Color me devastated.
News reports tell us of the widespread looting that is going on in hurricane-ravaged areas hit by Katrina. Photos I have seen feature many dark-colored people running around with television sets and the like in their arms. The hues of the humans do not matter: Sixty-seven percent of New Orleans' residents are assumed to be of African-American descent (though who knows for sure?), so it is logical that most of the poor stranded there would be brown-skinned. That so many pictured match that description isn't the problem. What is horrifying to see is that in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, people trying to take advantage of the situation for personal gain. It's disgusting: Stealing is wrong.
But something at least as horrifying is taking place as well. Of course, bigots are on the loose: Take a look at "white"-supremacist and anti-Semitic web sites that feature postings and comments thanking Hurricane Katrina for ridding the nation of people these sites consider undesirable and unfit to live. That doesn't surprise me at all. But when such thinking seeps into the mainstream media, well, the result can crush a person's soul.
The blog Booker Rising, which bills itself as a "news site for black moderates and black conservatives," found something disturbing in mainstream coverage of the Katrina disaster.
This Associated Press photo is captioned thusly: "A young man walks through chest-deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005."
Meanwhile, the above Agence France Press photo is captioned with a slight variation: "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."
As Shay of Booker Rising notes, "Now all the folks involved have bags or backpacks, from their trip to grocery stores. So why the different coverage? I know, I know..."
My heart fell to my toes after viewing the pictures and reading the captions. I turned to Spousal Unit and fell into his arms, tears pouring from my eyes. It becomes germane here to note that I have some African ancestry and my skin is brown-colored. SU is Irish and has pinkish-colored skin.