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How Fast Food Chains Supersized Inequality
Fast food did not just find its way to low-income neighborhoods. It was brought there by the federal government.
August 2, 2017
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans there was a brief moment of shocked compassion before racial anxieties flooded the Internet. Victims of the disaster were quickly recast as looters, criminals, and layabouts. They were government “dependents” seeking even more entitlements now that they were bona fide survivors. Some of these hideous opinions drew on the physical “evidence” of the bad character of hurricane survivors: their size. The mostly black bodies crowding the Superdome, getting on rafts, and being carried away by helicopters, were too large for online critics. Obesity, while common in the U.S. and over-represented in the South, was conflated with blackness. Black bodies fleeing New Orleans were not only linked to historic stereotypes of menace and criminality but also slothfulness, helplessness, and a tropical torpidity unwelcome in hard-working America