Tuesday, August 30, 2005
It seems like a lot of people are up in arms about the severity of looting going on down in New Orleans. What with a cop getting shot and "criminals" shooting "criminals", people all over the world have voiced their outrage at these "disgusting" people "taking advantage" of a tragic situation. Ok, maybe some of the looting has gone a little too far, but in light of the fact that the 2 shooting victims are both going to survive, I'm having a hard time understanding what the big fuss is all about.
After all . . . . . . what are some of these people supposed to do??? If these people are "looting" a grocery store - I can sure understand that under these conditions. The food will only spoil anyway - the grocery stores should be opened so that people can just come in and help themselves - in as orderly a way as possible. That's not a crime, that's survival.
If you look closely at what these people are "looting" they're Huggies and Snickers and bottles of Heineken. To me, "real" looting is stealing items that have nothing to contribute to the immediate situation. Looting is trying to break into a Children's Hospital in order to get to drugs. Or breaking into Joe Schmo's house to rob his brand new plasma TV. When I see a picture of some idiot walking through a flood with a plasma TV on his shoulders then I'll be the first to admit that that's just wrong.
Then again, put yourself in the position of one of those survivors. Nobody's cared about rescuing you; the only people that really counted were those with more money than you have. People like the owners of the shops in your city. Shops closed and not about to reopen precisely because the owners fled town. Shops with blown-out windows that can be walked through. Shops whose merchandise is about to be ruined by the disease-ridden and polluted water streaming through levee breaks and flooding your city. Merchandise that, in many cases, you need because you're running low on necessities and relief can't easily get to you because of flooded highways. How can it be anything but logical to not take advantage of a situation where your survival depends on it?
And when it comes to looting, let's not forget about capitalism and its effect on our society as a whole. Now, of course, we ALL love America for the opportunities it brings, for the ability to solicit our market value and hopefully make enough loot to feed an African country. But there's a price to pay for all of that aka the disenfranchised who jump at the chance to get even with those who have more stuff than they do. Call it class warfare in its crudest form. Call it getting back at some fat CEO making more money in a year then most of us will see in a lifetime. Call it payback for ever-increasing gas prices. Call it what you want. But you don't think some of these looters have a bone to pick?
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 9:51 PM