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Bill Quigley Lecture - How to Destroy an African-American City in 33 Steps

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February, 2011
This video is from a February 8, 2011 program supported by more than a dozen NYU School of Law student groups to coincide with NYU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week. Quigley, director of the Loyola Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, gave a stirring account of social injustices in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

Quigley's lecture, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: How to Destroy an African-American City in 33 Steps,” was prompted by a conversation at a New Orleans grocery store: “I overheard a number of white people saying, ‘What is it that they want? It’s always race race race. What’s the problem?’”

“What happened in New Orleans is just a speeded-up version of what’s happening all over the place,” Quigley said. “Our U.S. laws...don’t work for justice.... There must be recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. What you see in Katrina, what you see in Haiti, what you see in this town and all the other places doesn’t begin to measure up to equal and inalienable rights. It might be legal, but it’s not just. Our challenge is to narrow the gap between law and justice.”

Jennifer Ching ’00, project director of Queens Legal Services, and Shannon Cumberbatch ’12 moderated a discussion following the lecture, providing further opportunity for analysis of structural racism and many other issues.