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BS: Black looters, white finders

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Wolfgang 01 Sep 05 - 10:21 AM
jacqui.c 01 Sep 05 - 10:24 AM
Wesley S 01 Sep 05 - 10:27 AM
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mack/misophist 01 Sep 05 - 10:43 AM
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Subject: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:21 AM

One of my pet peeves is language and what is hidden in certain words. For instance, all through the years of civil war in Lebanon the Muslim paramilitaries were "left-radical" and the Christian paramilitaries were "right-leaning". I just want to show you a recent example from the hurrican aftermath:

Picture 1   Picture 2

At the first glance both situations look quite similar, people carrying things they need to survive.

At the second glance and with reading the captions one sees the difference: The two white people have found what they carry, the black person has looted was he carries.

Either there is an innocent interpretation and the writer of the captions knows more than can be seen in the pictures or there's a bit of everyday racism showing in the choice of words.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: jacqui.c
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:24 AM

I hope that there was more to the story than the pictures suggest, but I do agree with you Wolfgang.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Wesley S
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:27 AM

Excellet examples. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: gnu
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:28 AM

Looting a grocery store? Absolutely outrageous. Whoever wrote that should be thrown in that water to help that lad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: mack/misophist
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:43 AM

It is th deep south. This sort of thing is to be expected, unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:45 AM

You make an excellent point, Wolfgang. That kind of prejudicial "slant" by loanguage is always possible, and may always be used unscrupulously.

But nowadays American journalists are taught early on to be very careful about unconscious prejudice in language, not to mention being as accurate as possible in reporting what they see That wasn't always the case, but has been for at least the past thirty years. I suspect that the photographer asked the people where they got the stuff, and one said "Um, we found it outside the store" and the other, maybe more truthfully, said "Everybody was grabbing things so I just took what I needed."

Naturally I don't know for sure. Anyway, the caption writer had no right, under current professional standards, to assume what the "facts" were. He or she is supposed to rely on the word of the reporter, who is supposed to report only what he sees and hears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:57 AM

Finders keepers, looters weepers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:29 AM

Lots of ways to look at this, but the thing that strikes me is that, in the face of enormity, Wolfgang is looking for signs of racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:35 AM

Mississippi has already issued a "shoot looters" order, I understand. As NO is evacuated the same will be done -- there WILL be martial law declared there and elsewhere I'm certain.

I very much object to branding anyone as a looter if they are taking what is needed for survival. I don't object to dealing with those who take televisions, etc. in an appropriate manner -- and I understand that rescue helicopters have been fired upon in NO.

Having served in the National Guard during floods on the Mississippi, I can assure you that 1) it's no picnic at all! and 2) looters and sightseers cause more problems than you'd think -- survivors are generally okay, but true looters are dangerous and liable to shoot if you call them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:36 AM

None of them looks like they're going to be enjoying the materials they "found." I agree with Wolfgang--someone is weighting those captions with bigotted cultural baggage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:50 AM

Racism? In MISSISSIPPI? Ya think?

Mississippi has always had a de facto "Shoot The Niggers" order in operation.

Nothing new here- unfortunately. Sure am glad the U.S. is in Iraq to "promote freedom".



I'm so damned proud to be an AMERICAN I could just shit


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:50 AM

You're right about that, Wolfgang!

Whether the captions are right or not, they all look pretty innocent to me. Was the boy a looter? Were the pair looters? Under the circumstances, nobody knows. Were there arrests and a trial? Doubtful.

Even if the boy was a looter, I don't think anyone would begrudge him what he has in his possession. He certainly would not deserve to be shot.

Its plain out and out prejudice that occurs all the time in the U.S., especially the deep South.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:14 PM

Would you please provide a reference for the claim that the Governor of Mississippi has ordered looters to be shot on sight?

I see nothing on the Internet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:17 PM

Wolfgang, I fear that language of looters vs. finders is the tip of the iceberg. If rescue can be delayed just another 5 days there will be no "dangerous element" left to rescue. I believe the blacks already know this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:20 PM

The first picture shows a boy/child possibly carrying a bag of nappies. That caption editor must be a really nice guy. Not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:25 PM

Excellent examples, Wolfgang.
M.Ted, I understand how you feel, but cut Wolfgang some slack. There is little he (or most of us) can do than observe at the moment. One could equally argue that some journalists, in the face of enormity, coninue carrying the same grudges.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:49 PM

Comparing two different photos taken by two different people on two different days and captioned by different people. Who are you criticizing, Wolfgang?

Yes, there's racism. There's always racism. There's sexism too, and the 'looter' was a lone male instead of a couple. There's classism, and perhaps the young man was in a poorer section of town, or maybe the couple was foraging in a classier demolished store.

Maybe one captioner was pissed off at the looting and maybe the other one was more tolerant.

The captions take a dangerous amount of assumption about people's motives. Then again, Wolfgang's assumption that racism is the reason for the different captions is probably based on even less actual knowledge. Might be racism, might not be, but Wolfgang ought to know that a sample size of 2 isn't representative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:49 PM

Would you please provide your evidence of a genocidal plot?

It is physically impossible to save 100,000 people in a very few days when the only access is by helicopter and small boat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:57 PM

Oh fer chrissakes!

I know people in the South, the Deep South, who are no more prejudiced than I am. People who don't give a shit what color your skin is, who care more about what you've done and who you are than....

People down there are in terrible trouble. I've seen this kind of trouble, I've worked with folks in this kind of trouble.

Please stop acting as if this was some sort of Political Plot and do what you can to help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Routledge
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 12:59 PM

Would the first caption have been the same if the boy was white and there was evidence that he had been looting?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:04 PM

Yes it is impossible to rescue 100,000 in 3 days but it still doesn't keep me from wishing it weren't true and that the $40 billion strong Homeland security ageency could respond within 5 days.
What about 8 days?
time will tell.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:12 PM

Of course there's racism reflected in the captions. It is part of the larger picture that has media talking/writing about "those who chose to stay behind" as if the people suffering in N.O. made a pig-headed choice when offered the option of departure and are suffering the consequences of their own stupidity; rather than recongizing that for many members of the underclass, the option of before-the-storm-departure was out of the question because of lack of funds for car ownership, fuel if there were cars available, hotel/accommodation costs if they left, etc. And are we to believe that the group that stayed behind (or, with perhaps equal accuracy, the group that couldn't afford to get away) is predominantly black on the basis of some miracle or odd coincidence rather than because of race based economic structures that have their roots in the era of enslavement and institutionalized Jim Crow practices? Gimmie a break.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:21 PM

Wolfgang is on the money.

How can people be trained not to express their unconscious prejudices? One woman on CNN, in particular, has been driving me nuts ~ she is so full of racial hatred (unconsicous, I'm sure, and expressed only obliquely) that I almost had to scream.

There is definitely criminal activity going on, but taking food (that will be going bad soon anyway) out of grocery stores does not fit that category.

New Orleans has its share of thugs ands criminals, and after everyone with a working vehicle and a credit card had left town, the gangbanger portion of the population shot up from maybe 1% of a million people to a good 20% of the remaining thousands. Also, the most skillful criminals left town in their Lincoln Navigators along with the rest of us. The people left in town are almost all black and almost all very poor ~ and the amoral characters among them are very dangerous people indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:23 PM

M Ted's got a point. What harm can a bit of innocent nigger-kicking do any in the middle of a national catastrophe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at work
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:31 PM

Peter K,
   Innocent nigger-kicking????? Are you serious?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:34 PM

You forgot your smiley, PeterK. Some people can't recognize sarcasm or irony or litotes without one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Pseudolus at work
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:39 PM

Sorry if I overreacted, not quite ready to joke about this yet....


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: TIA
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 01:49 PM

That's rather black humour.



Okay, now I'm doing it.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 02:14 PM

Someone needs to make a distinction between foraging (scavenging) for survival, and looting for gain.

IMHO, anyone, black white or green, who takes food or water, or everyday clothing to survive, should not be classed as a looter.

TV sets, jewelry, and other non survival items with monetary value would seem to be the likely targets for looters.

Conscious or not, the element of prejudice inherent in these pictures leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Wolfgang has a point, as neither party seems likely to gain more than warmth and nourishment from their "finds".

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:02 PM

Hmmm. Well, could be like you say, Wolfgang. Could be...

That is one hell of a bad situation down there, and there are always a few people (black or white) who become very dangerous under such circumstances. It only takes a few. They make it hell for the rest.

I'm glad I'm not there in the middle of it, I can tell you that. It will probably get worse before it gets better, and the very fact that the poorer segment of that urban society is more predominantly black will lead to a perception in many that "blacks" are lawless and violent people... That perception was already present to some extent in, I would guess, a very large number of middle-class whites, and not just in the South! (It's all over the USA and even in Canada, to some extent...that same perception. Middle class whites tend to be afraid of younger black men whom they don't know personally. I kid you not. They almost always get along fine with those whom they do know personally.)

That perception has always been present in regards to poor people of any particular group in any society. Example: the Irish were regarded that way in the middle to late 1800's. Hispanic immigrants to the USA are often regarded in that way. So it goes. When you're poor you are living a lot closer to the edge. That fosters desperation and lawlessness in some individuals, and that creates a bad impression of a whole group of people in the minds of others who happen to be more privileged (not because they're better, just because of where they grew up, in most cases).

So what are we to do about it...as long as society is divided into rich, middle class, and poor? Gross inequality breeds resentment, fear, violence and hatred. Gross inequality perpetuates its evils by passing them on to each succeeding generation. It always has, and it always will. It stigmatizes people from the earliest age. If I'd been born black, in Watts or some other very poor inner city neighbourhood, I'd be dealing with that...or I might already be dead because of it.

You are commenting, Wolfgang, upon an outer symptom of what is blatantly obvious...and virtually inevitable, given the prevailing social system. It's really what amounts to a caste system...only your caste is determined by your bank account. If you're O.J. Simpson, being black can sometimes be quite an advantage, let me tell you! You can get away with murder in that case...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:12 PM

"One woman on CNN, in particular, has been driving me nuts.."

indeed! CNN seems to have decided they needed their OWN sanctimonious blond haranguer in PrimeTime to match the one they've been borrowing from the CourtTV channel and using on Headline News.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:17 PM

Sep. 01, 2005
link (may require free logon)
New Orleans police told to stop looters

By Robert Tanner, The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Managers at the Covenant Home nursing center were prepared to cope with power outages and supply shortages following Hurricane Katrina. They weren't ready for looters.

The nursing home lost its bus after the driver surrendered it to carjackers. Groups of people then drove by the center, shouting to residents, "Get out!"

On Wednesday, 80 residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

"We had excellent plans. We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's executive director. "Now we'll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot."

Looters around New Orleans spent another day Wednesday threatening survivors and ransacking stores. Some were desperate for food - others just wanted beer and TVs.

The risk to safety prompted Mayor Ray Nagin to order virtually all the city's 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission and return to the streets to stop the thefts that turned more hostile as the city plunged deeper into chaos.

"They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas - hotels, hospitals, and we're going to stop it right now," Nagin said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Amid the turmoil Wednesday, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a pharmacy. A crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with packages of ramen noodles and other items.

New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. At one point, officers stranded on the roof of a hotel were fired at by people on the street.

Authorities said another officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. Both were expected to survive.

Looters also chased down a state police truck full of food. The New Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and buildings for their use.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. said late Wednesday that it would evacuate one of its fully functioning hospitals in Gretna after a supply truck carrying food, water, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals was held up by gunmen. The hospital has about 350 staff members and 125 to 150 patients.

"There are physical threats to safety from roving bands of armed individuals with weapons who are threatening the safety of the hospital," spokesman Steven Campanini said.

In another incident, two officers drew their guns on looters, but the thieves left without incident. One of the officers said he was not going to arrest anyone for snatching up food and water.

"It's really difficult because my opinion of the looting is it started with people running out of food, and you can't really argue with that too much," Nagin said. "Then it escalated to this kind of mass chaos where people are taking electronic stuff and all that."

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she has asked the White House to send more people to help with evacuations and rescues, thereby freeing up National Guardsmen to stop looters.

An additional 10,000 National Guard troops from across the country began pouring into the Gulf Coast on Wednesday to shore up security, rescue and relief operations. The new units brought the number of troops dedicated to the effort to more than 28,000, in what may be the largest military response to a natural disaster.

"We will restore law and order," Blanco said. "What angers me the most is that disasters like this often bring out the worst in people. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior."


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:19 PM

Watching CNN is its own punishment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 03:20 PM

Amen to that, LH.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 04:56 PM

If you look at the rest of the article and not just the pictures, you will see a link to an apology from YahooNews about the captions. Many people all over the world have complained about the use of different descriptions for what is apparently the same action, and an apology was published.

Don't be so sure that PeterK(Fionn) meant it as a joke..... his idea of what is racist is very different to most others...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 05:11 PM

From Yahoo:

To make this volume of photos available in a timely manner, we present the photos and their captions as written, edited and distributed by the news services with no additional editing at Yahoo! News.

In recent days, a number of readers of Yahoo! News have commented on differences in the language in two Hurricane Katrina-related photo captions (from two news services).

Yahoo! News regrets that these photos and captions, viewed together, may suggest a racial bias on our part. We remain committed to bringing our readers the full collection of photos as transmitted by our wire service partners.


My reading of that is Jeri was right above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 05:19 PM

Interesting story, SLS. There's nothing in it about orders to shoot looters, or any indication that more than one looter was shot during a "shootout."

Nothing about orders to shoot looters in Mississippi either.

PoppaGator, so glad you are well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 05:50 PM

See this excerpt from a dailykos diary about a CNN reporter:

Jack Cafferty on CNN
by lesliet
Thu Sep 1st, 2005 at 13:01:43 PDT
[From the diaries -- Hunter.]

Another example of a newsman calling it like it is. (Transcribed as best I can. )


The thing that's most glaring in all of this is that the conditions continue to deteriorate for people who are victims and the efforts to do something about it don't seem to be anywhere in sight. [...]

The questions that we ask in The Situation Room every day are posted on the website two or three hours before we go on the air and people who read the website often begin to respond to the questions before the show actually starts. The question for this hour is whether the government is doing a good job in handling the situation.

I gotta tell you something, we got five or six hundred letters before the show actually went on the air, and no one - no one - is saying the government is doing a good job in handling one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamatous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I'm 62. I remember the riots in Watts, I remember the earthquake in San Francisco, I remember a lot of things. I have never, ever, seen anything as bungled and as poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people in the Superdome. What is going on? This is Thursday! This storm happened 5 days ago. This is a disgrace. And don't think the world isn't watching. This is the government that the taxpayers are paying for, and it's fallen right flat on its face as far as I can see, in the way it's handled this thing.

We're going to talk about something else before the show's over, too. And that's the big elephant in the room. The race and economic class of most of the victims, which the media hasn't discussed much at all, but we will a bit later...."

-snip-

To read the comments from this diary click HERE

****

Frankly, I'm too full or too empty [one or the other or both] to talk about this right now.

But I thank you Wolfgang for raising this topic at Mudcat.

[And I just noted the irony of this community's name].

May God have mercy on those dying and suffering now. May God have mercy on us all. And may we learn from this devastation that "we {really} are the world"...


Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: nutty
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:10 PM

yes .... the rest of the world is watching ...... helplessly.

This disaster could never have been seriously considered as a possibility. It was never prepared for and what preparations were made are hopelessly inadequate.

This disaster covers an area the size of England ... to come anywhere near to coping it needs the full resources that the USA can provide, but with 30% of the National Guard and other military resources tied up in Iraq there is no way that help will come to many people. The very old, the very young and the vulnerable will die in ever increasing numbers.

However powerful and important the USA thought it was, nature has shown its vulnerabilities to the world and the world is watching.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:15 PM

Just heard that Fats Domino is missing
Fats Domino missing in New Orleans


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:22 PM

There's no lack of military resources in the States. But this is a race against time, involving the cranking up of a vast rescue machine that is bound to malfunction because of its size and the unfamiliarity of the mission. Nobody has had much experience in rescuing tens of thousands of starving people from a huge swamp.

For the countries hit by the tsunami, local resources were usually so limited that breakdowns from sheer size and complexity were uncommon. But the resources themselves were inadequate, and that was the problem.

CNN is just now showing aerial photos of Gulport, Mississippi. It's dry, but the level of destruction really does resemble Hiroshima without the radiation. Every frame building is literally flattened, and the brick structures are hollow shells.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:29 PM

The most I can say about the situation and be pretty sure I'm right is that the people who are being left behind and allowed to die are the poor people who couldn't afford to evacuate. Most of these people, from what I've seen, are black.

I'd say these people's biggest 'sin' is that they don't have money and are therefore invisible. They aren't invisble because they're black. But are they poor because they're black? Is N.O. a particularly hard place for an African American to make a life, or is it just something we outsiders noticed because you usually don't have that large a group of poor people gathered in one place dying of invisibility?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:33 PM

The race and economic class of most of the victims is indeed a factor in how the government is responding...which is to say...they would respond more vigorously and effectively, I think, if the victims were mostly white, from a higher income bracket, from a more upscale sector of white society. Yes, prejudice does play a part in this...unquestionably.

It always does.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:41 PM

I know it's easy to criticise from a distance, but surely there must be some organisation in America which can organise some water and a few sanwiches etc? Everybody is familiar with the tendency of news programmes to exaggerate cockups, especially if they can have a go at Bush in the process, but what we are seeing here is just incredible. It's not rocket science: you get a helicopter, fill it up with stuff, fly down and drop it off. Isn't that what you do? I only ask.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: nutty
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:41 PM

If there is no lack of military resources why is there such an acute lack of helicopter support?
Why are resources being brought in through clogged highways?
Why are there no drops of food and water to people who are desperately in need?
Why are people not being evacuated by helicopter?
Why are communications such a problem? (eg no satelite phones)
How can people boil water when there is no electricity or gas?
How can young babies and old people survive without milk or water?
Presumably there have been mobilisation exercises for such disasters ... what is the optimum time for getting resources to such a disaster area. Comments from the media today suggested another 3 days before things will be under control. That will certainly be too late for some.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:46 PM

Let's step back a little here. I've remarked here or elsewhere (since there is a proliferation of Hurricane threads) that those left behind were probably poor and less able to get transportation, less educated and less convinced of the need to go, in such dire straights already that leaving was more than they could handle. And the majority of them were black.

The preponderance of this population, the 20% left behind, were black. But look at the U.S. Census figures for New Orleans before you start deciding that there was some intentional, racist motive behind this particular outcome. New Orleans has a much larger African American population than many other American cities. 67% of all New Orleans citizens in the census claim African American background. So no matter WHAT happens in New Orleans, more people are going to be black than other races.

Link to Census Home Page.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:49 PM

The U.S. military is spending billions every day "bringing freedom" to Iraq. And its overextended.

Can't spare personnel or budget for Louisiana & Mississippi.

Get your priorities straight, wouldya? What's more important? A bogus war, or actually doing something to help U.S. citizens?

Jeez.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:51 PM

The question though SRS, is why are such a high proportion of the poor people black?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: artbrooks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:53 PM

People are being evacuated by helicopter, but this is being saved for the sick and injured. These choppers are also bringing in some water and emergency supplies, but they are being shot at by the people they are trying to help. Anyone who seriously thinks that whites are getting priority over blacks is simply sick. A lot of good information is available at the Times-Picayune web site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:55 PM

The upper link doesn't seem to work. The breakdown is cut and pasted here, without their table format.

One race (claiming ancestry within one race only)
478,473
98.7
97.6%

White
135,956
28.1
75.1%
map
brief

Black or African American
325,947
67.3
12.3%
map
brief

American Indian and Alaska Native
991
0.2
0.9%
map
brief

Asian
10,972
2.3
3.6%
map
brief

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
109
0.0
0.1%
map
brief

Some other race
4,498
0.9
5.5%
map
   
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
14,826
3.1
12.5%
map
brief


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:56 PM

Jacqui, I was in New Orleans little more than a year ago and I came home telling people that the city appears to be a great place to be black. The very air is/was vibrant and alive with music and the other arts. Lobbies and street corners were peopled by musicians and dancers. A saxophone player busked in the plaza at my hotel. Laughter and brass instruments resounded. Murals everywhere depicted musicians, mostly black, in a lovely atmosphere.It seemed to me that it was an area where the African American is respected by all. Of course, I wasn't in residential areas as such, just at a hotel and in the French Quarter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:57 PM

Jon, You'll have to answer that one. It's an argumentative straw man in this discussion of rescuing stranded citizens in New Orleans.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:57 PM

I don't think that at all art. I think it's just a case of those worse off suffering the most.

I see I'd slightly misread SRS before and that the black population does make up 67% so could be a majority in any class. Still there does seem to me to be more than that % in what I would imagine are the poorest people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 06:58 PM

missed my name in my 6:57pm post


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:00 PM

It's an argumentative straw man in this discussion of rescuing stranded citizens in New Orleans.

I thought this discussion was about black looters and white finders?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:27 PM

"it's just a case of those worse off suffering the most"

My point too. That is what generally happens everywhere. It's not that anyone plans it that way. It's not some big conspiracy. It just happens. That is how the system works.

It worked exactly that way on the Titanic, too. The rich people boarded the lifeboats first. Many of the poor were trapped on the lower decks, sometimes behind locked doors! Many of those poor were Irish immigrants to America.

Let's face it...if you're rich and there's an emergency, you have a number of advantages, right? You have better access to information, transportation, and every other kind of support. You can buy a bus ticket for $100, no problem. Makes no difference whether you are white or black. You just need $100 in your hand.

That's why I say there's a caste system, and it's based on money. If black people and hispanics made up most of the richest 10% of present day North American society...why...they'd be the most admired and powerful people around, wouldn't they? They'd be in control of the society from the top down. They'd get their sons elected president. That's how it works. Money. Nothin' else. Money.

And Money ain't white or black. It's green.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:37 PM

" That is how the system works."

Precisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:37 PM

Yes, but it's so open ended. Someone remarked that New Orleans was a great city in which to be black. I don't know if I can clearly articulate this distinction that I'm trying to make now, it'll take some pondering. Are we presuming that all of the people left behind are poor? White and black? In the U.S. there are more poor white people than poor black people because overall there are more white people. In New Orleans the figures are different. If the journalists covering this were representative of New Orleans' population, would they be calling the white folk looters and the black folk finders? Or would they be calling anybody anything? Hard to guess.

The problem is that the reporting is being done by outsiders. The gaze of the world (in the "judgmental" meaning of the word "gaze") is being turned on New Orleans but with imperfect understanding of American Culture, of Louisiana Culture, and of New Orleans culture.

I'm certainly open to suggestions. But in a city with the population characteristics of New Orleans, is it more of a rich/poor or educated/uneducated question when considering who left in time, or perhaps one of privilege, tied to degrees of blackness? Will it be revealed that all "high yellow" citizens escaped, but others didn't? Time to be quiet for a while and watch and read and think.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 07:55 PM

SRS, my assumtion certianly is that the majority of the people left behind would be poor or otherwise disadvantaged. I don't doubt others will have stayed behind for other reasons but I think they will be a minority.

My question is really one about equality of oppertunities in NO. Is for example the poorest 1/4 of the population 95% black?

As for the looting vs finders in the opening post, I do as I indicated before find that a bit of a red herring as we don't know how the different writers may have captioned the other's photo. It could be as simple as what one views as looting, another views as finding.

Outsider, yes I'm certainly one in any context - UK here. As one looking on and as another issue, while it is easy to criticise from away, I would have thought the disaster planning for this catastrophe which it seems was more of a probability that possibility of happening some time would have been better.

--------
LH, yes, the dreaded money. We would be so much better off if money was scapped and everyone did things for everyone else and enjoyed doing it, etc. but I don't think we will ever reach that stage. I know I for one am too flawed as a person for that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 08:03 PM

Maybe the Bush administration will wake up and realize the impact of poverty in their own back yard ... this tragedy is a fine example of how the poor and disenfranchized (white, black it doesn't matter what colour) are always the unforunate victims ... always left behind to fend for themselves. It's makes me angry beyond words, this should not be ... what we see on the TV are desperate people in a very tragic desperate situation. This could be any city in the U.S under such a situation. The poor just left behind.

    Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
   - Randy Newman Louisiana 1927T

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 08:06 PM

I could manage in a heartbeat without money...if I were placed in a milieu where it did not exist. I don't really have that option most of the time. Being in the fish tank, I am compelled to eat the fish food that is offered me. ;-) Money is a man-invented tool. It's not necessary until people think it's necessary. Then...they turn it into a god.

But what's more important on the very last day of your life? Love or money? Which one will you take with you when you go?

The response to global warming, which is probably driving much of these extreme weather conditions, ought to be based on love, not on money. If it were, we would be converting en masse to non-polluting sources of power, and repairing the Earth's ecosystems....instead of fighting oil wars in the Middle East.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 08:22 PM

Jon, if you follow that link to the census you can find all sorts of ways of making financial determinations about any given area. I used the census extensively when I was writing a chapter for a textbook a couple of years ago. I had to do a lot of cross-referencing, but if you start looking at the aspects of an area, such as education, recreation, employment, etc., you can get a startlingly clear picture of a place. As to its accuracy--well, I think it can't be any less accurate than what the news agencies might come up with now.

You asked thoughtful questions, and maybe by keeping them in mind over the next few months or years answers will emerge. But as sick and injured people crammed into the stadium in New Orleans begin to riot for lack of care and attention, as they stand around among the dead, there is going to be a lot of finger-pointing and finger-shaking for a long time to come. And maybe even some lines drawn in the mud.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: jimmyt
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 08:40 PM

I agree with Art Brooks on this one. Bad things are happening, some people rise to the occasion by being helpful and contributing to society by helping all they can. Other people show their true value to a society by taking the opposite approach and looting tv sets, nikes and DVD players and shooting at helecoptors and boats TRYING to help. It boils down to, there are two kinds of folks, givers and takers. I don't care if they are black, white, Hispanic or from Belarus. Facts are facts. SOme people are going to help out, others are going to make matters worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:05 PM

It's more than givers and takers ... it's more of a result of the Haves and the Have Nots .... what we see is poverty and it's last angry desperate gasp ... society cannot turn it's head on poverty (which we have done)… We cannot turn our heads to poverty ... poverty breeds the lowest common denominator of human misery (drugs, crime and most of all anger) ... in the situation that we are witnessing on TV is the anger, the violence, acts that are totally oblivious to the mores of society due to a state of mind that we the 'haves' cannot comprehend'.

I agree that there certainly are heroic, humane actions of people out there helping... my heart goes out to them ... as my heart hurts for the poor unfortunate soles that have been literally abandoned in the last few days.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:09 PM

There has evidently been some sniping at rescuers, and these stories are being repeated so often that one might think the snipers are everywhere. The fact seems to be, though, that there have only been four or five such instances, all involving a shot or two. In other words, no more than five snipers (so far)in a nonfunctioning "city" of tens of thousands of desperate people.

Nutty, I'm not sure if there is an "acute lack" of helicopter support. Helicopters have been coming in since yesterday morning, but they can usually rescue one person at a time. Supposedly they picked up a thousand people yesterday; that means about a thousand sorties. Today I believe they picked up three thousand. So hundreds of helicopters are in use. Surely if a lack exists it has most to do with the logistic difficulties of getting units from various Guard units up and running from a standstill on short notice.

Nothing in my experience with Americans, even obnoxious ones, allows me to believe without very powerful evidence that any of the problems involved with this mission are the result of conspiracy or ill will. (Stupidity, yes. Confusion, yes. Overconfidence, absolutely.)

Resources are coming in any way they can. All the highways are clogged with debris, or flooded out. Some bridges are out. This slows things down, obviously. Food is coming in by air, but the planes have to land somewhere and then the trucks have to take over. Many of people at the Superdome are out now and in Houston. The buses are still picking up the others. Food and water has now been brought to the Superdome (undoubtedly not yet enough.)

While all this was going on, 15,000 more survivors were discovered at the New Orleans Convention Center. Nobody knew that many people were there; there were no official instructions to go there. All communications were out. These are the people who are the most angry now, bdecause nobody has yet shown up to help them.

I don't know if food and water is being dropped by air or not. Cargo planes can't do it, becuase they'd be dropping it straight into the water where much of it would be lost. Maybe helicopters are dropping some. I don't know why they wouldn't be, and honestly I haven't heard any reports that specifically said they weren't.

Satellite phones are working now, intermittently. The storm appears to have knocked out the relay towers in the area.

People can't boil water. Part of the horror. Babies and old people can survive for several days, but you're right, long enough without food or water and they will be among the first to succomb. It's a true catastrophe.

I'd be surprised if there had been any mobilization exercises for something of this extent. Hurricane relief, yes. But the flood is the biggest problem. Without it, many of those trapped survivors could have walked away. No American city has ever been drowned like this, and the levees held in every previous case. The last disaster even vaguely like this was the San Francisco earthquake a century ago. If we could watch 24-hour coverage of that, my guess is that it would look just as bungled as the current operation.

We won't know the real story for a while.

The head of the Salvation Army has just appeared on CNN to say that 200 employees are trapped in a building and cannot yet be gotten out. I think that statement says a lot about what the true conditions are like in New Orleans. Say what you may, the S.A. is not going to write off 200 of its own executives and others because of racism or class warfare. And the National Guard isn't going to either.

As for snipers, a few are now shooting at a police station and at rescue helicopters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:23 PM

"I don't know if food and water is being dropped by air or not. Cargo planes can't do it, becuase they'd be dropping it straight into the water where much of it would be lost. Maybe helicopters are dropping some."

Helicopters can. Thousands of people have been at the Convention Centre without food and water.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:24 PM

CNN: Police, reporters, civilians are on the roof of a police station as an armed gang is (or was) besieging the building.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:29 PM

The Dome is covered with a roof. If you drop supplies outside, people will be killed in the stampede from the building. Drop them on the crowd outside and the same thing will happen.

In any event, buses began evacuating people yesterday and food has been delivered since yesterday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:31 PM

Wolfgang, apparently a LOT of people agreed with your assessment. If one clicks on your second picture link, one will find the picture has been removed, at the request of the wire service which provided it to Yahoo, and a note of explanation, along with an apology, from the head of Yahoo news.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:37 PM

Good point Guy who thinks ... guess that's why yer called 'guy who thinks' ... but then there should have been National Guards stationed there since the beginning of the evacuation ... actually I assumed there would have been ... but unfortunaely these poor souls were literally left there on their own.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:48 PM

Thank you, sIx. I don't claim to have all the answers though.

Regarding "shooting looters." Here's a new item that will lend itself to misinterpretation. Three hundred members of an Arkansas Guard military police unit are on the way to N.O. to help deal with the gangs abd snipers. CNN says they have orders "to shoot to kill if necessary." That is, to save or protect life, not property. So far as has been reported, they do not have orders to shoot looters.

The Arkansas National Guard, it should be said for the benefit of non-U.S. Mudcatters, has been racially integrated for decades, along with the Guard units of every other state.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 10:55 PM

Either do I Guy Who Thinks ... I'm just very angry.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:05 PM

In the old days I used to get a lot angrier. But I've learned since then that 90% of everything people do is bungled, postponed, or done inefficiently. This is true of my own life certainly.

Every veteran knows that the military is, except in occasional moments, at least as inefficient as any other large organization. I needn't even mention politicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:17 PM

"90% of everything people do is bungled, postponed, or done inefficiently"

Yup, that's the sad truth. Just read war history books from any war for more evidence of that. People are far better at dealing with ordinary routines than with sudden, shocking emergencies...specially when a certain number of them simply panic and start doing crazy stuff.

One doesn't need conspiracies to cause death on a massive scale...one just needs normal human performance under extreme stress.

Prime example: all those unfortunate people who got trampled to death on the bridge in Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:19 PM

Yes, Little Hawk. And all because of an incorrect rumor that a suicide bomber had been seen in the crowd.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:24 PM

Yeah. And in Iraq (and some other places), that's not what you want to hear when you're in the middle of a big crowd. Or any time, actually.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:32 PM

NO is not a great place to be black and poor. It is a terrible place to be black and poor. The image of happy darkys, singing and dancing on street corners is a fanstasy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 01 Sep 05 - 11:42 PM

Guy who thinks .... yer so correct. But you cannot deny your anger when you see the unfortunate victimized by such bungling.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Scoville
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:08 AM

Anywhere is a terrible place to be black and poor, isn't it? I'm sure New York, Pittsburgh, London, etc. are not much better.

The disgusting thing to me is that, once evacuation orders were given, the government should have made sure that people COULD evacuate. Where was all this help BEFORE the storm wiped the place out?

I work for the medical center in Houston, which will soon be flooded (no sick puns intended, trust me) with hurricane refugees who need emergency health care and don't have money or insurance to pay for it. We're a large city with a large underclass and a high violent crime rate--our ER's are not underused as it is. This is going to be very, very hard on us, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:15 AM

Latest news is that the evacuees arriving at the Houston Astro Dome are being turned away, sent somewhere else (unknown at this time) ... we where told that the Astro Dome would take in 25k refugees .... so far 8k have been given shelter there ... apparently the Fire Department pulled the plug .... who is in charge, are there any plans at all ???

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Scoville
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:20 AM

I heard they--the guards at the AstroDome--were told to take in only refugees from the Superdome, and people NOT from the Superdome are being turned away. I don't know what is the absolute latest word on that. It sucks: Where are we going to put everyone? We're already herding them around like livestock because we don't have enough real accomodations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: number 6
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:26 AM

Exactly Scoville ... the ones being turned away tonite are busloads arriving from the Superdome.

Unbelievable!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 02:08 AM

The Red Cross lifted the rule about turning them away sometime early in the evening; they were accepting all comers last I heard, up to the capacity they listed (25,000). I think the turning people away bit is a rumor. And there are other cities across Texas with facilities in place for LA refugees if they do have to refer them elsewhere.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 08:20 AM

The people being "turned away" from the Astrodome are being sent to other shelters.

Aside from that, here is something that justifies plenty of anger. Various official and journalistic reportshave been warning of the possibilty of just such a catastrophe (Category 5 storm, broken levees) over the past ten years or more. Apparently it was very difficult to get much preventive action out of the city, state, or federal governments for the usual reason that people don't like like to apportion many millions of dollars to protect against something that may never happen.

Levee improvements finally got underway at a leisurely pace. Some or all of the federal funding was eventually cut, whether by Congress or President Bush I don't know. This is scandalous, to put it mildly, and we can expect to hear much more about it in the months to come.

A Corps of Engineer officer who worked on the project said on CNN last night that even had federal funding not been cut, the project began so recently and was moving so slowly that there was no way that the levees could have been strengthened in time.

The bottom line in all of this is that government officials were warned long ago by scientists and engineers but took little interest in the warnings.

Since all citizens were obviously at risk, this stupidity was clearly not racially motivated. It was motivated, at least in part, by the kind of optimism that says "It can't happen to us."


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 09:03 AM

I've calmed down somewhat. Before we get too enraged about the foot-dragging response to those warnings, there's one very important element that I have not heard addressed by the news. Namely, how likely was this kind if disaster, according to the studies?

Risk management has to balance consequences with likelihood. In other words, a very remote catastrophe demands a lesser immediate response than a less terrible but virtually certain event.

If the warnings stated, say, "a 50-50 chance within ten years," that would be a wakeup call that no sane politician could ignore. But if the reports suggested, for example, "a 1 in 500 chance in the next twenty years," there would be a lower priority for improving the levees now.

I am certainly not trying to let anybody off the hook. But let's determine what the facts really are.

Here is a very grim summary of recent developments:

http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 09:06 AM

Sorry. Click on the blue headline for the full news story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Scoville at work
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 09:17 AM

The AstroDome has been declared full. I don't know that it's actually FULL or if they realized the restrooms, etc. couldn't handle any more people. They're sending people to the Reliant Center instead (a huge convention hall).

I wish I had saved it, but somebody emailed me yesterday an article from National Geographic that predicted this almost to a T. It's not TERRIBLY common, but we do have very bad hurricanes on a fairly regular basis (every 20 years or so). This is certainly the worst in quite a long time.

However, it seems to me as though we have "Ten-Year Storms" a lot more often than that. On the one hand, we should be more prepared. On the other, people get used to hurricanes--summer here is "Hurricane Season" and we get weather-tracking charts from the grocery stores--and don't take it as seriously as you would think. Sounds ridiculous, but as much as people bitch about it, a lot of them don't move (yes, moving is expensive, but so is renovating your house every four years because it had filthy water four feet up the walls).


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 10:39 AM

San Francisco and probably St. Louis are in a comparable situtation. Some day the great earthquake will come. But when? And you can't protect against an earthquake with levees. And you can't, realistically, dismantle a city either.

The Japanese and Chinese, for example, have suffered terrible earthquakes. One at Kobe, Japan, in 1985 leveled the city and killed 5,000 people. It took ten years to rebuild. 100,000 died from a quake near Tokyo before World War II.

Such risks never go away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 11:55 AM

You know what, folks? You're gonna need socialism to deal with a situation this big. Oooo...scary (to Americans). Yup. Socialism. That's something that you do because it MUST be done, because it HAS to be done...not because it makes money for someone.

Remember Roosevelt's New Deal?

There are maybe a million people now who need shelter, homes, jobs, and basic infrastructure. Who is going to do it? Private industry? Private industry works when they are paid to.

Socialism does what actually needs to be done. And that is sanity. It doesn't matter whether or not it makes money for anyone, it has to be done. Money isn't even real. It's an arbitrary invented thing...an idea...stamped on pieces of paper. Human lives are real.

And that's why I believe in (a certain amount of) socialism. When and where it is needed. Socialism is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It combines very well with capitalism. It's what you use when and where capitalism doesn't solve the problem adequately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:23 PM

Here are excerpts from an article about the race & class and "Floodgate":

"Lost in the Flood
Why no mention of race or class in TV's Katrina coverage?
By Jack Shafer
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005, at 4:22 PM PT

....This storm appears to have hurt blacks more directly than whites, but the broadcasters scarcely mentioned that fact...

To be sure, some reporters sidled up to the race and class issue. I heard them ask the storm's New Orleans victims why they hadn't left town when the evacuation call came. Many said they were broke—"I live from paycheck to paycheck," explained one woman. Others said they didn't own a car with which to escape and that they hadn't understood the importance of evacuation.

But I don't recall any reporter exploring the class issue directly by getting a paycheck-to-paycheck victim to explain that he couldn't risk leaving because if he lost his furniture and appliances, his pots and pans, his bedding and clothes, to Katrina or looters, he'd have no way to replace them. No insurance, no stable, large extended family that could lend him cash to get back on his feet, no middle-class job to return to after the storm....


Race remains largely untouchable for TV because broadcasters sense that they can't make an error without destroying careers. That's a true pity. If the subject were a little less taboo, one of last night's anchors could have asked a reporter, "Can you explain to our viewers, who by now have surely noticed, why 99 percent of the New Orleans evacuees we're seeing are African-American? I suppose our viewers have noticed, too, that the provocative looting footage we're airing and re-airing seems to depict mostly African-Americans

When disaster strikes, Americans—especially journalists—like to pretend that no matter who gets hit, no matter what race, color, creed, or socioeconomic level they hail from, we're all in it together. This spirit informs the 1997 disaster flick Volcano, in which a "can't we all just get along" moment arrives at the film's end: Volcanic ash covers every face in the big crowd scene, and everybody realizes that we're all members of one united race.

But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians—and perhaps black Mississippians—suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, "Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?"

-snip-

The complete article is HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:30 PM

That article I quoted is from slate.msn.com/id/2124688/nav/tap2/


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:37 PM

For sure, Azizi. The media are scared stiff of even commenting on "race" or anything like that. It's become the great unmentionable. This is partly because the real situation OF prejudice and poverty in America is so bad, partly because it's too risky to the media people's professional careers (as you suggested), and partly because the "race card" has already been played so cynically and opportunistically so many times by people OF visible minority groups (as in the O.J. Simpson trial, for example).

There is so much prejudice on ALL sides when it comes to this that people have become almost incapable of being honest or fair about it or discussing it openly without extreme fear. This is also true of issues involving Jews and Muslims and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

How do you get people to talk openly about something when they are afraid of being judged and attacked for it, and possibly having their careers and reputations destroyed?

The only people who can get around it anymore are people like Howard Stern, people who have resolved to be totally outrageous from the getgo. Everyone else is afraid to say what they think, except in private. Maybe they're even afraid to say it there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 12:39 PM

I heard a clarification of the Astrodome issue this morning. Last night late the Houston Fire Marshall saw that they ran out of cots and lines were backing up for some of the services. He took this as the indicator that the place had enough people, so he closed the doors to any more coming in. There were something like 162 buses in the parking lot with people waiting to get in, but I think by now they're here in the Dallas and Fort Worth area and in San Antonio. Dallas officials don't know where they're going to put that many people, was the last thing I head on the radio about it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 01:41 PM

Here are some excerpts from some dailykos bloggers who are talking about race & the abysmal seemingly uncaring & imo definitely criminal lack of preparation & totally insufficient response to this devastation that should have been forseen by "our" government:

"...Let's remember it's not just black people

In Mississippi and other parts of Louisiana there are many communities still waiting for help, some of which are mostly white.

I saw Joe Scarborough being outraged last night about the lack of response from officials and he was reporting from a town in Mississippi.

Anderson Cooper also did some good reporting from there. People of all races.

The situation in New Orleans really is mostly poor blacks that were affected but there is serious devastation all around as well.

Just pointing that out because I don't want anyone to feel left out..."
by diplomatic on Fri Sep 2nd, 2005

-snip-

"true

but not being able to get food and water to a major city for 5 days and most of the people there are black. Would that happen to Duluth Minn? I do not think so.

The people of New Orleans, the latest casualties of Iraq"
by Jlukes

-snip-


"Oh of course not

Listen, if the majority of the people in New Orleans or at the superdome where white President Bush himself would be out there handing out water like he did in Florida.

We all know it. The media seems to know it. This is America. No longer separate, but unequal..."
by diplomatic on Fri Sep 2nd, 2005

-snip-

New Orleans-Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz, zydeco, let the good times roll, that in & of itself is so increadible sad but this inhumane treatment of people...

I don't have any words to convey my feelings. Someone PMed me and asked if I was angry. My response was that I'm too frozen to be angry. As an African American this hits me hard because I feared for the worse of the natural disaster, but I expected the government to be much much better prepared-after all what good is FEMA and the Dept.of Homeland Security??? Apparently not good at all.

I actually was foolish enough to expect Bush to put on a caring facade and do a PR thing, using this tragedy to get his ratings up. But in my opinion he hasn't even tried to fake concern. His concern is what it has always been -the oil.

Bush played golf, pretended to play a guitar & took a birthday cake photo op. Black Aunt Jemima Condi played tennis, went to a Broadway play & then went shopping for shoes. And Dick Cheney- where is Dick Cheney and why is he where he is and what in the world is he doing there??

This whole thing is FUBAR.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 01:53 PM

Sort of gives you the feeling that, where it matters, we haven't come very far at all, have we?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Greg F.
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 05:58 PM

Yup, the "New South", so called.

Translated, means the Klan doesn't wear robes & hoods any more, is all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 06:52 PM

Another term for 'finding':

"LOOTING ALERT!!!
Rich lady who was staying at the Hyatt said that Doctor had to "commandeer" antibiotics from Walgreens."

RandyMI on Fri Sep 2nd, 2005; http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/2/163959/3853


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 07:11 PM

A president doesn't help by being in the midst of a disaster. In the midst of rescue efforts, trying to pull off the logistics of a presidential appearance would be near criminal in its selfish political posturing. I have always hated presidents using disasters as photo-ops. There could hardly be a less meaningful, more selfish thing for a president to do during a disaster. We don't need symbolism. We need what we're working on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 08:02 PM

"We're already herding them around like livestock because we don't have enough real accomodations."

Europe experienced this on a much more wide spread basis after WWII.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 08:18 PM

People have a right and a duty to take what they need from shops and the like in a situation like this.

Talk about "looting" when people are doing that, or salvaging stuff that is otherwise going to go to waste, is absurd.

I suppose when Robinson Crusoe took all those tools and so forth from the wreck of his ship, that was looting... This is a kind of shipwreck, but on an enormous scale.

I'm sure there's real looting going on in among this, stealing personal belongings from temporarily abandoned houses and stuff like that, but talk about "zero tolerance for looters", and "shoot to kill", as if everyone grubbing around for the necessities of life were like that is crazy talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 03:58 AM

" In the midst of rescue efforts, trying to pull off the logistics of a presidential appearance would be near criminal in its selfish political posturing. I have always hated presidents using disasters as photo-ops. There could hardly be a less meaningful, more selfish thing for a president to do during a disaster" John Hardly

If you really mean that, John, what is your opinion of the president being there today?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: zelger
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 05:57 AM

Oh come on. New Orleans is 70% black. white americans have suffered disasters before, natural and unatural. they have suffered depressions. They did not respond via crime on the scale we are seeing in new orleans today. rape, pillage, murder, seems a fitting epitaph for multi-racial harmony america.

only wooly thinking liberals in cuckoo land believe this outbreak is nothing to do with black people in new orleans. it is the product of a welfare system supporting huge % of blacks dissapearing over night. Once the hand that feeds them is removed they resort to crime.

Oh and by the way, i have relatives in new orleans. fuck liberalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 06:32 AM

Obviously, Ebbie, I don't like it. I don't like the no-win situation that has a president damned if he does (by the likes of me) and damned if he doesn't (by soft-headed thinkers who believe that a presidential appearance is "doing something"). Anything a president can do, he can do from a distance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,An Englishman Abroad`
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 09:46 AM

There has been a lot of talk about lack of funding. The Presidents spokesman in a press conference said no funding had been with held. Below is an extract from Fact Check .org the web site said to be reliable by the Vice President.

It seems to me that no matter what the situation the political bull shit must go on. What is so wrong about saying we #$%^&* up. The man who has never made a mistake has never done anything.

The point is this. It must have been known that there would be thousands who would not be able to make it out if there was such a desaster. So are they expendable, do they not matter because they are the poor. I used to be glad that I had been born at a time when there was so much advance and to be around when it started, but have we advanced. I think those at the top and some of those at the bottom are a selfish lot of bastards who could not care less about anyone.

Below is the extract from Fact check .org

Is Bush to Blame for New Orleans Flooding?
He did slash funding for levee projects. But the Army Corps of Engineers says Katrina was just too strong.

September 2, 2005

Summary



Some critics are suggesting President Bush was as least partly responsible for the flooding in New Orleans. In a widely quoted opinion piece, former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal says that "the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature," and cites years of reduced funding for federal flood-control projects around New Orleans.

Our fact-checking confirms that Bush indeed cut funding for projects specifically designed to strengthen levees. Indeed, local officials had been complaining about that for years.

It is not so clear whether the money Bush cut from levee projects would have made any difference, however, and we're not in a position to judge that. The Army Corps of Engineers – which is under the President's command and has its own reputation to defend – insists that Katrina was just too strong, and that even if the levee project had been completed it was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane.



Analysis



We suspect this subject will get much more attention in Congress and elsewhere in the coming months. Without blaming or absolving Bush, here are the key facts we've been able to establish so far:

Bush Cut Funding

Blumenthal's much-quoted article in salon.com carried the headline: "No one can say they didn't see it coming." And it said the Bush administration cut flood-control funding "to pay for the Iraq war."

He continues:

Blumenthal: With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico . But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.

…By 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this year…forced the New Orleans district of the Corps to impose a hiring freeze.

We can confirm that funding was cut. The project most closely associated with preventing flooding in New Orleans was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Project, which was "designed to protect residents between Lake Pontchartrain and the Missisippi River levee from surges in Lake Pontchartrain," according to a fact sheet from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (The fact sheet is dated May 23, long before Katrina). The multi-decade project involved building new levees, enlarging existing levees, and updating other protections like floodwalls. It was scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Over at least the past several budget cycles, the Corps has received substantially less money than it requested for the Lake Pontchartrain project, even though Congress restored much of the money the President cut from the amount the Corps requested.

In fiscal year 2004, the Corps requested $11 million for the project. The President's budget allocated $3 million, and Congress furnished $5.5 million. Similarly, in fiscal 2005 the Corps requested $22.5 million, which the President cut to $3.9 million in his budget. Congress increased that to $5.5 million. "This was insufficient to fund new construction contracts," according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' project fact sheet. The Corps reported that "seven new contracts are being delayed due to lack funds" [sic].

The President proposed $3 million for the project in the budget for fiscal 2006, which begins Oct. 1. "This will be insufficient to fund new construction projects," the fact sheet stated. It says the Corps "could spend $20 million if funds were provided." The Corps of Engineers goes on to say:

Army Corps of Engineers, May 23: In Orleans Parish, two major pump stations are threatened by hurricane storm surges. Major contracts need to be awarded to provide fronting protection for them. Also, several levees have settled and need to be raised to provide the design protection. The current funding shortfalls in fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2006 will prevent the Corps from addressing these pressing needs.

The Corps has seen cutbacks beyond those affecting just the Lake Pontchartrain project. The Corps oversees SELA, or the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control project, which Congress authorized after six people died from flooding in May 1995. The Times-Picayune newspaper of New Orleans reported that, overall, the Corps had spent $430 million on flood control and hurricane prevention, with local governments offering more than $50 million toward the project. Nonetheless, "at least $250 million in crucial projects remained," the newspaper said.

In the past five years, the amount of money spent on all Corps construction projects in the New Orleans district has declined by 44 percent, according to the New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper, from $147 million in 2001 to $82 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 10:07 AM

only wooly thinking liberals in cuckoo land believe this outbreak is nothing to do with black people in new orleans. it is the product of a welfare system supporting huge % of blacks dissapearing over night. Once the hand that feeds them is removed they resort to crime.

zelger, you're a bigot.

You know nothing, none of us does, about the makeup of the gangs with guns in New Orleans right now. We can guess at the percentages of racial makeup, but the dynamic that is going on there right now has never had an equal in the U.S.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 10:22 AM

A bigot?

Well done. my post challenged your opinion you called me a nasty name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 10:51 AM

"...only wooly thinking liberals in cuckoo land believe this outbreak is nothing to do with black people in new orleans..."
zelger; 03 Sep 05 - 05:57 AM

-snip-

Well in a way, Zelger, your comment is kinda funny. But I don't find in ha ha funny. At least you didn't say nappy [or even worse kinky] thinking liberals...

And Zelger, I believe the vast majority of wooly haired Black folks still in New Orleans are law abiding citizens who worked low paying jobs and weren't able to afford a car.

And speaking of welfare-what do you call those huge government corporate subsidies that are always being passed [not to mention the tax breaks]? Maybe you think those are just jim dandy because doing that is standard operating procedure and not the result of "wooly thinking".

I would guess that most of the people who benefit from those handouts are straight haired people and not wooly haired folks.

And the beat goes on...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: JennyO
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 11:09 AM

I posted this on another thread, but I think it bears repeating - it's the best story I've heard so far coming out of this sad mess and seems appropriate for this thread. I can't help wondering though how the young man in question will be treated over what he did. I think it would be outrageous if he ended up in trouble for looting under the circumstances, and I certainly hope he doesn't. In my eyes he is a hero!

I'll post it as well as linking to it, in case the link doesn't last. There is a video of a report on it there as well.

Taking refuge in the Astrodome

Thursday, September 01, 2005   Updated: 11:32 AM

HOUSTON -- NEWSCHANNEL 5 crews were in Houston as some desperate refugees arrived in a stolen bus.

HOUSTON -- Thousands of refugees of Hurricane Katrina were transported to the Astrodome in Houston this week. In an extreme act of looting, one group actually stole a bus to escape ravaged areas in Louisiana.

About 100 people packed into the stolen bus. They were the first to enter the Houston Astrodome, but they weren't exactly welcomed.

The big yellow school bus wasn't expected or approved to pass through the stadium's gates. Randy Nathan, who was on the bus, said they were desperate to get out of town.

"If it werent for him right there," he said, "we'd still be in New Orleans underwater. He got the bus for us."

Eighteen-year-old Jabbor Gibson jumped aboard the bus as it sat abandoned on a street in New Orleans and took control.

"I just took the bus and drove all the way here...seven hours straight,' Gibson admitted. "I hadn't ever drove a bus."

The teen packed it full of complete strangers and drove to Houston. He beat thousands of evacuees slated to arrive there.

"It's better than being in New Orleans," said fellow passenger Albert McClaud, "we want to be somewhere where we're safe."

During a long and impatient delay, children popped their heads out of bus windows and mothers clutched their babies.

One 8-day-old infant spent the first days of his life surrounded by chaos. He's one of the many who are homeless and hungry.

Authorities eventually allowed the renegade passengers inside the dome. But the 18-year-old who ensured their safety could find himself in a world of trouble for stealing the school bus.

"I dont care if I get blamed for it ," Gibson said, "as long as I saved my people."

Sixty legally chartered buses were expected to arrive in Houston throughout the night. Thousands of people will be calling the Astrodome "home," at least for now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,zelger
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 11:49 AM

And Zelger, I believe the vast majority of wooly haired Black folks still in New Orleans are law abiding citizens who worked low paying jobs and weren't able to afford a car.

I didn't say they weren't law abiding folk. I said the vast majority of looters in New Orleans are black. fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 11:59 AM

THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS FOR CONGRESS

When they come back to session the FIRST item
on their agenda is the estate tax law and cutting taxes for people who make over $16 million a year.

(this is part of their ecomomic stimulus package)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 12:19 PM

If the shoe fits, zelger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 02:03 PM

As Wolfgang pointed out, "lootimg" is a loaded term. It appears that taking the things you and your family need from shops and so forth in a distaster is more likely to be called looting" if you are black in America than if you arewhite.

That's not "looting" when it's people doing what they need to do to survive. In fact people have every right to do so. And in fact a moral duty to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,zelger
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 03:57 PM

Someone needs to make a distinction between foraging (scavenging) for survival, and looting for gain.

Here is a distinction, rape is not survival, it is horrific barabarism, and foraging for food is basic survival instinct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 04:06 PM

No one, except some of you who post here, has claimed that black people "loot" while white people "find." You choose to select one photo caption and magnify it into a symptom of the kind of widespread, flagrant racism that disappeared from the national news media even before World War II.

No one has yet been reported "shot for looting." No sane prosecutor files charges against people taking food and water to survive a catastrophe, because (among other things) no jury would convict.

The young man who stole the school bus "could be" in a "world of trouble" in Orwell's 1984 but in fact he is NOT in trouble in the USA.

Whatever one may think of the war in Iraq, there is no evidence and no reason to conclude that troops sent there or money spent has had the slightest effect on recue operations. (1/3 of the local Guard units are overseas, but there are many thousands left, and many more in nearby states.)

The obsessive idiotic blaming of G. W. Bush for every aspect of this disaster, with barely a mention of the thousands of others from Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, Generals, on down to the lowliest confused Guardsman must have some Freudian explanation. Bush is not the only one who can be described as seeing things solely in black and white.

The constant reiteration of these ideas tells me more than I wish to know about how so many of you think. I'm old and I'm tired of it.

So I'm signing out of this place permanently. Goodbye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 04:08 PM

Anyone who closely followed the situation on the news channels saw 'looting' of stores for food, water and necessities, by police as well as by the citizens and tourists. Pictures showed police (while they were still trying to do their job) booting louts out of stores where they were liberating items that had nothing to do with survival, but leaving people seeking necessities alone.

All this blather about a word. Taking that which doesn't belong to you is a common middle class American definition of looting; of course that word will be used and I see no reason to 'load' it with racial meaning.

It must also be said that it is impossible for the average middle class white person from outside a setting such as New Orleans, including the newspeople with CNN and MSNBC, (at least a few of whom are not white but belong to the middle class), news reporters, etc. to avoid comments that appear racial since they (I should add we?) are covering people and situations outside of their experience. Most of them are trying to do the job they are paid to do.

In their minds, many people still equate poverty only with blacks. It has not yet sunk in that Hispanics are now the second largest group in the U. S. and many of them are poor. If this had been a catastrophe in a city such as San Antonio, would this thread have been different?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 04:45 PM

I note that if you click on the link to those pictures Wolfgang gave in his opening post, you now get a Yahoo "error message" - Sorry, Unable to process request at this time -- error 999.

Which is one way to deal with this kind of thing. The Internet Airbrush technique.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 05:04 PM

But this link from The Age in Australia still works to show you what he was on about - Finders looters

"The official AP caption for the pic on the left: "A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday." The AFP caption for the pic on the right: "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store in New Orleans, Louisiana." Guess which is white and which is black, and then click on the link to check. My my, who'd have guessed...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 05:06 PM

I don't get that. I find "Picture 1" (the "looting" one) is still there but "Picture 2" (the "finding one") has been removed at the request of AFP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 05:14 PM

That link you've given is misleading McGrath as both pictures appear to come from AFP which going by the Yahoo site was not the case. I still fail to understand the fuss about this.

On the Yahoo site:

Picture 1 was taken and captioned by AP
Picture 2 was taken and captioned by AFP

The pictures were selected by Yahoo, quite possibly by different people and at different times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 06:42 PM

Both pictures are still there on the "The Age" site I linked to in that last post. And the caption from that site which I included in that post very clearly identified which was AFP and which was AP.

"I still fail to understand the fuss about this." In a situation where the official line is that there will be "zero tolerance" for "looters", and a shoot-to-kill policy, the distinction between "looting" and "finding" makes rather a difference. And the indication in this captions that for at least some people that distinction might rest on the colour of a person's skin is pretty disturbing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 06:51 PM

One observation I have made in this though is that, going by the picture that was removed (and forgetting any opinions formed by viewing the 2 pictures side by side), there could be more sensitivity over the idea of people taking property that wasn't thiers being described as "finding" than as "looting".

On that all I can say is call it what you will, there is no doubt in my mind that, if faced with similar circumstances, I'd have done the same if I could and I suspect most people would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 07:03 PM

Well McGrath, we must be using different browsers or something the picture I see on the page you link to is a merged picture of the 2. click here

Underneath it is the single line of source which gives.

Photo: AFP

The distinction is made in the accompanying text but the damage has already been done.


And the indication in this captions that for at least some people that distinction might rest on the colour of a person's skin is pretty disturbing.

If you are willing to put the actions of several different people together on that basis, yes but I think the odds are 99999999:1 on you and others putting 2+2 and making 6.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 07:13 PM

Oh and I will lay bets that that single line of source under the 2 pictures was rather more willful that AFP, AP and Yahoo conspiring together to devise this subtle means of what might be read into it if the 2 pictures are viewed together.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 07:29 PM

Ho Hum


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 08:15 PM

Hey, people ! I offered a different explanation of those captions at the very beginning of this thread ! Anybody read it ? Is it that ridiculous ?

AP yanked both photos. Which means "cover up," right ? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Guy Who Thinks, Q, right on, tell it !


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 09:48 PM

"The obsessive idiotic blaming of G. W. Bush for every aspect of this disaster, with barely a mention of the thousands of others from Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, Generals, on down to the lowliest confused Guardsman must have some Freudian explanation. Bush is not the only one who can be described as seeing things solely in black and white."

You're absolutely right. George Bush is not alone in all of this. In fact, I blame everyone who voted for him. Only a moron would vote for such a greedy, self centered, ego-maniac.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Sep 05 - 10:41 PM

Well, well, well......

First of all, this ain't mississippitom... It's the Bobert...

Now I ain't read this entire thread since I been holed up in a danged recordin' studio but if this ain't been said then it needs to be said....

Gonna piss off some folks but, hey...

New Orleans is 76 % black and over half of the black population lives uner the poverty level...

If Katrina had hit Appilacia in southern Wes Ginny you'd be seein' white folks doin' 'xactly what yer seein black folks doin' in New Orleans....

Yeah, the Bush administartion and his media bed buddies are tryin' to use any distaction to keep the simple fact that Bush hasn'r funded improvements to the levee's, hasn't funded first reponders and now wnat to put all their failures on the backs of black folks...

Hmmmmm, sound familiar???

If there was ever "Evidence A" in mot allowing drunk frat boys to run America this oughtta be it...

Bobert (not tom)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:09 PM

I now think I should have known better when I started this thread, but actually I didn't and no thread is the property of the first poster. So I can't really complain of what you have made of this. I can only be glad that some have understood.

If I had wanted to make a remark about the present disaster and the reaction to it I wouldn't have started an extra thread. M.Ted is far off the mark.

If I had wanted to comment about racism or not in the USA I wouldn't have started with an example from German TV language.

For me, it was about (hidden) prejudices possibly influencing the language one uses. That includes me, BTW. The pictures were just the most recent example I stumbled upon. Of course, that is close to nothing in comparison to what else has happened in NO and I'm the first to agree that whoever would give me a drink and would save me from drowning could call me any name he liked.

It was just two completely different themes for me and all the wholists who think one cannot discuss language separately from a disaster are just not at the same wavelength with me. I sometimes even start a music thread on the same day a disaaster happens.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:49 PM

Cason Announces Initial BIA Response to Aid Tribal Victims of Hurricane Katrina

I don't believe this group has been mentioned at all. They are the truly invisible in the region.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: ddw
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 05:10 PM

I can't read any more of the sycophantic claptrap and drivel agreeing with Wolfgang on this, so maybe somebody else had pointed this out before....

Do you know that the photographers didn't watch HOW the items in question were acquired? Or are you just showing your knee-jerk need to think you're better than other people (i.e. the writers of the captions) by assuming they're slanting things in a way you don't like?

Seems to me you're saying a lot more about your own ignorance and prejudice toward   others than you are about the verity of the captions.

Truth is, I don't know if these items were found or looted and neither do you, so damning the media as "racist" for using words which may be accurate is just showing your lack of any real basis for your opinions.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:07 PM

Press photographers don't generally have too much control over what caption is put under their pictures. In the case of pictures like this, in a situation like that, it seems extremely unlikely that any photographer or reporter would have been in a position to gather and pass on the kind of specific information ddw posits.

Far more likely it would have been a matter of people in news agency offices far away from New Orleans writing captions in a hurry on the basis of what they see in front of their eyes, and how they interpret it.

Wolfgang has explained the point he was making pretty straightforwardly. It's not a question of calculating distortion, carried out by people with some racist agenda. It's that people are unconsciously predisposed, by all kinds of factors, to make assumptions about what they see with their eyes, and stereotypes about colour can come into that.   This was an example of how it can work.

I think it is fair to say that, presented with those two pictures without any caption, a lot of white people, who are in no way consciously racist, would be likely to make the same assumption that the caption writer for AP is reasonably suspected of making.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:35 PM

I think it is fair to say that, presented with those two pictures without any caption, a lot of white people, who are in no way consciously racist, would be likely to make the same assumption that the caption writer for AP is reasonably suspected of making.

But I think it is also reasonable to assume that a lot of white writers would have made the same assumption had the photo been of a white person.

I remain bemused by this. Had it been the same organisation even producing the pictures, I might open up to a some possibility. Had it been the same writer, there certainly would be questions to ask...

As it stands though, the only way I can read it is that there are simply too many variables to reach any firm conclusion and there are plenty of (more likely IMO) reasons why this could have occured without bringing in the race card.

I think things as iffy as this actually do the race issues a disservice. And their remains a far bigger race issue, one that I don't believe several innocent possibilities exist for. Quite simply (and basing this now on more I've read):

How come there are such a high % of black Americans near or below the poverty line in NO? As far as I can make out, they comprise rather more than they do in the overall 67% average of the total population.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:45 PM

But I think it is also reasonable to assume that a lot of white writers would have made the same assumption had the photo been of a white person.

And to repeat what I said before, the picture removed was the "finding" one (by AFP). It may not be the case but in the absence of further informations, one could reasonably assume from that removal that many people were not happy at seeing this activity described as "finding" (even though it was carried out by white people) was in itself controversial. One could also ask why the one described as "looting" still remains on Yahoos site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:50 PM

I gave a plausible explanation for both captions at the beginning of the thread, and then I repeated it a couple of days ago.

To no avail.

So from now on, I'm staying above the line. Some of these threads really are bull shit.

Have a nice day !


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:59 PM

Lighter. The main point in your first post reads:

I suspect that the photographer asked the people where they got the stuff, and one said "Um, we found it outside the store" and the other, maybe more truthfully, said "Everybody was grabbing things so I just took what I needed."

I note you refer to the photographer in the singular and suggest he asked the two people. Given that one pic and caption was sourced by Yahoo via AFP and the other via AP, I do think you reasoning is unlikely.

t is possible of course that 2 photographers/writers may have done the same thing but it does seem to me that you are ignoring certain facts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:13 PM

Oh and lighter. This may sound bad but I am being honest here. Why I didn't respond to your post yesterday is that even though I am English, I do struggle at times with the American style:

Anybody read it ? Is it that ridiculous ? AP yanked both photos. Which means "cover up," right ? Damned if they do, damned if they don't Guy Who Thinks, Q, right on, tell it !

By that stage I wasn't sure whether you were telling Q (s)he was right or wrong and didn't feel like questioning to find out or debating on my best guess as to what you meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:18 PM

You're really thinking the photographers would have jumped down into the water from whatever place the photo was taken (a helicopter? a high builidng?) and carried out some kind of on the spot interview?

As I read it, this isn't about pointing a finger at some picture editor or agency.

The point is, just imagine you flashed those photos in front of people of your acquaintance, and asked them what they saw.

If the kind of racial preconceptions that skew the way we interpret the world were just confined to out and out racists, that would be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately they ain't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:27 PM

McGrath. it's not impossible that you are right but I still think the odds are against you and I suspect the more unusual description in this instance was "finding". (Which as far as I can see is supported by the fact the "Finding" photo has been removed).

I'd bet most journalists would call that activity looting regardless of colour of skin. From the other side, there is no guarantee that the journalist who described the activity as finding not doing the same had the photo (s)he had been of a balck person.

I find it dangerous to draw such conculsions you do on such thin evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:29 PM

Be reasonable. McGarth, you are drawing one hell of a conclusion based on a random sample of 2 journalists/ agencies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:42 PM

Jon, there has been alot of discussion in the blogosphere, in the main stream media, and in direct conversations about these two photo captions.

Because of their stark differences in wording, they have become symbolical or symtomatic of the often unconscious bias that the media and others have against Black people.

Because personal and institutional racism still exist in the USA, regardless of the true intent of the caption writers, I say more power to this discussion. I say this is with the hope that it may challenge people to be aware of the often subtle and hidden prejudices that some exist in the main stream media, and sometimes within themselves.

Can there be eradication of racism without acknowledgement that it still exist? I don't think so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:50 PM

[Ohoooo I have been needing to make corrections to posts all night..These discussions touch me greatly and I need to take some deep breathes, use preview, and otherwise 'slow my roll" as the hip hopper say}.

See this correction:

"I say this is with the hope that it may challenge people to be aware of the often subtle and hidden prejudices that still exist in the main stream media, and sometimes within themselves."

-snip-

Maybe I should have said "sometimes within ourselves". Though Lord knows [in the face of great provocation] I really am trying not to be prejudiced and trying to eradicate any prejudice that I have.

How an African American [or a non-African American] an live in the US of A and not ever be prejudiced I don't know. Given the poisonous mass media, education system etc etc IMHO, we all have some eradication work to do.


Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:52 PM

What conclusion do you think I'm drawing? I think you misunderstand the point I'm making. I'm not actually drawing any conclusion about the photographer or the ab]gencies. I was focussing on the different way that people can see the same image, and how it can reflect preconceoptions about "race".
..........................................

Though I'd question whether too many intelligent and honourable journalist - and there are plenty such - would automatically use the term "looting" to describe people taking food and essential supplies from abandoned shops in a disaster such as this. But that's another matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:54 PM

okay- I didn't practice what I preached.

Here's what I meant to write

"How an African American [or a non-African American] can live in the US of A and not ever be prejudiced I don't know. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 09:12 PM

Here is another view. An extract:

The Associated Press said its policy was clear. "When we see people go into businesses and come out with goods, we call it looting," said Santiago Lyon, AP's director of photography. "When we just see them carrying things down the road, we call it carrying items."

Lyon said the photographer who took Tuesday's photo, Dave Martin, had seen the man go into the store and take out the items.

As for the other photo, Getty said it stood by its caption and its photographer, Chris Graythen, who says the subjects of his photo were simply picking up items floating by in the dank waters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 09:18 PM

Jon, sorry but that explanation is pure deluxe Bull S***.

[I guess it's fitting. After all this is a BS thread.]

But this is far too serious. I mean less we forget these people were in a Category 4 hurricane with no support from the Red Cross, FEMA, etc etc.

The Black person who was described as looting wasn't carring a television set or jewlery. I've read that he was carrying a box of pampers or a boz of food-one or the other.

Looting? Please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 09:20 PM

The Black person who was described as looting wasn't carring a television set or jewlery

Nor was it suggested that he was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: ddw
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 09:38 PM

Sorry, McGrath, but I don't think you know the new-gathering process if you think the photographer doesn't have any control over the captions on his pictures. Every paper I ever worked for or know about considers it damned near a firing offence for a photog to come back without solid information about whatever he/she has taken shots of.

Editor try to put things in readable language, but they don't generally extrapolate off what they see to reflect their own prejudices and they certainly don't get to the professional level of a wire service or major newspaper without being pretty sensitive to the kind of thing Wolfgang et al are accusing them of ignoring.

I don't find it too much of a stretch to believe a photojournalist watched something happening and then reported it, do you?

ddw


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Sidewalk Bob
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 10:06 PM

Yeah, the Bush PR/Big Corpoarte Media have control of the story an' so what we are gettin' is nuthin' but Karl "Mad Scientist" Rove's view of what is happenin' in New Orleans...

You ever wonder why when the story breaks, it's Rove 'n his corporate bed-buddies who control the story??? Then we get the retraction on page A-17 when their lies are exposed???

Hey, I ain't sayin' that some TV's weren't stolen... TV's are stolen in every major city every friggin' night of the year... Like big whup... But Rove, knowin' that his "boy" (Bush) was in deep manure brillently decided that the reason that his "boy" was in deep manure was because of some kid in New Orleans who has grown up like an caged animal in a housing project stole a TV??????

Like, ahhhhhhy, what am I missin' here??? Yeah, it was Rove who played the "race card" and he played it real early!!!!

I can here the conversation now:

Rove to one of his ABC/NBC/FOX/CBS buddies: "Get me some pictures of some black kids taking TV's..."

This makes me sick!!! No, make that sicker than sick...

Bottom line, Bush screwed the heck up while intent on redisributin' wealth from the working and poor folks to his corporate bnuddies and has now been caught (again) and Karl Rove is pullion' every lever in the cab tryin' to get the train to slow down...

Here's hopin' that train got a mi9nd of it's own...

Time for the Bush/Cheney/Rove regime to go down...

Sidewalk Bob, alias Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 10:10 PM

Europe Readies Katrina Aid to Send to U.S.
September 05, 2005

BRUSSELS, Belgium - European nations on Monday prepared aid teams, food rations, water pumps and even cruise ships to help U.S. regions hit by Hurricane Katrina. Countries large and small have offered aid - from tiny Luxembourg's beds and blankets to half a million food rations from Germany and Britain. Greece put on standby two cruise ships to house refugees and Sweden has offered aircraft to help distribute aid shipments, said Barbara Helfferich, a European Union spokeswoman.

Helfferich said an EU aid coordinator would go to the United States soon to help ensure aid goes to victims of Katrina in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. U.S. authorities made a rare request for help from Europe over the weekend, asking for anything from diapers and baby formula to forklifts and veterinarian supplies.

Aid flights from overseas will be directed and to Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, unloaded there, and have the material sent to the affected regions to the south, said Air Force Lt. Jon Quinlan. "We've contracted semi-truck drivers to drive the cargo to the Gulf Coast starting tomorrow," Quinlan said. The first plane including food rations arrived Monday from Britain and was unloaded in preparation for the seven-hour drive to New Orleans.

"The United States has been enormously grateful for the outpouring of support both emotional and concrete from allies over the past week," said Victoria Nuland, the U.S. ambassador to NATO. NATO officials said the alliance was coordinating offers of food, shelter and other aid from several allies, including Germany, Canada and Norway which was offering navy divers as well as 10,000 blankets. Latvia and France were preparing to send disaster relief teams.

Non-NATO members were also working with the alliance disaster coordination center, including Switzerland and Russia, which has offered generators, tents and 10,000 meals.

Germany and Britain had already sent 570,000 emergency food rations over the weekend, while Luxembourg was preparing to send a team of five aid experts, two jeeps, and bedding. The Netherlands had deployed a naval frigate, which was transporting drinking water, medical supplies and much needed helicopters.

Many European countries have pledged to release parts of their strategic oil and gas reserves to stabilize global oil supplies. Bangladesh, an impoverished delta nation that is regularly buffeted by cyclones and floods, pledged $1 million and offered the services of rescuers and disaster experts.

A Mexican ship loaded with supplies set sail on Monday from the Gulf Coast port of Tampico, and the country has set up consular offices in trailers around the disaster zone to help some of the estimated 140,000 Mexicans who live in the region, 10,000 of them in New Orleans.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week no aid offer would be refused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 10:20 PM

There was a good segment on Aus TV last night - a reporter went among the (all black) population and the story went to great detail how the people taking items from wrecked shops were ignoring luxury food and just taking basics. He followed one guy who also took some chips and drinks as well (we have some kids here, he said) and followed him as he distributed most of it on his way home. Police cars waved to the guy as they drove past - but there was a white reporter team with him. The guy said the police weren't bothering most people trying to get food.

One elderly lady who said she used to be a night club singer was fearful of taking a bunch of limp flowers with her juice and bread - the reporter said they would die in a few days anyway so it would be all right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 10:48 PM

Sometimes, the word "found" serves as a poem in itself, telling you novels about attitudes:

"Today is the first day you will see a smile on some of the officers' faces," said NOPD Capt. Marlon Defillo, who was taking a break on the neutral ground of Loyola Avenue with Detective William Charbonnet. "This has been a tremendous challenge for members of the police department, but they've held their ground. They've given their hearts and souls."

[snip]

Defillo himself was feeling better after shaving for the first time in a week and taking an impromptu bath in the green, leafy water of a backyard swimming pool. He was wearing a clean pair of acid-washed jeans and a polo shirt that he "found."

[from the TImes-Picayune and nola.com]


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 10:54 PM

Strange - for a country that has been so anti-communistic - 'communally sharing property' seems to be be acceptable!


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 12:33 AM

Friends, It's the "New Okies"!!

"If you ain't got the dough-re-me, boys
If you ain't got the do-re-me,
You better go back to ..."------------the ghost of Woody

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 12:35 AM

Thank you for that story, Robin. That's the best thing about all of this I've read all day.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 01:19 AM

Hundreds of residents at the New Orleans' shelters relied on young teenage men -- commonly referred to by the media as looters -- to scavenge for food at grocery stores in the neighbourhoods surrounding the city's downtown core.

Some of the youths even commandeered New Orleans transit buses to transport people out of town.

"They are Robin Hoods, those boys. Write that down," said Qwentin Williams, 15.


The very end of a much longer story here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 02:24 AM

I was personally isickened by the racism demonstrated by NBC's Today. A short piece on people hoping to find loved ones in a shelter, alive, showed six individuals including two couples. They were all white. Later Matt Lauer commmented on a scene of black people grabbing desperately for water bottles; "It looks like a scene from Somalia".

Now of course the white people hoping for news of loved ones suffered as terribly as did black people hoping for news of loved ones but the report seemed to say that only whites were experiencing tragedy. The remark alluding to Somalia implied that the persons so desperately needing water were on the level of a third world country. Maybe that's not so far fetched but the comment was disrespectful.

I nominate for a presidential medal, the 19 year old black youngster who stole the school bus and helped people from his neighborhood evacuate New Orleans. He is a true hero.

Putting FEMA under Homeland Security was a bad idea. We LOST a city as surely as if a dirty bomb or a nuke had been set off. Less dead, maybe. Can you now see what we will have to face when THAT scenario happens?

The undercurrent of racism in America welled up as a shameful flood but it has always been there. To those of you who like to think in cliches; Mississippi, the "deep south", Louisiana, et al are no more racist than any other part of the country. We are ALL racists, and we need to STOP!


CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 11:00 AM

When you use the position as head of an agency as a plum for political payback for supporters and donors, you're going to end up with guys who used to run horse shows managing disaster agencies instead of experienced professionals in the field running things. No mention of 11 years in the horse thing in his FEMA bio, and I expect he didn't do that all of the time, though the rest of his experience doesn't look much better. But looking at the investigative reports out there like in the Boston Herald, this guys' days are numbered.

Too bad only he will take the fall, instead of the guy who put him there to begin with.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 10:28 AM

This smacks of lazy-ass stupid "police work" on many levels. What in hell were these guys thinking?

****


Judge Orders Release of Jailed Grandmother
September 16, 2005 7:21 AM EDT

KENNER, La. - A 73-year-old diabetic grandmother and church elder who fled Katrina's floodwaters for the safety of a hotel ended up in prison instead for more than two weeks - all over a bite of food. Police in this New Orleans suburb arrested Merlene Maten the day after the hurricane on charges she took $63.50 in goods from a looted deli. Though never before in trouble with the law, her bail was set at a stiff $50,000 and she was shipped away to a state penitentiary.

Family and eyewitnesses insist Maten's prison odyssey was unwarranted, claiming she only had gone to her car to get some sausage to eat when officers cuffed her in frustration, unable to catch younger looters at a nearby store.

Despite intervention from the nation's largest senior lobby, volunteer lawyers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and even a private attorney, the family fought a futile battle for 16 days to get her freed.

Then, hours after her plight was featured in an Associated Press story, a local judge on Thursday ordered Maten freed on her own recognizance, setting up a sweet reunion with her daughter, grandchildren and 80-year-old husband.

"I'm just gonna hug her and say 'Mom, I'm so sorry this had to happen,'" Maten's tearful daughter, Elois Short, told AP shortly after getting the news.

Prison officials planned to release Maten by this weekend. She must still face the looting charge at a court hearing in October. But the family, armed with several witnesses, intends to prove she was wrongly arrested outside the hotel.

"There were people looting, but she wasn't one of them. Instead of chasing after people who were running, they (police) grabbed the old lady who was walking," said Short, who works in traffic enforcement for neighboring New Orleans police.

Defense attorney Daniel Becnel, family members and witnesses said police snared Maten in the parking lot of a hotel after floodwaters swamped her New Orleans home. She had paid for her room with a credit card and followed authorities' instructions to pack extra food, they said.

She was retrieving a piece of sausage from the cooler in her car and planned to grill it so she and her husband, Alfred, could eat, according to her defenders. The parking lot was almost a block from the looted store, they said.

"That woman was never, never in that store," said Naisha Williams, 23, a New Orleans bank security guard who said she witnessed the episode and is distantly related to Maten. "If they want to take it to court, I'm willing to get on the stand and tell them the police is wrong. She is totally innocent."

Police Capt. Steve Carraway said Wednesday that Maten was arrested in the checkout area of a small store next to police headquarters.

The arrest report is short and assigns the value of goods Maten is alleged to have taken at $63.50. The items are not identified.

"When officers arrived, the arrestee was observed leaving the scene with items from the store. The store window doors were observed smashed out, where entry to the store was made," police reported.

Maten's husband was left at the hotel, until family members picked him up. He is too upset to be interviewed, the family said.

Christine Bishop, the owner of the Check In Check Out deli, said that she was angry that looters had damaged her store, but that she would not want anyone charged with a crime if the person had simply tried to get food to survive. "Especially not a 70-year-old woman," Bishop said.

Short, Maten's daughter, did not witness the incident. She said her mother has led a law-abiding life. She is a deaconess at the Resurrection Mission Baptist Church and won an award for her decades of service at a hospital, Short said.

"Why would someone loot when they had a car with a refrigerator and had paid with a credit card at the hotel?" asked Becnel, Maten's lawyer. "The circumstances defy the theory of looting."


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 12:03 PM

A bit late in responding to the inimitable Wolfgang, but better late than never--

No, I am not off the mark--I know exactly what you were doing--you looked at something that you really had no information about, and made a series of unfounded assumptions which led you to conclude that it was a glaring example of American racism, and you sanctimoniously pointed it out--

Bottom line is, lacking information, you made a sweeping judgement about the photos, based only your prejudice concerning America's racism-


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 07:36 PM

In fact you are way off the mark, M Ted. Have another look at what Wolfgang actually wtote, and you'll see he makes no assumptions whatsoever:

"Either there is an innocent interpretation and the writer of the captions knows more than can be seen in the pictures or there's a bit of everyday racism showing in the choice of words."


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 07:54 PM

"Either there is an innocent interpretation and the writer of the captions knows more than can be seen in the pictures or there's a bit of everyday racism showing in the choice of words."

McGrath, Wolfgang is German so maybe the usage differs but had that been written by an English person, I for one would say that statement, coupled with examples and placed in context was loaded one way.

It's not too disimilar to shambles saying "Our volunteer posters who may be well intenioned but..."

That said, wolfgang is generaly very rational so I suppose the benefit of the doubt should be given and I think he expalined in a later post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:16 PM

I think that is a perfectly straightforward statement, which says what it means and means what it says. Wolfgang uses language very carefully, and the rest of us could learn a lot from him in that way. (And I write that as someone who quite often finds myself disagreeing with him over specific issues.)

In any case I think the matter of whether the captions writers were being racist is not the nub of the matter. What I think is much more interesting is the question of how far people looking at those pictures would be likely interpret them in different ways, in the absence of any captions whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM

What I think is much more interesting is the question of how far people looking at those pictures would be likely interpret them in different ways, in the absence of any captions whatsoever.

Now you might have a point there. A sample of pople from different races, backgrounds, classes etc. asked to caption each could be interesting. As it stands, we do not know how more likely it would be on the evidence provided.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 09:15 PM

I think most North Americans would see the post by Wolfgang as loaded. People seeking to influence opinion often start off an argument in just that way; we not only suspect but know there is a hidden dagger. M Ted's reaction mirrored mine.

Wolfgang might be innocent of the intent assigned to him, but our culture conditions our interpretation of the language.
It is also true that criticism (and sometimes even a compliment) by people from outside the country is seldom taken gracefully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 12:45 PM

"...our culture conditions our interpretation of the language.

True enough of all cultures. And that includes the visual language of photographs.

It will be good when eventually racism is finally gone, and that will only have happened when people are no longer able to understand what it was all about. It hasn't happened yet by a long long way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 05:10 PM

I was open to an innocent interpretation, but I thought that the most likekly interpretation was thoughtlessness betraying a tiny bit of subconscious prejudice.

My focus was not, however, on the USA or on the white/black divide in particular. It was just one of many examples. Other instances:
We have a verb in German, if I translate it verbatim, it says 'to turk' and it means to cheat. I have used it all my life unthinkingly until a student told me I better shouldn't (we have a lot of students of Turkish descent).
Recently, a Mudcatter wanting to express his dislike of the leader of the British BNP called him "Herr Griffin". I guess he even didn't think for a second that German Mudcatters could find the use of the word 'Herr' to express extreme dislike of a person and/or to allude to right radical and fascist positions insulting.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 05:25 PM

To welsh on a debt

To gyp (meaning cheat)

Take French leave

Need some Dutch courage.

Our languages are full of them. Most of the time they are harmless enough, except where they feed into situations where there is genuine current prejudice or discrimination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 05:55 PM

"To gyp [someone]" also means to get ahead of someone in line without permission.

Needless to say this isn't a good thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 06:03 PM

See this excertpt of an online article on Negative connotations of the color Black :

In the Western world, black is most often used with a negative connotation. The reasons for this are various, but the most widely accepted explanations are that night is experienced by humans as negative and dangerous. A secondary reason is that stains are most visible as dark additions to pale materials. In traditional class-based cultures "pale" skin indicated genteel domestic or intellectual indoor-work as opposed to rough outdoor labor in the fields. Aspects of this black/white opposition are not unique to the West, as, for example in the Indian varna system. African and African-American writers such as Franz Fanon, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Ralph Ellison in particular identify a number of negative symbolisms surrounding the word "black", arguing that the good vs. bad dualism associated with white and black provide prejudiced connotations to color metaphors for race.

A "black day", in these cultures, would refer to a sad or tragic day. The Romans already marked fasti days with white stones and nefasti days with black.

e.g. the Black September in Jordan refers to a month in which thousands were killed.

Black Monday, stock crash of October 19, 1987

Black Tuesday is the day of the stock market crash in 1929 which is the start of the Great Depression.

Black Wednesday caused Britain to pull out of the ERM.

Black Thursday, date preceding the stock crash of October 29, 1929, forecasting the stock market crash and the Great Depression

Black Friday, various tragic events.

many poems and songs use the word black negatively (e.g. Paint it black (Rolling Stones), Baby's in black (Beatles), Black eyed dog (Nick Drake).

In these cultures, the color black is often used in painting, film, and literature to evoke a sense of the fear or to symbolize death. It has also been adopted a symbolic color of the Halloween festival.

In English heraldry, black means darkness, doubt, ignorance, and uncertainty. (The American Girls Handy Book, p. 370)

Black is often a color of mourning. Historically, widows and widowers were expected to wear black for a year after the death of their spouses.

Black comedy is a form of comedy dealing with morbid and serious topics.

Black magic is an evil form of magic, often connected with death.
In computer security, blackhat is an attacker with evil intentions.

A blacklist is a list of undesirable persons or entities.

Evil witches are sterotypically dressed in black and good fairies in white. Melodrama villains are dressed in black and heroines in white dresses. In many Hollywood Westerns, bad cowboys wear black hats while the good ones wear white. Funeral dress is black, wedding gowns are white.

The black-market is illegal.

Blackmail is illegal and is perceived as immoral.

The black sheep of the family is the ne'er-do-well.

The infamous "black hole of Calcutta."

To blackball them is to block them from being admitted.

Black thoughts are dark ones.

A black mood is a bad one (e.g. Winston Churchill's depression, which he called "my black dog").

A black cat usually means bad luck.

If you sink the black eight-ball in billiards, you lose. (The ball with which you sink all others is the white cue ball.)

A black mark against you is a bad thing.

A dark night is "black as hell".

A black-hearted person is mean and unloving.

Black propaganda is the use of known falsehoods, partial truths, or masquerades in propaganda to confuse an opponent.

****

As to the example " Black thoughts are dark ones. ", the author of this article may not have considered that he/she used "dark" as a negative.

However, that article does list some positive meanings of the color "black". Too bad most Black children aren't familiar with those positive meanings.

In 2005 you can still hear African American children hurl what they consider an insult to another African American by calling him or her "blackie".

All of this to saym that we've still got alot of work to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM

gyp- to get ahead of someone without permission- never heard that one before. Perhaps a new meaning popping up.
Not in Lighter, 1994, Vol. 1, Historical Dictionary of American Slang.

Also used in the British military and civil service to refer to an Egyptian or Egyptian practices (1889).
Applied to horsemen (or small stables), who follow a racing circuit, and are not in the big money (1930s). Not derogatory.

There are so many discriminatory words that it would take a book to list them all.

Wolfgang's "turk"- In American usage, "a young, dynamic person eager for change"- Webster's (often applied to a young politician on the rise). Not necessarily derogatory.
The English have several definitions (OED) but I don't know which are current.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 08:55 PM

Off topic:

Q,

"Gyp" [gipped] had that meaning [getting ahead of someone in line]when I was growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1950s. It may even predate that. Another word for gipping is 'bogarding' {I believe this is from Humphrey Bogart}.

I believe that the other definition for gyp-"being cheated out of something" was also used when I was growing up. And both of them are in current use in my adopted hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

Maybe this [usage]is a Black thing, but I rather doubt it is confined only to us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:21 PM

Hey, I ain't followed this thread since I'z been too busy movin' and stuff but I just checked it out and read Mizi Azizi's thread above about the way Anglo Saxon's have used langiage to put so much negativity on the word black...

I gotta a different take on it...

First of all, as an art major, black is not a color so when it comes to the color'eds, that would more likely apply to caucasions!!! White is a mixture of all the basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet... If you were to take these basic colrs and make a wheel with equal parts of each as slices like in a pie and spin it real fast guess what... It would turn white, 'er very close to it...

So to my white catters, how's it feel to discover that you is the colored folks???

Nevermind...

But lets take abother look at black and they way that Anglo Saxtons have messed it all up... Yeah, granted, they have done eveything in theior power to cover their guilt by attaching as much negative associations with it but lets just look at life fir a second...

Daylight is the time when most humans go out and get all stressed, fight wars, make stupid decisions and the night time is like a respite, where we take time to refresh our bodies...

Yeah, I love the darkness and the absence of color as much as the daylight and the stress and the color... Darkness isn't scarey....

No, quite the opposite... It represents a time of refreshment... A time of rejuvination... A time to let today's disappointments turn into yet another time of hope...


Sure, this may seem to be very threatenin' to lots og Anglo-Saxons because then they might have to face the reality atht "black" has gotten a bad rap and if so, why???

Tough questions here...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:36 PM

I imagine that the tendency to associate the word the word "black" with negative things would have come from the idea of light and darkness, with the latter being more threatening, since you can't see what is going on in the dark, and so forth. That would imply that the same kind of negative associations would be likely to occur in dark-skinned societies as in light-skinned ones, and I believe this is borne out in practice.

The use of "black" and "white" to refer to skin colours is really rather odd - it generally bears very little relationship to the actual skin colour of the people so termed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:42 PM

My dog is named Gyp a diminuative of Gypsy from the name of a dog in Charles Dickens' book "David Copperfield".


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 12:06 AM

Curious about black applied to skin color, entries in the OED indicate its use in this way as far back as 1225. The earliest reference cited to 'white man" is 1672.

Bobert correct since optically, black is really the total absence of color, but that ain't the way people other than scientists and occasionally artists have defined it. It has been called a color for practical purposes at least since Beowulf (870 approx.).

And black is the color of my true love's hair.

I remember that years ago, people used to call someone who is correct in their pronouncements or definitions, but the definitions are wrong according to common or folk wisdom and usage, an edjicated idjit. (I was called one many times before I learned not to argue commonly held beliefs).


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 06:47 AM

Come on Azizi, that's a bit one sided. You've pulled out alot of uses of the word 'black', and assumed the worst in all cases.

How about NON RACIAL meanings?

A lack of light, ie darkness or blackness has long invoked fear and uncertainly, as you can't see what's out there.

Also you state the Romans used black as a negative colour. Given the huge influence classical civilistaion had on the West, you really do need some specfic reason to suspect Black being used negativly has some racial connection.

I've pulled out alot of the ones that I know or suspect roots for other than the two above.

Bunnahabhain

A "black day", in these cultures, would refer to a sad or tragic day. The Romans already marked fasti days with white stones and nefasti days with black.

e.g. the Black September in Jordan refers to a month in which thousands were killed.

Black Monday, stock crash of October 19, 1987

Black Tuesday is the day of the stock market crash in 1929 which is the start of the Great Depression.

Black Wednesday caused Britain to pull out of the ERM.

Black Thursday, date preceding the stock crash of October 29, 1929, forecasting the stock market crash and the Great Depression

Black Friday, various tragic events.

many poems and songs use the word black negatively (e.g. Paint it black (Rolling Stones), Baby's in black (Beatles), Black eyed dog (Nick Drake).

In these cultures, the color black is often used in painting, film, and literature to evoke a sense of the fear or to symbolize death. It has also been adopted a symbolic color of the Halloween festival.


In English heraldry, black means darkness, doubt, ignorance, and uncertainty. (The American Girls Handy Book, p. 370)
Black meaning darkness. And this is racism?

Black is often a color of mourning. Historically, widows and widowers were expected to wear black for a year after the death of their spouses.

Black comedy is a form of comedy dealing with morbid and serious topics.

Black magic is an evil form of magic, often connected with death.

A blacklist is a list of undesirable persons or entities.

Evil witches are sterotypically dressed in black and good fairies in white. Melodrama villains are dressed in black and heroines in white dresses. In many Hollywood Westerns, bad cowboys wear black hats while the good ones wear white.
Exacly as you say, stereotypes.

In computer security, blackhat is an attacker with evil intentions.
see above for origins

Funeral dress is black, wedding gowns are white.
That's the white for viginity. Male wedding outfits are mainly black. Or does that imply the husband-to-be should go into mourning for something?

The black-market is illegal.
It happems out of sight of the authorities and general population, ie in the dark, or black.

Blackmail is illegal and is perceived as immoral.
As for black market. And surely you're not saying blackmail is a moral or desirable thing?
The black sheep of the family is the ne'er-do-well.
Probably from the fact that most sheep are white, so the black sheep is the odd one out, which is what you want the troublemaker in the family to be.

The infamous "black hole of Calcutta."
It was very dark, and a hole. Hence black hole.

To blackball them is to block them from being admitted.

Black thoughts are dark ones.

A black mood is a bad one (e.g. Winston Churchill's depression, which he called "my black dog").

A black cat usually means bad luck.
Or good luck. It's powerful, that's all.

If you sink the black eight-ball in billiards, you lose. (The ball with which you sink all others is the white cue ball.)
In Pool, you must sink the black ball to win, and in Snooker, the black is the most valuable ball. Or is sinking the black ball also a negative comment? Best not have a black ball at all to avoid this problem. Now you're discriminating against black....

A black mark against you is a bad thing.

A dark night is "black as Hell".
There are plenty of biblical refernces to Hell as a 'pit of darkness' and such like. So a dark night is as dark as the pit of darkness. Hmmm.

A black-hearted person is mean and unloving.

Black propaganda is the use of known falsehoods, partial truths, or masquerades in propaganda to confuse an opponent.

****

As to the example " Black thoughts are dark ones. ", the author of this article may not have considered that he/she used "dark" as a negative.

However, that article does list some positive meanings of the color "black". Too bad most Black children aren't familiar with those positive meanings.

In 2005 you can still hear African American children hurl what they consider an insult to another African American by calling him or her "blackie".

All of this to saym that we've still got alot of work to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 10:35 AM

Here's a link to a dailykos diary & comments on the perception of race in the United States:

Perceptions are Reality [by Delaware Dem Tue Sep 20th, 2005]

And here are some excerpts from that diary:

"According to the NBC/Journal poll conducted from Sept. 9-12, only 37 percent agree with the statement that the Bush administration would have acted with greater urgency had the affected areas been mostly white suburban communities. But there is a huge discrepancy by race here: Seventy percent of African Americans agree with the statement, while 67 percent of whites disagree.

Whether the Administration really would've responded quicker to white folks trapped in their attics and on their roofs for three days is irrelevant, (though you can count me in the 30% of whiteys who think the 82nd Airborne would have been deployed to evacuate Tallahassee and all the rich white Republican folks there if the situations were reversed) it is the perception that matters here. And that perception, like a bad first kiss on a bad first date, can never been reconciled. Seven out of ten black folks surveyed think Bush partied down with a country music singer and ate birthday cake while their brothers and sisters drowned. Oh wait, he did. Yes, sometimes perception can be based on reality....

Yes, class has something to do with Katrina, but race and class are inextricably linked in America, as even President Bush now admits. It sucks to be poor, regardless of race, but being black in this country adds even more hurdles for someone who is also poor. As Chris Rock opined, "It's haaaard to be black in America. Ain't no white man in this room wants to trade places with me... and I'm rich!"...

Rather than argue about whether the racism exists and at what level, understand that the perception is the reality. When 70% of black folks agree with Kanye West when he said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and 67% of white people can't figure out why he said it, then we have us a serious problem.

At the same time, we cannot force racial tolerance and undestanding. I believe that most people, black and white, are not consciously racist. But we've been conditioned by living in a racist culture, and we often don't realize the subtle racism we exhibit. I believe that this kind of subconscious racism will die off with the older generations...

But then again, racism is learned. If you are an overt racist, chances are your child will be too...   

So how do we as a society bridge this racial gap in perception?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 11:24 AM

Anyone trying to present this list of blackness as a meaningful argument would be laughed off the stage in a serious debate. It is a commingling of religious, cultural, media, and idiomatic expressions that no one could ever take seriously. This is not to say that all of those selections are wrong, but it's a mishmash of terms and origins and many of them have acquired new meaning over time.

I sat at a conference a few years back in which an ill-advised undergraduate presented a passionate litany of all of the cultural slurs against American Indians. (Undergrads usually don't have the critical thinking skills established yet to construct the complex arguments needed for these conferences.) She was the voice in the wilderness defending these poor childlike creatures, and she assembled such a list as appears here in this thread. When one of the senior members of the group, president of the organization and noted American Indian lit scholar, in fact suggested that she dig deeper, that terms like "red handed" were not slurs that emanated from anti-Indian bigotry, miss-know-it-all responded "you're entitled to your opinion." The moderator had her off the stage in 10 seconds flat. The point was, she meant well but didn't have a clue as to the origins of all of the terms she accumulated or how to apply her argument.

One has to research a list like that if one wants that argument to amount to anything. Here is a Google search on sites that offer etymological information if anyone wants to start that search now.

As to the earlier term "gyp," that one is a cultural slur aimed at Gypsies. While much improved, they still have a reputation for sly acts and deception, as you will find in earlier Mudcat discussions like this one on Traveller Discrimination in the USA. It is one of several you'll find if you search on "Traveller." While one doesn't often hear the term "Jew" often referred to when implying shrewd bargaining, many don't seem to recognize the significance of "gyp."

(BTW: red-handed, according to one etymological site, suggests "1819, earlier red-hand (1432), originally in Scottish legal writing, from red (1) + hand, presumably from the image of a murderer caught in the act, with blood on the hands." link Another one suggests "Caught Red Handed: In medieval times, animal rustlers who killed someone else's livestock were sometimes clumsy enough not to clean the blood off their fingers. Hence, they were caught "red handed". link)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the expressions from English, McGrath. All but one new to me.

It is possible to find bad meanings associated with 'white' (whitewash, white death) and good ones associated with 'black' (most examples I have in mind come from German: our conservatives for instance proudly call themselves 'blacks'; 'black gold' could be an English example), but on the balance of it Azizi is right.

The words black and white are used differently in different sciences. What Bobert from the point of view of an art major has said about the black/white difference is quite likely correct in that context but would be the wrong response in psychology of perception. And that the sun is a 'black' body would not count as a correct statement outside of physics.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST, heric
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 01:04 PM

The pictures which started this controversy have been removed from yahoo at the request of the copyright holder. http://news.yahoo.com/page/photostatement.

(The only meaning for bogard that I have ever known is to slobber all over a roach.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 01:08 PM

With regard to the cultural meanings of the word "black" in the United States, I stand by my position that this word is loaded with more negative connotations than positive. I also still very much believe that the positive cultural connotations for the color white and the negative connotations for the "color" black can have profound pychological effects for Black people and for White people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 01:26 PM

Bunnahabhain,

FYI, the list I excerpted in my 18 Sep 05 - 06:03 PM post to this thread was not composed by me. It is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Note this sentence from that article "In the Western world, black is most often used with a negative connotation"...

-snip-

"most often" does not mean always. If you read my post you will not that I did write "However, that article does list some positive meanings of the color "black".

-snip-

I then commented that it is "Too bad most Black children aren't familiar with those positive meanings."

-snip-

I'm sure that the article could have cited examples when the colors black and white are used in non-racial ways. However, part of my life work is to help raise the self-esteem and group esteem of children who still think 'blackie' is one of the worst insults that they could possibly receive. I used to feel that way too.

So pardon me if I don't have the time or patience or inclination to talk abstractly about the cultural meaning of "black".

I live what I talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 01:51 PM

So pardon me if I don't have the time or patience or inclination to talk abstractly about the cultural meaning of "black".

But you do have the time to find articles, and do a long cut and paste, of only one side of it.

I'm always dissapointed when people with a valid point carry it too far. The point gets lost in the 'inflation'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 04:48 PM

"Wooly" thinking is thinking with a head packed full of what we USers call cotton (as in cotton balls,) and which is called, elsewhere in the world, "cotton wool" because the cotton is spun like freshly cleaned sheeps' wool which is spun and carded into roving to be spun into thread or yarn. It's got NOTHING to do with wooly hair on PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:29 PM

I don't know about the Sttes, but elsewhere I'd think the negative connotations of "black" come from light and darkness and so forth, and that can carry over to ybnderpin prejuduce about shades of skin, rather than the other way round with negative attitudes towards "black" arising from prejudice against black people.

And the same goes for "red", starting with blood and arising out of that there being an impact on how people can think about red-hair or "red" skin. (Though the only people around who in fact do have genuinely red skins are people of Northern European ancestry who've been out in the sun.)
.................................
The kinds of differences in assumptions Azizi mentioned that Americans appear to make along "racial" lines are disturbing, They echo the difference in political judgements, as demonstrated in the way that the Republicans have vanishingly little support among black Americans, and no doubt most of even that will have vanished in the wake of New Orleans. That kind of breakdown is profoundly worrying in any society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:31 PM

I don't know about the States, but elsewhere I'd think the negative connotations of "black" come from light and darkness and so forth, and that can carry over to underpin prejudice about shades of skin, rather than the other way round with negative attitudes towards "black" arising from prejudice against black people.

And the same goes for "red", starting with blood and arising out of that there being an impact on how people can think about red-hair or "red" skin. (Though the only people around who in fact do have genuinely red skins are people of Northern European ancestry who've been out in the sun.)
.................................
The kinds of differences in assumptions Azizi mentioned that Americans appear to make along "racial" lines are disturbing, They echo the difference in political judgements, as demonstrated in the way that the Republicans have vanishingly little support among black Americans, and no doubt most of even that will have vanished in the wake of New Orleans. That kind of breakdown is profoundly worrying in any society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:38 PM

I wonder where 'Bunnahabhain' lives. Azizi knows whereof she speaks, to use the cliché, when she is speaking of the word with regard to the intepretation held by African-Americans. "I live what I talk" - says it succinctly.

I enjoy tracing word origins, a hobby with me, but I hope that sometimes, at least, I think of the effect a word has on people rather than the etymology, usage in literature, etc. The list by B... is interesting, but is valueless with respect to conditioned responses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:50 PM

I was but a young teen when the "colored" became "black". Maybe you all can clear something up for me...

Whose idea was it to make "Black" the respectful term by which people of color would be referred? Was it the black leaders of the day, or was it the whites?

...and how are African-Americans referred to in the UK? I mean, if a man of color was found dead, how would he be described?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 07:05 PM

It'd depend - if he appeared to be of Indian origin he'd likely be described as "Asian" or "Indian", irrespective what shade his skin was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 07:30 PM

John Hardly,

We {African Americans} have experimented with numerous group names among them being "African", "Negro", "Colored"; "Colored People", "Afro-American", "Black", and "African American" [with or without a hypen}. Because the referent "African American" refers to a geograhical location just as most other hyphenated ethnic names {such as "Italian-American" and "Irish American"}, since at least the late 1970s that has been the preferred formal group name for Black Americans. However, "Black" {I prefer the capitol letter spelling} is also acceptable, particularly as an informal referent. Note that the politically correct usage is "Black people", and not "the Blacks".

****

Here's an interesting article on group referents:

Name Games: Attempting to Define "African-American"

And here's an excerpt from that article:

Name Games
The folly in the attempts to define "African-American."
By Richard Thompson Ford
Posted Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at 3:21 AM PT


Among the many indignities racial minorities must endure are the perennial debates over the meaning of racial identity. Are the people formerly known as "Negroes" or "colored people" to be called people of color, black, Afro-American, or African-American? Are people of Mexican and Central-American ancestry Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, or Latin-American? Is it still OK to call people "Oriental," or is that a term best limited to rugs and geographic locations? More urgent than the nomenclature itself are the questions about who "counts" as a member of these groups, with their ever-increasing string of aliases.

A recent version of this controversy involves immigrants from Africa or the Caribbean and whether they are "African-Americans." Harvard professors have publicly worried that over half of Harvard's "black" students did not descend from American slaves but are, rather, immigrants or the children of immigrants from Africa or the Caribbean. Though it started off on the right track, this debate predictably became as much about the "identity" of these immigrants as the direction of Harvard's admissions policies.

Meanwhile Republican Alan Keyes complained that the Democratic Party's rising star, Barack Obama—the son of a Kenyan immigrant—"[wrongly] claims an African-American heritage." In reaction to which UC-Berkeley linguist John McWhorter quite reasonably pointed out that immigrants from, well, Africa, who are now residents of the United States of America, have a stronger claim to the term "African-American" than most American blacks, whose connection to Africa is generations old. Others worried that defining "African-American" as rooted in geographic origin seems to suggest that Teresa Heinz Kerry, born in Mozambique, and Charlize Theron, born in South Africa, are "African-American."

The nation anxiously awaits the answers to these urgent social questions.

It shouldn't. Arguments about the correct definition of racial identity are this century's version of medieval scholastic theologians' debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They seem to be of vital moral and spiritual importance, involving many contested terms, conceptual puzzles, and facts not in evidence. They're a great way for smart people to pass the time until the bartender pours the next round. But there's no way to resolve these questions or even to agree on common grounds for debating them.... "

****

IMO, the entire article is worth the read for those interested in this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 07:48 PM

"People of color" is a referent that is used quite a bit {I think} more often by Afro-centric African Americans than those who are not as interested in learning about traditional African cultures
{which is how I'm using the term "Afro-centric"}.

But"people of color" is a wider term than "Colored people" as it includes all people other than White people.

And "of course", "Colored people" is not the same as the South African racial group "Coloured People" {though most African Americans/Black Americans/Colored people are racially mixed as are the South African Coloured People.

Complicated? You betcha.

Can we all get along?

I hope so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 08:10 PM

My friend (and banjo player in my trio) was doing his doctoral research in Africa. While living there he applied for a driver's license.

He came to the part of the application that referred to "color". Uncertain, he looked to his left and right at two dark-skinned men who stood there filling out similar forms and noticed that one had put down "yellow" while the other had marked "red".

Further puzzled, being American, and therefore assuming that by "color" they were referring to "race", but seeing two blacks fill in red and yellow instead, he went to the desk and asked the clerk what he was supposed to put in this blank.

The clerk looked at him for a second or two and then called over his supervisor. The supervisor asked my friend to show him the undersides of his arms and, when my friend did, said, "white, very".

Seems that what was necessary for the purposes of identification was description, not affiliation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 08:17 PM

SRS said, "Undergrads usually don't have the critical thinking skills established yet to construct the complex arguments needed for these conferences."

Huh???

Critical thinking skills may be in the process of developing in an individual at any age, regardless of their level of schooling.

If you don't agree with the list of "black expressions" or their origins, perhaps you should state which expressions you disagree with.

Personally, I think Azizi probably has a better take on this than you. As has been mentioned previously, it is how the expression is perceived (rather than the origin) that actually matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 08:27 PM

That's a good story, John.

I'm not familiar at all with color consciousness in the nation of South Africa. I'm wondering if those men in your friend's story wrote those colors down just to 'mess with' the test.

I recall reading as a young adult that different members of
[what African Americans would call] Black families could be designated differently depending on the individuals' skin color. For instance, a light skinned child in a Black family might be designated as a Coloured [and-at one time anyway]receive a better education and more priviledges because of that designation.

I also remember reading that there was a pencil test that was done on hair that would determine whether a person from the Union of South Africa was Coloured or Black. It's been quite a while since I read this ,but it was something like if the hair was so tightly curly that a pencil could be put in the hair, then the individual was designated "Black". But if the hair was less curly or straight and the pencil couldn't remain in the hair, then the person was designated "Coloured".

Does anyone know if this 'pencil test' was or is true?

And haven't we moved far afield from the original purpose of this thread? Well, maybe not...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 01:11 AM

If you don't agree with the list of "black expressions" or their origins, perhaps you should state which expressions you disagree with.


Dianavan, I'm frankly not interested in adding more fuel to this fire. The lists presented so far are compiled with no eye to anyone actually researching them and I find it pointless to argue about the contents of such lists.

SRS said, "Undergrads usually don't have the critical thinking skills established yet to construct the complex arguments needed for these conferences.."

Huh???


I think instead of my not knowing what I'm talking about, you aren't acquainted with the rigours of academia and what has to go into putting together a paper for a scholarly conference. Undergrads rarely have the stamina for such work, since they are rarely required to write papers with the depth (sophistication of topic and number of sources) and length (minimum 20 pages) required. The young woman in question had been egged on, perhaps perversely, by someone at her university. Someone should have vetted her paper first, but it went in unchallenged as part of a panel, or it would never have been accepted. This woman had not developed the self-knowledged to realize that she had a lot to learn. She was in over her head, drawing generalizations based on her ability to pull together a list, not to understand the contents.

Critical thinking skills may be in the process of developing in an individual at any age, regardless of their level of schooling.

They hopefully evolve at any age, but in America today I see a distressingly small attempt at teaching school children these skills. In undergraduate work, unless students are in very competitive programs or Honors programs, few are called upon to work that hard. She wasn't one of the few. And when I look at the outcome of the last election, I know that critical thinking skills were never taught to millions of Americans.

Personally, I think Azizi probably has a better take on this than you. As has been mentioned previously, it is how the expression is perceived (rather than the origin) that actually matters.

Sorry, you're wrong. We have different views of the topic, which is allowed in any logical debate. It's too over-simplified to suggest that someone's race automatically makes them an expert in all aspects of things affecting that race. That's not really what you're suggesting, is it? Experience and thoughtful consideration and attention to detail all come into play.

Of course origin matters. It matters as much as the reception. It's understanding that different groups bring different sets of meanings to the same words that goes into the Semiotics which are at the heart of this argument.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 01:43 AM

SRS - "It's too over-simplified to suggest that someone's race automatically makes them an expert in all aspects of things affecting that race. That's not really what you're suggesting, is it?"

Yes and no - but I do think that the intent of a "black" phrase when perceived by a "Black" person can be understood on an emotional level much faster than a white person can decode it. I also believe that African Americans have understood signifiers and embedded those signifiers in their language long before signifiers were studied by graduate students.

Of course language changes but regardless of those changes, the impact of the language remains. Black is black, regardless of how language evolves.

On the subject of critical thinking skills in America we agree.

BTW - I am fully acquainted with the rigours of academia but life experience has taught me that the ivory tower has little to do with cultural literacy and that, in fact, most graduate students fall flat on their face when expressing their ethno centric viewpoint to a multi-cultural audience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 01:43 AM

Azizi, Hispanic on the U. S. Census does not indicate race, which may be White, Black, American Indian or Polkadot. This confuses a lot of people. They add white, etc., and then add Hispanic and arrive at a figure greater than the total.

Of course these figures are not the whole banana......


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 06:08 AM

I've never understood this "Hispanic" category Americans go in for. Is it linguistic or "racial"? Who is it supposed to include and exclude? Spaniards? Brazilians? Filipinos?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 06:57 AM

Brown is the new black.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 06:57 AM

200.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 07:38 AM

"Brown is the new black" sounds good but actually, when it comes to African American skin complexions, since at least the mid 17th century we have been black [deep to somewhat}, brown {in all its shades including light to dark reddish brown}, "light bright, and damn near white" {to quote a widely known Black saying}, and white itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 07:47 AM

With regard to the Hispanic {Latino/Latina} category, yes Q, I am aware that this is an ethnic and not a racial category.

See this excerpt for one online opinion regarding the terms "Hispanic" & "Latino":

Though often used interchangeably in American English, Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. Hispanic, from the Latin word for "Spain," has the broader reference, potentially encompassing all Spanish-speaking peoples in both hemispheres and emphasizing the common denominator of language among communities that sometimes have little else in common. Latino—which in Spanish means "Latin" but which as an English word is probably a shortening of the Spanish word latinoamericano—refers more exclusively to persons or communities of Latin American origin. Of the two, only Hispanic can be used in referring to Spain and its history and culture; a native of Spain residing in the United States is a Hispanic, not a Latino, and one cannot substitute Latino in the phrase the Hispanic influence on native Mexican cultures without garbling the meaning. In practice, however, this distinction is of little significance when referring to residents of the United States, most of whom are of Latin American origin and can theoretically be called by either word.•A more important distinction concerns the sociopolitical rift that has opened between Latino and Hispanic in American usage. For a certain segment of the Spanish-speaking population, Latino is a term of ethnic pride and Hispanic a label that borders on the offensive. According to this view, Hispanic lacks the authenticity and cultural resonance of Latino, with its Spanish sound and its ability to show the feminine form Latina when used of women. Furthermore, Hispanic—the term used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies—is said to bear the stamp of an Anglo establishment far removed from the concerns of the Spanish-speaking community. While these views are strongly held by some, they are by no means universal, and the division in usage seems as related to geography as it is to politics, with Latino widely preferred in California and Hispanic the more usual term in Florida and Texas. Even in these regions, however, usage is often mixed, and it is not uncommon to find both terms used by the same writer or speaker. See Usage Notes at "Chicano".

For more click Meaning of "Hispanic"


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:13 AM

In his book "Everything You Need To Know About Latino History'
{New York, Penquin Group, 2003 edition, pages 2-4}, Himilce Novas
discusses the group names "Latino" and "Hispanic".

Here are excerpts from that book:

"Hispanic" is derived from Espana, the country thaled the conquest..of the new world. But Hispanics are more than just decendants of the New World Spanish conquistadors and settlers. ..the Spanish encountered many different native peoples, known generally as Amerindians, in the Americas, and to a large extent, they intermarried, and interbred with those they conquered. Add to that all the peoples whom the Spanish eventually brought from Africa to the Americas as slaves {and with whom they also mixed} and you get the whole enchilada known as Spanish speaking Latin America...

Dor the sake of clarity, Spanish Latin America is comprised of Cuba, Puerto Rico {which is a U.S. Commonwealth and not a soverigh nation}, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Veesuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uraguay, and Paraguay. All citizens and residents of the United States who originate from these nations or from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or whose ancestors did, are known as Hispanics, The U.S. Census also includes Spanish Americans, those whose forbears came directly from Spain, amon Hispanics, but many scholars limit the definition to those of Spanish Latin American descent...

In Spanish -speaking Latin American, people do not refer to themselves as Hispanic...National identity takes precedence...
Many Americans with roots in Spanish Latin Ameica consider "Hispanic" merely a bureaucratic government census term and prefer the pan-ethnic term "Latino" or "Latina" {depending on gender}. However, "Latino" has not been popular across the board".

-snip-

I should note that Novas appears to prefer the term "Latino" as he uses it as the group referent for this diverse population throughout his book.

Incidently, Novas also writes that Brazilians are not Hispanic since Brazil is a South American country that was conquered by the Portuguese and not the Spanish. But Novas writes that "While Brizilian Americans are of Portugues, not Spanish ancestry, and therefore do not qualify as Latinos, many consider themselves part of a larger pan-Latin American diaspora and have forged close ties with the Latino community" {p.4, op.cit}.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Azizi
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:22 AM

Corrections "For the sake of clarity..."

also "But Novas writes that "While Brazilian Americans are of Portuguese, not Spanish ancestry, and therefore do not qualify as Latinos, many consider themselves part of a larger pan-Latin American diaspora and have forged close ties with the Latino community".

And there may be more corrections-"my bad"

["my bad"-1970s or so African American hip-hop"-ese meaning "I'm sorry. Please accept my apology"].


And btw, Dianavan, "Go'n with your bad self!" ["bad" here meaning very good].

;o)


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:25 AM

"I've never understood this "Hispanic" category Americans go in for. Is it linguistic or "racial"? Who is it supposed to include and exclude? Spaniards? Brazilians? Filipinos?"

You'd have to understand that, unlike other countries, In the US there is a political and economic advantage to be had by having a minority designation. Therefore, if you can make yourself part of a minority, you can get your piece of the minority pie.

I am officially designated a Potter-American. Sure, we're a minority now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:29 AM

When I was last in any form of education, the tutors used 2 boards. One was coloured black (and historically called a blackboard until PC came in) and was described in class as a chalkboard. The other was white and oddly enough, rather than being called a pen board (after all this one used pens and the other used chalk) was called a white board.

I've just realised that indicates unfair discrimination against black. I mean you can call a useful teaching device that is coloured white as white but you can't call a useful teaching device that is coloured black, black.

My point is, if you want to invent cases to prove discrimination, you can do. I find it makes a mockery of genuine cases though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:31 AM

Incidentally, there was a failed piece of legislation (introduced for voting on) in California -- the ultimate "color blind" legislation -- that would make it illegal to ask for race, ethnicity, or religion on any kind of application used by the State of California.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 01:09 PM

Azizi, I do not accept material from Wackipedia, which lacks scholarship. "User-contributed," without proper documentation and attribution, only leads to confusion and misunderstanding since it usually reflects the personal opinion of the contributor.

In U. S. census, Portuguese and Brasilians are counted (mostly?) as 'Other' in compilations, but are enumerated separately on the original census form.
Spaniards, a small minority, are counted separately on the original census form. In compilations, they often are grouped as 'other.'
When the separate entries are compiled in statistical treatment, these are the categories used (2004, but last official census 2000):

1. White resident population, by State and Hispanic origin.
2. Black or African-American resident population, by State and Hispanic origin.
3. American Indian or Alaskan native population, by state and Hispanic origin.
4. Asian resident population, by state and Hispanic origin.
5. Resident population, by state and Hispanic origin.
(Many forms also have the category for Hawaiian native population, by state and Hispanic origin.
Categories are from the National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics (U. S. Federal Government).

See the Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (1996 Tenth Ed,) definition of "Hispanic" for American usage.
Hispanic- "of, relating to, or being a person of Latin American descent living in the U. S.; esp.: one of Cuban, Mexican or Puerto Rican origin." Note that 'Spaniard' is not mentioned. "Latino" in the Dictionary has the same meaning, but also may be applied to any "native inhabitant of Latin America."
Race is not a part of the definition of either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 02:09 PM

Jon, in the US 'black board' went from black to green before it went to white.

Azizi, I have no doubt that you are more sensitized to coded language than I am but there are some phrases and images that I consider positive beyond dispute:

Black hair= raven's wing
Black velvety sky
Black cat = wise, knowing

And lots more, actually.


"Historically, widows and widowers were expected to wear black for a year after the death of their spouses." Azizi post

What about white? In some countries and cultures white is the color of mourning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 06:47 PM

BTW - I am fully acquainted with the rigours of academia but life experience has taught me that the ivory tower has little to do with cultural literacy and that, in fact, most graduate students fall flat on their face when expressing their ethno centric viewpoint to a multi-cultural audience.

I expected some sort of dismissive response. I wasn't disappointed in that, but I think you're wrong in this also. I'd say that you're grossly over-generalizing. Most people with advanced degrees manage to escape the gravity field of that Ivory Tower and do good work and understand the real world around them. And there are talented professors in many fine institutions who turn out great thinkers.

Perhaps you're confusing those people with a conspicuous group that never seems to break free of the university and who fall under the heading of "those who can, do, those who can't, teach." I have run into some of them over the years. They are very good at navel-gazing in closed circuit environments of school and scholarly conferences. Theory for theory's sake. They publish papers on topics that don't lead anywhere, and always come back to the same research again and again. They tend to fizzle out and drift into other jobs. Don't dismiss education or scholarship because some people don't get it and can't figure out how to apply what they've learned.

People who read the journals, take the good ideas, and move out into the world to work and teach and think make a difference. To suggest that one group, by virtue of their education or skin color, lacks understanding while another group, because of their education or skin color, possess total understanding is a gross simplification of how the world works. We all simply understand different things, and ours is a world in which little has been done to bridge that gap. Until you see evidence in an individual of a stubborn unwillingness to think or consider viewing the world from a position other than the center in which they've placed themselves, no one should be dismissed out of hand.

And before you wade into another aspect of this, I will note that the mudcatters I am most likely to tangle with are the ones who wade into perfectly good discussions and start flashing around faulty sources, ill-considered topics, fuzzy logic, and/or try to blast their opponents out of the argument by name calling, innuendo, and just plain nastiness to distract from their lack of knowledge or material to continue the discussion. Some people just drop out when they reach that point, others keep on slugging.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 07:39 PM

All these neat, even obsessive, classifications - and then people spoil the neatness by falling in love with somebody from another classifications.

I used to have a colleague who came fromm Ireland, and had met her husband when she was working in Gibraltar, where he'd been born, from a Portuguese Indian (Goan) family. Their children were entitled to passports of at least four countries. I remember her trying to work out how the family were supposed to fill in the ethnic origin question on the national census form.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 08:16 PM

The distinguished actor Ossie Davis wrote an essay about 35 years called "The English Language is My Enemy." It's been reprinted in freshman anthologies. In it, Davis listed a lot of expressions carrying various degrees of negativity involving the word "black." "Blackmail" for example, or "the Black Death."

On that basis he concluded that English itself was loaded against African Americans.

The missing element is there's no proof, or even evidence, that   people of any color connect these terms with African Americans unless invited to. And there's no evidence, even if they did, that it would have any significant effect on their attitudes toward (or as) black people.

I used this essay for class discussion many times. I don't recall a single freshman questioning its conclusion on his or her own. Most seemed to take it as a revelation of an indisputable truth they never would have thought of themselves. The essay's argument made some uncomfortable, but they couldn't quite put their suspicions into words. The students were disproportionately white, BTW.

In any discussion it takes a little bit of learning and sophistication just to ask the basic questions, "What's the evidence ?" and "How believable is it ?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 09:52 PM

Its very hard to prove feelings. They are highly subjective.

Whether its believable is also highly subjective.

SRS - I am not objecting to higher education. Far from it. I object to your intellectual elitism. Undergraduates may or may not have critical thinking skills. Your statement says more about you than it does about them.

BTW - My father taught me early on when completing forms that ask for your religion, the answer is; none of your God damned business. The correct answer for ethnic origin (in my case) is American hybrid. Once again, if you continue to allow intrusion, the initial intrusion becomes justification for more intrusive behaviour. Don't participate in that type of questioning.

Thanks Azizi for claiming I'm so bad. I'm really just naughty and full of spunk. Learned it from Zora Neale Hurston.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 10:59 PM

Dianavan, your "American hybrid" is unacceptable on census forms of the U. S., UK AND Canada.
The UK and Canadian forms go heavily into religion, and race- Muslim, Hindu, Christian, etc. - I just checked, and was surprised. Of course you can fit into the 'other' or 'none' categories. Just don't commit a perjurable offence (He, he, he).

Canada Census figures are complex: Look at the "Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada, 2001 Census." The principal categories are:
Total visible minorities
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipino

Ethnic origins (a long section on the Canadian Census) range from Canadian (12 mil), English 6 million, French 5 million, Scottish 4 million down to 16000 Algerians and 15000 Bulgarians. Provincial figures include 340 Quebecois in the province of Alberta (I didn't check for separatists in British Columbia).
Then there are the half-breeds, the Metis, included among the 800,000 aboriginals, counted separately, along with First Nations, etc., etc.
Population by Religion
Catholic 13 million
Protestant 9 million
Christian Orthodox 0.5 million
Muslim 0.6 million
etc. and
4.9 million with no religious affiliation.

Just remember, it is an offence to make false statements on the Census form.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 11:03 PM

SRS - I am not objecting to higher education. Far from it. I object to your intellectual elitism. Undergraduates may or may not have critical thinking skills. Your statement says more about you than it does about them.

My statement shows that I have experience with undergraduates, it has nothing to do with "intellectual elitism." It shows that I work in a university and I am very familiar with undergraduate critical thinking skills, or the lack of them. On a case by case basis, you are going to find a lot of variables in the skills of each student, that goes without saying. Those who "get it" are most likely the ones who will choose to go on to graduate school. Those who get in still have to get through some core courses that are intended to weed out the ones who don't have critical thinking skills. That vetting happens in graduate school because it's a different level of work entirely.

Personally, I find your dismissal of intellectual pursuits and goals as off-putting as the political climate in the U.S. in which intelligence seems to actually work against good candidates. Go figure. Someone smart enough to make things in government work right and build coalitions and they're passed over for a doofus like Dubya.

In American Indian literature there has been an ongoing discussion for many years regarding the use of English by native writers. If they write in their own language the story can be very short, because as Maria Chona said "we understand so much." But if they want to reach a larger audience and get their ideas across, and in the process perhaps set the dominant culture back on it's heels, they must use English. And it's a battle all the way. Gloria Bird and Joy Harjo put out a wonderful collection of short stories with the savvy title Reinventing the Enemy's Language. It's back to semiotics again. You gotta pay attention to semiotics. Go read some Ishamael Reed and you'll see what I'm talking about. Go read Henry Louis Gates. bell hooks. Zora Neale Hurston. They were masters of the language and the nuance you're so concerned about. Go read some Audre Lorde. And while you're at it, go look for Gillermo Gómez-Peña and Ana Castillo. Might as well get some other ethnic spin on English while you're at it. Whether or not any of these people wrote works that were read in colleges, they wrote books that were read by many people. Don't confuse the venue with the message.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 11:07 PM

(Since I have been in Canada, I have changed ethnic origin in each census- my worthless protest. When I first was included in the census, American (U. S.) was not an allowable answer. I selected one contributor to my ancestry (I forget which one).


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 11:57 PM

SRS - I won't discuss this with you any further because you are putting words in my mouth. At no time did I dismiss intellectual pursuits and goals.

When you suggest I read Zora Neale Hurston, it tells me you didn't read my post. She happens to be my favorite author. Don't expect everyone to have a deep knowlege of linguistics or even a French feminist perspective on language. We only know what we have experienced and if you forever have your head wrapped up in theory, you will never be able to hear people who tell you how it feels. Don't forget, theories are only good until another theorist proves them wrong. You personify the type of intellectualism that America has grown to disdain. You dismiss others in an attempt to aggrandize yourself. A graduate degree does not mean you are entitled to do that.

Just because someone has the funds to get themselves through graduate school, doesn't mean they have an intellectual edge over those who do not.

Q -
I wasn't speaking specifically about census forms. On census forms I list myself as aboriginal.

BTW -

Half-breed is a derogatory term used by Whitey. Its insulting.

So what do you think of the explosion of that Kinder-Morgan pipeline in Arizona. Do you think it can't happen in Canada?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 12:49 AM

Dianavan, I include Zora Neale Hurston and you think lists can't overlap? Do you even know who the others are, or are you going to make Zora do all of your work?

You personify the type of intellectualism that America has grown to disdain. You dismiss others in an attempt to aggrandize yourself. A graduate degree does not mean you are entitled to do that.


So, you think that if someone wants to carry on a creditable conversation and objects to the nonsense that gets layered in, that this is self-aggrandizement? That's your problem, not mine, because you are badly misreading the situation.

You don't have an argument at this point, you're not discussing, you're calling people names. You have a vocabulary that lets you do this, but you don't seem to understand what is being said, you didn't read the simple page on semiotics, so it is simply easier for you to say that I'm out of the loop because I've spent time reading and thinking and discussing this? Don't you see the problem with your approach? If you privilege one group over another, you've already built a fatal flaw into any argument you could make. If you will instead try to step back and look at the intersections of what people are saying and try to understand the conflicting meanings, then you'll get somewhere.

The original information Azizi posted isn't a problem here. It's the self-righteous defenders of the [Other] un[der]represented who are the problems.

The tricks with the punctuation are found throughout scholarly publications. It means the writer acknowledges that wordplay is important, that it is going on, and that whoever reads the paper needs to be aware that they're bringing their own biases and understandings to the topic. If you find scholarly approaches to these problems intimidating, that is your problem. Calling people names doesn't fix the problem, it just positions you in a rather unattractive place with apologists and wannabes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 09:09 PM

I did, "read the simple page on semiotics"


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 11:09 PM

I am quite aware of the implication of 'half-breed' and the definition of Metis and its origin (mixed; French, first used in Hudson Bay Company reports, ca. 1815).
The Metis Nation of Alberta, in their definition of "Historic Metis Nation," says it refers to "the Aboriginal people then known as Metis or Half-breeds who resided in the historic Metis Nation Homeland."
Is Canada the only country which has formally recognized people of mixed race and defined them as one of the "aboriginal peoples" (Constitution Act of 1982)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 11:50 PM

I think Canada may be the only nation that recognizes a mixed race because the Metis (French and Aboriginal) were well established before the English. Thats my best guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 04:55 PM

THIS IS CUTE

The Christian Coalition Headquarters in South Carolina makes their black employees use a seperate entrance.

http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/news/local/12676171.htm


IT cost them $300,000


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 06:39 PM

It's not just the Muslims who have to put up with having crazies with big bank balances and an appetite for power setting out to hi-jack their religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Black looters, white finders
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 07:08 PM

Fear and religion have served kings well throughout history.

Serve religion and fear together and you have a chilling god fearing regieme.

http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/bushfear.jpg



my cd cover project...
http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/bushcd.jpg


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