Ethics of the New Orleans Disaster: Absence of Justice
Later on there will be a dissection of what went wrong with the management of the current New Orleans disaster. But one ethical issue strikes me right away. It is the issue of ethical justice that I see had been ignored.
Here was a natural disaster anticipated for several days. An order was given by city officials for the population of New Orleans to evacuate. And many did, driving out of the city and fending for themselves somewhere. But where in the planning for this order was there thought that for evacuation, transportation is required and that only the economic class of people who have cars that run and have gasoline can follow the order? The justice issue is that it appears that there was no thought of the other class of people, the sick or infirm or those who could not afford to have cars to take them away from the potential danger.
There was no attempt for the city to provide transportation out of the city for this class of people and they were allowed to remain and suffer the consequences of the flooding of the city and perhaps perish. This ignorance of the lives of this class of citizens represents total lack of ethical justice, denying equal protection to all the citizens of New Orleans.
One wonders what was the rationalization by city officials for this unequality. Did it represent some class prejudice or just official amnesia?
Any thoughts? ..Maurice.