Skip to comments.What Pictures of the Looters really may say (BARF)
Posted on 09/01/2005 5:17:32 AM PDT by AbeKrieger
I knew it would happen - just didn't know when.
I'm talking about television news footage of looters played over and over in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Looting occurs whenever law and order breaks down as a result of disasters natural or manmade. But since the advent of television, looting seems to be a black thing. From the Watts riots in the 1960s to today, you can count on pictures of black folk hightailing it away from some store with electronic appliances, jewelry and furniture.
So while reporters from 24-hour TV news channels poured into the area almost as fast as the rising waters, I didn't have long to wait for the looting story to flash on my television screen. And even though it was expected, I found myself a little sad. But mostly mad.
We journalists have a collective knee-jerk reaction in certain situations, disasters especially. We look for people, things, quotes that will convey what we want or need to convey. But overuse of this practice leads to cliche and stereotype.
In Iowa, where tornadoes are a summertime surety, reporters are always looking for someone to say that the barn-flattening winds sounded like a freight train. At my old newspaper, the first reporter to get that quote was treated to a beer after work.
For television reporters, shots of blacks looting are quick, easy and downright expected.
New Orleans is more than a party-time tourist destination. It's a city where two-thirds of the population is black, so I'm not surprised to see black people looting. Many are poor: The median income for whites is a low $31,971; for blacks it's a subterranean $11,332. Truth is, life in the Big Easy has never been that way for many.
My question is, are blacks really the only looters? Or are they the only ones deemed worthy of camera time? Does 30 seconds of tape, rewound and replayed, tell the whole story? If pictures of looters never made it onto the air, would viewers be deprived of crucial information? Do these images advance the story of the plight of people?
Or do they play to stereotype, prejudice and fear?
Yes, stealing for profit and personal gain is wrong. And I hope those who decided to take advantage of a disaster to haul off flat-screen televisions and DVD players find no way to profit from their theft.
But during a devastating disaster like this, good, law-abiding citizens may do things they would never do normally. On TV I saw people carrying what appeared to be groceries, water, and bags of ice. With no water, power, or way out of town, it looked to me that the "looters" were trying to survive rather than upgrade their stereo system.
Before you say "I would never," just remember that's pretty easy to say and believe as we sit in our comfortable, dry, air-conditioned homes with ice, water and food a few steps away. Hunger to us means we haven't eaten in a couple of hours.
Think about it: Water's at your knees, kids are hungry and thirsty. You'd call 911 if you had a phone and if someone would answer. How could I say that if this were my situation, I wouldn't be one of those people heading out of the Wal-Mart with things that could help my family survive?
So don't draw conclusions about the ways of black people from the few moments of "de rigueur" pictures of looters. Black citizens are also among the weary, the rescuers and the rescued, the resilient, the righteous... and the dead.
They just don't get much airtime.
The people looting for non-subsistance items now are the same dregs of society that they were before the Flood.
PC term: undocumented consumers
So only white looters should be shown?
"Think about it: Water's at your knees, kids are hungry and thirsty. You'd call 911 if you had a phone and if someone would answer. How could I say that if this were my situation, I wouldn't be one of those people heading out of the Wal-Mart with things that could help my family survive?"
Fortune favors the prepared. Or another cliche, you drill your well BEFORE you're thirsty.
Plus, looting started in some places BEFORE the hurricane came through.
"I have to have this flat panel TV to survive! Otherwise, how will I watch the hurricane coverage during the hurricane?!?!?"
Interesting that the reporter had no idea that such was the case, nor did the first few Freepers to respond to his post.
What the pictures of the looters really may really say is that Affirmative Looting works.
It has absolutely nothing to do with one's race. If a majority of looters are black, that's just a fact and nothing more than that. Does this clown really think that reporters are moving past the hoards of white looters to focus only on the hoards of black looters instead?
Let's just be clear about that.
Aren't these the same people that just *LOVED* the pictures of looters in Iraq because it showed our incompetence and lack of control?
The media decision makers are racists because they are liberal. Obvious, not worth an article.
Why isn't she down there putting her compassion to work by counseling these poor people with AK-47s?
Oh boy here we go. On other threads, it was because they are southerners and they aren't getting enough air time.
This article is because they are blacks, so now we have sunk to the lowest denominator yet again with the MSM to USE This terrible tragedy to PUSH AGENDA's!
On one thread the article is pushing a south against the north, on another whites against blacks.
Does anyone find this all disturbing? A NATIONAL tragedy and event and we will nitpick about south and north, whites and blacks?? Wait I thought I was in America where we all are Americans, sorry my mistake............
God Bless America! North, South, East and West!
Oh wait maybe that meant South only......
A telling admission of bias and agenda reporting. Truth be damned we will tell our side of the story.
Thank God for the Second Amendment. Next time these Libs. talk about gun control we must shove this right down their throats.
I can say I would never...my integrity isn't dependent on having a dry home. There is no excuse for the looting of jewelry,TVs ect.
Perhaps it's time for the Black community to figure out why they are raising people who are quick to step over their dead neighbors to steal their belongings. I'm disgusted with the people I've seen on TV, absolutely gleeful as they flee.
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