Is this the result of appointing Sarah Jeong to your editorial board, or is it just business as usual at The New York Times?

Sort of. You see, the Carolina coast used to be almost all black, but now it’s a lot of rich white folks. We’ll let Adeel Hassan explain:

You began to see an explosion in coastal development in the 1950s targeting African-American landowners for displacement, often through various speculative schemes that tried to fleece them of their property.

Local governments worked alongside private developers to essentially steal land from black folks through various legal mechanisms. Until the 1950s, Hilton Head Island was where African-American children could grow up without seeing a white face for their entire life. Today, it is a playground for mostly white and wealthy people.

So what does this have to do with Hurricane Florence?

The very types of environmental engineering practices and other measures that aimed to make these areas what they are today, and worked to build up the coastal real estate markets, ultimately did so in ways that were damaging to the environment and unsustainable. They were the very same measures that worked to displace and dispossess black people of their land a century ago.

These are the same areas that are now facing a dire threat from this hurricane.

Get it?


Related: