Bacon 1 Writing Sample In a matter of days, hundreds of people throughout Chicago died due to a horrific natural disaster where temperature exceeded 100 degrees for multiple days. While the heat was the obvious cause for the deaths, the lack of public policy and support during this time greatly contributed to the deaths—“Murder by public policy”. W.E.B. Dubois best explains the social events of the 1995 heat wave compared to Marx, Durkheim, and Weber due his deep racial analysis. The foundation of Dubois’s theory comes from the social construction of race and the historical implications and applications that are still present. People are divided through the intersectionality of race, class, religion, ethnicity, and gender. Social groups are forged in conflict, competition, and the system of oppression which has subsequently linked class to race in modern society. In Chicago, race and class are exceptionally prominent in each of the neighborhoods, causing each neighborhood to have a unique racial and socioeconomic status, which further enhances a Duboisian explanation. Klinenberg’s text supports the Duboisian analysis when explains that “older African American and men are more likely to be alone and end their life” which lead to more African American dying than any other group of people during the heat wave (49). The effects of the Chicago heat wave were racially defined, “Of the fifteen community areas with the highest death rates during the heatwave, ten contain populations that are between 94 and 99 percent African American, and another 77 percent is place” (83). In Chicago, there are more black people living in poverty than white, causing more mass inequality to occur in the city for blacks. Those living in poverty did not have consistent air conditioning and ways to maintain a healthy body temperate during the heat wave and those living alone were at an even greater risk of heat related death; the combination of these events specifically targeted the African American community during the heat wave. Duboisian theorists are able to look at the situation and fully acknowledge that this was a racialized event considering the historical racial projects and inequality that forced many African Americans into a lifetime of inequality.
Bacon 2 Throughout the heatwave there was little solution in regards to dealing with the specific racial makeup of each neighborhood and its long term effects on the people. All were treated the same during the original heatwave which did not take into account the inequalities existing in regards to living standards