Racism under water?

Spiegel online reports that the Western media’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina has been questionable and racist:

“New Orleans is rapidly turning into a lawless city, with those unable to leave resorting to plunder and mayhem.

“But the really interesting angle on all of this comes from those smart folks at Metafilter. They cleverly link to three pictures of apparent “looters” featured on Yahoo news. Two men are pictured wading through flood waters with bags of groceries and beer in their arms. They are described as “looters.” And, coincidentally they are African-American.

“Next comes a picture of a white couple carrying food supplies through the flood waters. According to AFP/Ghetty Images, these fine young people are on their way home after “finding bread and soda from a local grocery store.” So the white people don’t “loot”, they “find”. A curious insight into prevalent racism in the US media; just as one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “freedom fighter,” it seems one man’s “looter”, is another man’s “finder”. You decide.”

Editor and Publisher, meanwhile, asks where the blame must lie for the massive and tragic damage (apart from mother nature.) A number of government agencies will have a lot to answer for in the coming months.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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