If Katrina had hit the upscale, wealthy, mostly Anglo city of Santa Barbara, California, do you think it would have taken this long for D.C. to respond?
Race and class are undeniable, unavoidable issues here.
As for the looting, from the always wonderful The Bitter Shack of Resentment
Let me say a few things here. The first is that the city of New Orleans is, according to the last census, 67.3 percent black. Given that looting is predictable under any significant breakdown of social order, who would you expect to find out there smashing windows when the lights go out? Ethnic Hawaiians?
Poor Blacks get stranded in a collapsing city to fend for themselves, while better-off, mostly White people escape. And somehow it takes the Feds days to get around to mobilizing. Had Katrina hit the wealthy White enclaves in Long Island, the Feds would have been there in hours, not days.