Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Media and the Hurricane...




Hurricane Katrina is already a devastating event, and I fear that the old media trick of focusing in on black and brown poor people as they loot is rearing its ugly head again. To see how the media can guide perception, read these two descriptions, one with a white subject and the other with a black subject. Notice the difference in description.

9 comments:

odocoileus said...

I'm not ready to blame the media on this one. The blame goes to the sorry mofos who are raiding the joint.

Java Boy!!! said...

I have to agree with odecoileus, media attention on the whole black and white thing, as nothing to do with this... this is just wrong, people have lost all their belongings, and you got mofos looting, mofos trying to make a quick buck over the loss of others...

its almost as bad as the corporate bastarts and their comment spam

VFML, inc said...

hmm, this is a tough call. More than likely you're right. It is a dangerous place to be looting though, because if I owned a store, and saw someone looting it in the middle of crisis, I may blast first and ask questions later. By the way, the wife is hot.

Lawrence said...

Oh, I agree that those fools need to be dealt with. But I'm betting that they ain't the only ones looting. But they'll be the only ones shown on television.

odocoileus said...

The coverage is biased, sure. Tim Wise has a fine article about this:

http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/1999-08/26wise.htm
The Kids Are All White: Riots, Pathology, and the Real Meaning of Color-Blindness

But those people can do better. And they should. An already terrible situation is being made worse. It will be used as the justification for denying all kinds of resources to that community, and to ours.

Sherri said...

I'm taking a step back here. The photo shows 2 people carrying what looks like food. I still question why one photo describes people "finding" food at a grocery store and the other describes someone "looting" a store.

This is truly a natural disaster situation. People have lost their belongings, they have no safe water, they have no food. I take a very different look at someone stealing a TV during a disaster and someone stealing bread and water.

Cecil E. Rudd said...

Just sad. As Sherri said the "finding" and "looting" is a questionable. From what I saw on the news coverage must of the "looter" or "finders" were taking food. I don't think it right, but the city is 80% under water. Maybe these store owners could just give the food away because most of it will go bad and the whole store is most likely fully insured. By the way nice blog! Long time reader and I will see you at the University of Pennsylvania.

jj said...

I hope you will put up a post like this one on my blog. The need is great.

Hurricane Katrina
This post will stay on the top for the next week at least.
The people of the Gulf coast need help the American Red Cross has been gearing up for a Herculean effort. FEMA is also responding to Hurricane Katrina. Find out how you can help.
HOW TO HELP

* American Red Cross
* Network for Good: Hurricane Katrina
* NSALA: Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue

Guyot said...

Lawrence is unfirtunately right in this case.

This is the second evidence I have personally seen of the media calling white people with unpaid items "Finders" and Blacks with the same "Looters."

It makes me as sad as the destruction itself.

And the way our government has reacted to NO. As someone smarter than I said - "If we couldn't even handle this - something we KNEW was coming, how can we possibly be ready for a bio or like terrorist attack?