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anti-racism | katrina aftermath | media criticism

corporate news: after hurricane, white people "find" things, while non-white people "loot"

Not like more evidence is needed as to how racist, sexist, classist, and sexualist the corporate media is, but these AP, Reuters, and AFP photos attribute "looting" flooded grocery stores to non-white people, while white people miraculously "find" whole lots of cool stuff at flooded grocery stores. Go figure.
supposedly, white people
supposedly, white people "find"...
...while people of color
...while people of color "loot," apparently
Compare. Contrast. Discuss.

photo #1 (white people):
"Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)"

photo #2 (non-white people):
"A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)"
 link to news.yahoo.com

Take a look at the photos 30.Aug.2005 22:52

Get a clue

The first pictures shows people with stuff out of a bag, probably found floating in the water (I've seen many pictures of various shit floating individually in the water). Picture 2 shows people carrying a bunch of shit in a bag. Hmmm..... Yeah, it's racist to point out when people steal....

wow, *i* was going to post this same story! 30.Aug.2005 23:03

regular reader

with those exact same pictures.

i also found three more "looter" photos, also people of color.

i especially love the second two photos, where the caption-writer is saying that the people pictured are *about* to loot.

1. Looters carry bags of groceries through floodwaters after taking the merchandise away from a wind damaged convenience store in New Orleans on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

2. Looters make their way into a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005, as floodwaters continue to rise after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

3. A woman walks through chest-deep water as she heads to loot a grocery store in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005, as floodwaters continue to rise after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

get out a dictionary 30.Aug.2005 23:32


Well, it is actually "finding" if the stuff is just floating around and someone picks it up, but "looting" if someone goes into a business and takes it out. The ethnicity could just be a coincidence. Find news reports that white people "found" stuff when they definitely went into a business and took, or black people "looted" when they most definitely just found something floating away?

Based on what I've seen so far, this article just seems a ridiculous waste of time.

thank you, regular reader 30.Aug.2005 23:33


Good point. They're black so.. OBVIOUSLY they are on their way to steal something right? Heavens. Corporate media is so stupid.

To "get a clue": on what are you basing your (racist) flimsy assumption that the white people actually "found" these items? On the presence or absence of bags? What does the backpack on the white guy mean, as compared to a black garbage bag held by a black person? By all means, research it yourself. Look for any divergence from the white="find" and black="loot" formula, and if you actually find ANY, report back here with it, quick-like.

it's all a write off anyway, why not? 30.Aug.2005 23:33


to "get a clue", who posed the same thing on another link, so I will as well!

All the business owners certainly have insurance. It's all going to be a write off anyway, put the materials to use. Instead of going to waste, it's going to be put to good use. You should be happy for that.

If it's true that it may be a month or more, all this "stuff" is only going to be ruined by humidity, mold, rising waters, etc. The whole buildings may even be condemed later and demolished without removing products.

Take a look at the photos, p.2 30.Aug.2005 23:35

Get a clue

I forgot to mention, I saw the guy in picture #2 in a video segment, which this was taken from - he was coming directly out of a store with several other people with big bags filled with shit.

FEMA, Martial Law!!!! 30.Aug.2005 23:45


I'm sorry but the woman pictured in the first pic at the top looks like a light skinned sistah...
However, i was watching the unbiased news reporting of CNN and FOx. The stories about the rich (white) people losing their homes and their things made me want to hurl and then it seems that all of the stories that i saw about loss were focused on white people and I'm thinking to myself "hey, self.. isn't this the south, aren't there a lot of people of color in the south.., how come all these people who lost things are white?" I have to tell you that "self " answered back to say "duh...where exactly do you think you live?". so then, all of the so-called looters were Black folk. There was a camera shot of folks in new Orleans looting- one woman had 3 bags of Huggies diapers in her hands- shame on her...
Also saw a report by some Louisiana official saying that any means necessary would be taken to stop the looting... and I'm thinking to my "self' - these people have just had their world ripped away and don't have shit and won't be able to get shit until the waters recede and this asshole is going to throw them in jail for trying to survive? sounds like history repeating itself...
Oh yes, and my heart was warmed upon hearing the news that a Wal-mart had been stripped bear! (Woo hoo!)
Apparently they've declared Martial Law... and of course the news is focused on the economic value of the devastation. The GDP will undoubtedly go up! The casinos, oil production (apparently Lousiana produces 25% of the Nations oil). I wonder how those emergency funds will be distro-ed. It was so weird how this one woman was all broken up because the place where she "shopped" was under water, like oh my god, i can't shop anymore..shit!
My son said that Hugo Chavez offered to donate oil to the US... what do you wanna bet the US will turn it down?
i'm ranting.. i'm frustrated
with love
boxcutter...breakin' it down

I've done my research 30.Aug.2005 23:58

Get a clue

As you'll note, I've already commented on the man in the second picture. And way to throw out the "racist" card. You'll note I was commenting on the food free-floating around the people, not the backpack. Jesus. I've seen extensive footage, have seen food floating in the water, and people leaving stores with big plastic bags, including the guy in the picture. As for the second batch of pictures, when people are wading to a store that obviously has no one in it, do you think they're going to go buy something? No, they're going to steal. I've also seen several pictures depicting looting showing white people. But since most of the people I've seen in city-wide footage are black, they're not as common - most of the pictures I've seen of the area shows blacks and latinos.

I personally find it much more offensive they're reporting people "decided" to stay in their homes, as they had no transportation. Not much of a decision there.

Well so what if they were? 31.Aug.2005 02:55


Some call it stealing, others call it survival... if you were a poor dude, wouldn't yu jack food and maybe some CDs from an abandoned supermarket? Fuck, I would... what's the big deal? Props to Gringo for posting the racist discrepency in corporate media.

to get a clue 31.Aug.2005 03:31

still no problem...but

1) There's no problem, as others have said, with eating food that would otherwise go bad in order to survive.
2) The quoted part of this article says that the bread in picture 1 was from a supermarket, much like the "looted" food.

loot, steal, fight back, survive 31.Aug.2005 07:06


Yes, the corporate media reflects the racism inherent in our culture. Therefore, people of color are branded with the scathing word "looters" and white people are not. Just as race is only mentioned in a corporate media crime story when the perpetrator is not white.

The fact is, though, taking things from a grocery store in an emergency situation like this is not wrong. Call it what you want -- looting, stealing, taking, finding. But retail stores are places where public resources tend to be concentrated in private hands. Full of products for sale that came (cheap) from the earth somewhere, often from some third world nation, and often manufactured with slave labor, they are then peddaled to the public by underpaid working poor people who generally don't even have health insurance, just so the business owner can reap maximum profit. These are the community's resources, and the community should take them. Like someone said above, people are hungry and this food would go to waste if not recovered and eaten by someone. So screw the sanctimonious code that says if a business owner appropriated it first, no one else can have it.

Pets 31.Aug.2005 12:04


Just watched CNN's Suzanne Malveaux (Top Bush Media Groupie) comment on why there's thousands of trapped people everywhere: THEY DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE THEIR PETS BEHIND!!!!! This is now the new official spin. Forget the fact they were abandoned by the racist, idiotic city 'fathers'. And if you think this is scary, check out Rense.com today. The story about 'Conspiracy Theories' is a MUST read for this audience.

more media money love 31.Aug.2005 12:32

eyeball club

I just watched our own channel 8 to see what they'd say on the noon news. There was a LOT more footage of destroyed lovely beachside homes and resorts than of NO underwater. Guess we know who the helmet-heads love best. Of course they moved on after 10 minutes to the same old scary-murderer & cute-puppy shit.

NYT photo 31.Aug.2005 13:07


If you look in the New York Times, there's a photo of a black man on a child's bicycle with what looks like to be a BB gun (probably not a pump-action shotgun) in a Wal-Mart.

However, there's a middle-aged *white* man in the picture as well! I guess the white man is just "finding" or "salvaging" things from the store...</snark>

Except 31.Aug.2005 21:19

keep digging

- your bs "observation" might have held up, if the girl in the photo who you claims is "white" was actually white. She is obviously light-skinned or hispanic, and certainly not white.

We all are racist to a degree, so what is the big deal 04.Sep.2005 11:28

We tolerate one another enough to survive in life period kd4899@yahoo.com

Comment made from Miss. about New Orleans: "I say burn the bridges and let 'em all rot there," he said. "We're suffering over here too, but we're not killing each other. We've got to help each other. We need gas and food and water and medical supplies." Link:  link to www.gulflive.com

Look, we work with one another and expect to be respected and compensated for our contributions. Most black and white people are not concerned with making friends with one another. However, we do demand respect and that is fair to ask in any situation. There is no hope for this country in terms of race. We all share uneasy feelings about one another; we fail to trust one another and rightfully so; and the subcultures in the American culture are different. This hurricane will take one of two tracks in the coming weeks: Possible track one will be more division in this country from a racial standpoint which will probably be just fine with the majority. Track two will be a period of cohesiveness between the two (i.e., white and black) groups that will eventually dissipate in time. We live separate lives in this country and I personally feel that living separately but equally is a just fine. The problem in this country are the terrible disparities that exist. If the disparaties in this country are reduced, we would experience less tension. To that end, separate but equal is fine with me and maybe should be proactively pursued.