African American leaders are expressing outrage at the federal government's response to the worsening national disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina.

At a news conference in Washington D.C. Friday, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) said he would agree with President Bush that the results of federal efforts to respond to the crisis have been unacceptable.

He said residents of the stricken areas, a majority of whom are Black, have gone far too long without clean drinking water, adding it cannot be "that the differences between those who live and those who die are poverty and skin color."

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois) asked why the federal government could not airlift thousands out of the Gulf region to New York, Chicago and Washington. He also called on U.S. companies to take action, saying "Where are the hotels of America, the airlines?"

Among those represented at the news conference were the Black Leadership Forum and the NAACP - the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.