Saturday, September 03, 2005

Black and White

One of my friends on the left side of the blogsphere, Chuck (a sometimes commenter on this board), runs a blog called the Divded States of Bu$hmerica (you can also follow the link at the left side of the screen) in which he speaks with great passion about the things happening right now under George Bush to this great land that we all love and cherish.

Anyway, today he showed quite clearly the racism that is inherent in the way this is all being covered. He had a sequence of pictures from a yahoo slideshow that showed some people taking beverages from a grocery store (you will need to scroll down a ways to find them). One was of a black man carrying a twelve pack of Pepsi and some groceries, and the caption read, "a young man walks through chest deep waters after looting a grocery store on August 30, 2005." The next photo shows two white people, in identically the same position, carrying the same stuff (soda and groceries) and the caption reads, "Two residents wade through chest deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store."

Identical depth of water, virtually identical products, both taken from a grocery store. But if it is taken by black people, it is 'looting' but if it is taken by white people, it is 'finding.'

Now, in fact, I see a very real difference between taking food and drink (required for survival) and taking stuff like TV's. Therefore, I myself would prosecute none of the people in the pictures, and save prosecution for people whose pilfering extended beyond survival mode. However, it is ironic that the coverage is so influenced by the race of the people involved.

1 comment:

Eli Blake said...

Unfortunately true.

And as far as nearly all the looters being black, well nearly all the people left in New Orleans who couldn't make it out of the city during the evacuation phase, were black. So all those pictures really didn't show much in terms of race, except perhaps that 1) the overwhelming majority of people who were left behind were black, and 2) of the hundreds of thousands who were left behind, maybe a couple of thousand were going around actually pilfering stores of non-survival equipment, so if anything, it shows that the criminal element in terms of numbers was a small percentage.