September 04, 2005

Looting...... a deeper look....

During a normal week my day begin at 5am and end at 11:30 pm with me crawling into my bed around 12 to 12:30 am and doing the same thing five hours later. During the past week when most of what was happening in NO, I did not have a lot of time to speak on what I was reading about and seeing on television for the few minutes during the day where I may have been near a television. The one thing that I continue to think about is the looting which I spoke briefly about on this Blog concerning the infamous pictures that described the actions of those seeking food during this crisis as looting and finding. I immediately thought back on how the looting that took place in Iraq after the downfall of Saddam Hussein and how the media covered that looting. Those who were opposed to the war described the looting as a failure of the U.S. to secure those artifacts that have historical value. The defenders of the war were indifferent in regards to the looting and focused more on the fact that the media was trying to play up the looting for more than what it was. Now let’s juxtaposed looting in Iraq, the responses to it and how it was covered and looting in New Orleans (NO), its response and how it was covered.

Looking back on looting in Iraq we first get the reaction of the Bush administration specifically that of Donald Rumsfield; Donald Rumsfield said of the looting in Iraq that “STUFF HAPPENS” a nice way of saying “SHIT HAPPENS”. Donald Rumsfield went on to say:

"Freedom's untidy and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things," Rumsfield said. "They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here."

The Don of the Pentagon stated;

Looting, was not uncommon for countries that experience significant social upheaval. "Stuff happens,"

We all have been bombarded with images of Black men and women taking things from stores down in NO. There is one image of a guy with a TV that we all have seen and much like the one woman on welfare with a Cadillac, he has become the example of all that is happening when the truth is he is far from an example of all that is happening, especially when we consider the reports of looters taking their booty to the evacuation centers and sharing it with those in need, but back to my point... In defense of Iraqi looting and the images being broadcast all over the world Donald Rumsfield said the images represented;

"a fundamental misunderstanding" of what was happening in Iraq.”

Much like the image of the one guy with the TV during the looting in Iraq the media replayed the same images over and over again and to that Rumsfield said;

"The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, 'My goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?' "

We could easily say this about the images we have seen coming out of New Orleans but no government officials have said this.

He went on to say this and this is most telling when we consider the reaction to looting in New Orleans; Donald said;

“While no one condones looting, on the other hand one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression”

We know the looting in NO did not stem only from pent up feelings of repression it was a culmination of pent up feelings and the will and need to survive after a natural disaster. Some of what made the Iraqi’s loot when their local government collapsed is the same thing that made looting a reality in NO but a few Negroes and a great many white folk would have us believe otherwise.

What has really pissed me off was the calling for the shooting and murder of men and women looting. These same bloggers and columnist who were and are apologist for Bush and his administration never called for the killing of Iraqi looters, but when they see a few images of Black people looting a Wal-Mart Supercenter they call for the killing of those men and women. The losses Wal-Mart sustained pales in comparison to the losses suffered by those who FOUND items they were in need of in that store. Wal-Mart makes more in a year than five or more American fortune five hundred companies does all together and now we have people calling for the shooting of poor people who have just lost everything?

There are now reports of armed men in New Orleans, Hmmm… there has been a call for the shooting of looters and now we questioned why these men are armed? Surely some were armed before the call to shoot them but that has now turned out to be a good thing in case some fool takes it upon himself or herself to shoot those trying to get clothes and food for their families.

There are hundreds if not thousands of contradiction in the response, reaction and explaining of what happened in NO when juxtaposed with what happened in Iraq and the subsequent response, reactions and explanations that followed. The biggest of those contradictions is the humanity applied to the Iraqi’s who were not looting while “wading through chest deep water” it was a hot and sunny day in Iraq and yet the repression they experienced over the years caused them to act in the same way repressed Black men and women in America did after loosing their homes and lively hood and the breakdown in local law enforcement.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Faheem, you know I usually disagree with what you say here. But when you are right you are right. This kind of sitution is exactly the kind where Americas racism comes up front and center.

A gun goes off when someone sees a helocopter and all of a sudden people are shooting at helocopters. And they all get grounded. Red cross want to go in and help, but miltary says no. Can't have an white dogoogers maybe die helping some poor blacks.

A fucking disgrace.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger 1badmic said...

It is a disgrace how the media takes an image and runs it into the ground. It is sad when the media only reports and brodcasts images of those who expect the government to take care of the terrible situaton that they are in. It makes America believe that these people actually believe the government is equipped to handle a catastrophie of this nature, It also conveys a sense that too many people look to the government for all of the answers and in turn are shown that the government was never intended to be any kind of safety net for ant situation

At 6:57 PM, Blogger 1badmic said...

As far as Scott is concerned... There were more than just poor blacks killed in this terrible event. And with all of the carnage and destructon that had already occured I don't see how having any do-gooders white or otherwise would help the situation. I have worked with the Red-Cross during a major flood in the Mid-90's and as far as I could remember there were more types of ethnicities than just whites. It seems as though there is so much anger and despair at the fact that the situation is so dire that "whites" are the whipping post. Maybe people should think more with their logical mind as opposed to their emotions. Maybe things would look a-lot different.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Scott said...

by white dogooders I ment the red cross which was barred from going in NO to help.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger 1badmic said...

Scott, I understand what you meant and I am aware that The Red Cross was barred from going in. I just Object the notion that the Red Cross wasn't allowed to go in due to the possibility that "white" people may die. This is what I derived from your comment. It seems to me that people's sadness and emotion over these terrible events is overriding any rational common sense. Blame Mother Nature and the leadership of the local communities that were affected. They are the one's that are supposed to have emergency response proceedures in place in the event of a catastrophie. The Governor of Louisiana has the responsibility of calling his State's National Gaurd troops to assist in helping HIS state. Only until these faults are adressed, in my oppinion, can the finger then be pointed upward to the bigger fish.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Matt said...

sorry, but theft is just that--theft. The Bible calls it what it is--sin. Nice try at rationalization, but it did not work. Crime is crime. Sin is Sin. Period.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Anomalymann said...

Regardless of the idiots in the media slanting the events, it doesn't seem like we're comparing apples to apples when draw a comparison of the Iraqi's to the people of N.O.. The people of New Orleans weren't living under tyranny. If they're living under such oppression that they feel the need to stick it to the man, it's their own fault, and shame on them. Wrong is wrong. I'm not going to defend their actions, nobody said anything about people who were taking food and supplies...where did you get your information?


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