MHP   |  September 01, 2013

Katrina 8 years later: where do we go from here?

It has been eight years since the levees gave way in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, flooding the city, killing nearly 2,000 people, and leaving billions in property damage. Melissa Harris-Perry reflects on how communities should go on to address crumbling infrastructures across the country.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> march on washington rightfully dominated this week's conversations about historic important moments. where i live, we remembered another. thursday marked eight years since the federal levees gave way in the aftermath of hurricane katrina flooding new orleans killing nearly 2,000 people and leaving billions of property damage. thursday made one year since i lost my home to the wrath of hurricane isaac which came ashore in new orleans on august 29th , 2012 , destroying 59,000 homes in louisiana including one of mine. it was the katrina damaged house that my husband and i had purchased with hopes of renovating it into our dream home. it was reduced to rubble. and today it is still an empty lot. as the nation paused this week to reflect on 50 years of progress and frustration in our ongoing march for justice, so too did the people of new orleans use the eighth anniversary of katrina to ask the question martin luther king posed in 1967 . where do we go from here? chaos or community? where do we go as we confront global warming even as a multimillion dollar project begins to restore coastal wetlands, the gulf coast continues to lose precious natural barriers by the hour. will we protect communities or descend into ecological chaos? where do we go as we address crumbling infrastructure. the levees are rebuilt but they're not stronger than they were wet years ago. will we build our communities or watch them fall away into the chaos of inaction? where do we go as we address inequality? when president obama spoke in the aftermath of katrina , he said this.

>> as all of us saw on television, there's deep persistent poverty in this region as well. that poverty has roots in the history of racial discrimination which cut off generations from the opportunity of america. we have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.

>> and yet eight years later both poverty and inequality have increased since president bush first declared our duty to confront it with bold action. will we finally do the work of building a prosperous interracial community or will we allow the chaos of radical inequality to be our new normal? 50 years since the march on washington , eight years since the catastrophic levee failure after katrina , the question we mains, where do we go from here? chaos or community? that's