Racial politics always become painfully clear in the aftermath of natural disasters. Rickey Laurentiis and Maurice Ruffin are both from New Orleans. They saw the city change drastically after Katrina, the destructive hurricane that disproportionately impacted the Black community in 2005. Since then, New Orleans has been rapidly gentrifying, but the 100.000 black residents that were not able to return to their houses have not profited from this.
October 4th marks twenty-five years since a Boeing 747 crashed into two apartment buildings in the Amsterdam Bijlmer neighborhood. Author Murat Isik grew up in the Bijlmer. He was an eyewitness to the accident that took the lives of 43 people. The disaster deeply wounded the neighborhood. Just like New Orleans, the Bijlmer gentrified quickly. Although the Bijlmer disaster and Katrina cannot be compared in terms of size and impact, similar patterns can be found in their aftermaths.