[FoRK] Why do people loot when the city is dying?

Strata R. Chalup strata
Wed Aug 31 12:59:42 PDT 2005


I can't get to it right now because LJ is down, but a friend posted a link last 
night to an outside page showing two photoclips from news stories.  One showed a 
black person with supplies wading through water and was labelled "...with 
groceries looted from a store" and the other showed two white people with 
supplies wading through water and was labelled "...with bread and other food 
found at a store".

The "finding" and "looting" verbs had been circled in red.  And the commentary 
was more than slightly biting.  :-(

SRC


Regina Schuman wrote:

> A CNN reporter said yesterday that what he saw was more indicative of
> people looking for food and other essentials than looting. He saw a lot
> of people handing off what they "looted" (food, water and blankets) to
> others waiting in a line.
> 
> "We distort, you decide."
> 
> On a really horrid note: this morning CNN interviewing a policeman in
> Slidell, who said (I swear) that as soon as he finished with the
> interview he was going to check on his 80-YEAR OLD BLIND NEIGHBOR WHO
> MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE.  The interview continued leisurely for another
> five minutes, perhaps while the elderly blind man struggled for his last
> breath.  As the report concluded, the CNN reporter said "Hey!  Can my
> camera man follow you while you look for your neighbor?"  
> 
> give us (dead and) dirty laundry.
> 
> g
> 
> 
>>>><kelley at inkworkswell.com> 8/31/2005 2:38:23 PM >>>
> 
> At 01:24 PM 8/31/2005, Corinna wrote:
> 
>>... including the cops...
>>
>>http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313
> 
> 
>> "The police got all the best stuff. They're crookeder than us," one
> 
> man
> 
>>said. Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the
> 
> tide of
> 
>>law breakers.
>>
>>One veteran officer said, "It's like this everywhere in the city. This
> 
> tiny
> 
>>number of cops can't do anything about this. It's wide open."
>>
>>Some groups, the reporters wrote, "organized themselves into assembly
> 
> lines
> 
>>to more efficiently cart off goods. Inside the store, one woman was
> 
> stocking
> 
>>up on make-up. She said she took comfort in watching police load up
> 
> their
> 
>>own carts. 'It must be legal,' she said. 'The police are here taking
> 
> stuff,
> 
>>too.'"
> 
> 
> I thought this was interesting:
> 
> 
> This is interesting:
> 
> Looting is perhaps the most expected behavior subsequent to a disaster
> and
> probably the most misreported post disaster event. Surveys indicate
> (Quarantelli) that 70-90 percent of people in a disaster will hear
> unsubstantiated stories about looting. After the Oakland Hills fire,
> one TV
> station reported looting, another reported on the lack of looting. I
> was
> able to inspect one burnt out neighborhood and found that there wasn't
> much
> to take. The relatively few instances of looting that does occur
> involve
> articles of little value and are usually committed by non-local
> security
> forces. Similar to price gouging, the media shares much of the blame
> for
> this misinformation. According to Fischer, national and network
> reporters
> construct news stories that conform to their perception of what
> normally
> occurs after a disaster instead of researching facts. Keep in mind
> that
> much of news reporting is entertainment focused. If it is reported by
> and
> media and believed by the public, local leaders must take steps to
> respond
> to it, real or perceived, lending credibility to the assumption that
> looting is pervasive. The incidence of looting (and other post
> disaster
> crime) is often misrepresented by those who have something to sell or
> a
> philosophical reason for you to believe in the impending breakdown of
> the
> social order. One survivalist web site claims that 'of the hundreds of
> victims that I have dealt with [after Hugo], most had lost something
> to
> looters. During Hurricane Andrew, looting was common place and accepted
> as
> a way of life. One victim from an upper class neighborhood told me "I
> was
> shunned by my neighbors because I rejected an offer to cruise for
> goods."
> Substantiated cases of looting after Hurricane Georges: 0.
> Substantiated
> cases of looting after Hurricane Andrew: probably 0.
> 
> One of our duties as continuity planners is to educate and manage the
> expectations of the 'masses.' Misinformation has caused people to drown
> in
> a storm surge trying to protect their property from potential looting.
> It
> has caused innocent victims and family members to be killed or injured
> by
> firearms. Important sociological and victimization theories do not
> change -
> persons are still more likely to be injured by an intimate partner
> (48%),
> family member (32%), than by a stranger (20%). Next time we have the
> opportunity to advise the public or coworkers, ensure it is from a
> position
> of knowledge and not mythology.
> 
> http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:VySZqrBxX7IJ:www.all-hands.net/pn/modules.php%3Fop%3Dmodload%26name%3DNews%26file%3Darticle%26sid%3D17+%22looting+after+hurricane%22&hl=en&client=firefox-a
> 
> 
> 
> 
> When you need to communicate, Ink Works!
> http://www.inkworkswell.com 
> +1 (727) 942-9255 
> 
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Strata R Chalup [KF6NBZ]                         strata "@" virtual.net
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