governments that control the territories.
However, as The Huffington Post reported, the U.K. government received “withering criticism that it has been too slow to help British overseas territories.”
Even though they acted with a bit more urgency than the British did, France and the Netherlands have also come under criticism for dragging their feet in response to the devastation, The New York Daily News noted.
Placing the needs of predominantly White tourists ahead of poor Black island residents has caused dormant racial tensions to awake, ABC News reported.
Many complained that the European governments prioritized evacuating, mainly White, tourists from the islands before the Irma struck.
ABC said France’s Representative Council of Black Associations on Monday called for a parliamentary inquiry into Paris’ evacuation plans.
“In my eyes, Irma is for the French Antilles what Hurricane Katrina was for Louisiana in the U.S. – an exposer of racial and social inequalities,” the association’s spokesman, Louis-Georges Tin, told The Associated Press, according to ABC.