In The News Politics

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina took part of the gulf coast and smashed it yesterday. I remember a little over a year ago in Environmental Biology watching a video about the effects of the marhes near New Orleans erroding could cause a Hurricane to have catastrophic effects. Yesterday those theories became 100% solid fact. New Orleans being below water levels didn’t even the the protection of some extra land around it. Rather sad.

It’s amazing that the media can have so much bias while giving the news (Found this via Fark and expanded on it). Take a look at the following two examples:

FindingTwo residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)
From Yahoo

LootingA young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday. (AP/Dave Martin)
From Yahoo

It’s absolutely amazing to see something like that. Because the indidual is white, it’s theoretically impossible for looting to be involved, just like it’s bonified fact that only African Americans particpate in looting activities. [pause for collective sigh) Just shows how the media loves to influence the American public.


The author of the ‘finding’ caption responds.

The above photo’s and captions are copyrighted and copied here for the academic purpose of illustrating media bias

22 replies on “Hurricane Katrina”

If it’s intentional, that does look like pretty blatant racism.

However, it’s possible that the caption writers had more background details that allowed them to make a ‘finding’/’looting’ distinction (they knew that the food came from grocery stores, which we cannot tell solely from the pictures, so maybe they knew other information that we do not have).

Also, the two photographs came from different sources and it’s possible that each one was captioned by a different writer. So whoever captioned picture number one might always use the term ‘finding’, whereas the person who captioned picture number two might always use the term ‘looting’, regardless of skin colour.

or the brother could be dragging his entire life in that bag – I highly doubt the photographer or caption writer waded through the 6ft+ of water to ask each person where they got the items! 🙄 I do not deny looting is happening but Objective media on this one…. – yeah right!

We are not reading too much into it. That’s racial profiling, plain and simple, and it sucks!!! 😡 Now there’s a new charge: Surviving While Black – SWB

Jeff who thinks we are reading too much into must be white and obviously does not understand the perils of being a person of color in white America.

Jeff “thinks” we are reading too much into this issue. He definitely needs to get out a little more. I agree with Wambui that the photographer and/or caption writer probably had no clue as to what the intentions of any of these folks were. I doubt that the “waders” were asked what they had and where they got it from.

The mainstream media, historically, has always given negative press to people of color and I don’t see it changing anytime in the near future. Most of the footage and photos I’ve seen of white people have shown them suffering, helping each other, crying in front of lost homes, etc. The footage I’ve seen of Blacks has shown them looting, complaining, etc. Yet, through blogs and message boards, I’ve heard heroic, altruistic stories coming from the Black survivors/refugees.

Thank goodness that the mainstream media is no longer the main source of information. They need to grow up and realize that – at least in this instance – EVERYONE is suffering in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. As one white survivor put it, “Katrina wasn’t kind to anyone.”

not being hindered by being an american, I think you are reading too much in it. the first photo has two people with one bag of bread. the second photo has a people with a very big bag full of possibly stolen goods. my first impression was: that must be looting! just by the difference of the size. only after studying the text and comments I understood your problem: one of the people on the photo’s is not white (which is very common over here).

Uh, first of all, the woman in that picture doesn’t look white to me. Hispanic, maybe, but not white. The guy is definitely caucasian. However, he isn’t carrying anything that we can see (other than a backpack, and there’s no telling what is in there).

Second, look at the difference in the two pictures (besides what you black racists see). In the first picture, the woman is carrying exactly what the caption says she is carrying…soda and bread. The black male in the second picture is carrying an entire garbage bag full of stuff. We know that looters have been using this method of carrying away their ill gotten goods.

Third, if you want an example of racisim, look no further into how hard someone had to look to find a picture of a white person even near someone with a loaf of bread and some soda. The overwhelming majority of the people left in New Orleans are black. The overwhelming majority of the looters are black (probably in the range of 95%). It takes someone who seriously hates white people to even find these pictures, let alone try to make an idiotic issue out of it.

People who believe that blacks can’t be racist need look no further than this blog.

In response to “Theadversary”, your explanation resounds in bias, prejudice and racism. You haven’t read any explanation on why or from what the caption was written for the young black male, and you weren’t there, but you still figured he must be looting because he has a garbage bag. But then, you illogically conclude that the other picture can’t be “looting” because teh woman only has two items and the man behind her has a book bag. What’s the difference? The only consistency I see is you don’t have all the facts, yet you concluded that the Black man must me looting while the other couple simply found their goods. It’s that sentiment that suggests bias, prejudice, and racism not only in you, but all the people who defend such tones. Further, another website added another photograph, of a White male leaving an abandoned store with a “grocery bag” of goods, but there is no description of “looting” anywhere. See,
Can you explain that?

One more question: How does anyone know that the woman isn’t White? Has she made a statement??? No. Did anybody ask her??? No. I guess b/c she doesn’t have blonde hair and we can’t see if she has blue eyes, then she must be of another race/nationality. Once again, that type of overture is more evidence of bias, prejudice and racism.

Oh just get over yourselves. Looting or not looting, the fact is the kid has what he has so who gives a damn.

😡 Where do I start? I think that I have just figured out. You would have to be a complete IDIOT (Jeff Walden; European Visitor; Theadversary; and any other individual with the lack of careful thought before speaking/writing on a topic such as this) to dismiss the FACT of RACISM in the above listed pictures and captions. I will use that kind of terminology to discribe you.

Could that be loaves of bread, cans of food, etc. in the garbage bag? Could the young black man be bringing those items to his family who quite possibly could be injured and not have the mobility or overall ability to fend for themselves. I do not care if the young black man had a 80″ television instead of bread. What would you do if all of your city; not just your home; your CITY was destroyed. How would you pay for food, clothes, rent if you were lucky enough to survive and make it to another city/state. Oh, get a job??? Would you hire someone who has not taken a bath for weeks; has been wearing the same clothing for weeks; IF there were jobs available? Have you forgotten about this administrations UN-employment rate. Even when now employed those who used to have high paying positions now have mediocre J.O.B.s (just. over. broke.). I already know the answer from your REDICULOUS statements! By the way your answer would be HELL NO!

The woman looks WHITE, not of Latin decent. Just in case you did not know, plenty of Hitler’s regiem did not have blond hair and blue eyes. They killed people with the same colored features as they had. I know Germans, Russians, Britains, etc. with dark or black hair.

What is in the WHITE males bag? Could he have MP3/CD players, cash from registers, etc.? Or could he just have food as well? Who cares? The key is survival!


God has a plan and puporse for the world. Trust in Him.

“For I know the plans that I have for you”, says the Lord, “plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

The images tell the truth. I do believe that the black boy may have in fact been looting. A possibility for which I do not blame him; since I would have done the same thing in his situation. At the same token, it is also very probable that the white female and the white male were both looting as well.

It is human nature to survive when faced with horrible situations. Our basic instincts are those of survival and pro creation. That being said it is also important to note that human nature is not distinguishable by race; it is a generalization of characteristics displayed by the entire human species.

My point is this: to portray a photo to the public that is open to interpretation is one thing, but to impose a bias attached to that photo is wrong. It is a slap in the face to the fundamental theories and teachings of journalism.

Some people need to quit being lazy and stop complaining and being selfish. I believe FEMA support should be only for those who make a sincere effort to help themselves by trying to find a job or those who are disabled or hospitalized, not for those who are lazy. I also heard that a woman used money from FEMA to gamble in the casino and she won over a million dollars which for people who use disaster relief money to gamble are selfish idiots. That lady that won over a million dollars in the casino should not receive that money but instead be thrown in jail for stealing from the taxpayers.

It is also sick that people complain because their MRE’s are not hot enough and don’t taste very good and just because that is all their is to eat. They better be thankful that they have something to eat and also those who are complaining that they don’t have anything besides water to drink are just as bad. Water is the only thing you need to drink to survive.

Plus people who are being supported by FEMA should not even set foot in a gambling casino while receiving disaster relief money.

And i suppose the soda and loaf of bread just happened to be “floating by them”?
What if he’d been a turban-wearing moslem?
I wonder

The Associated Press said its policy was clear, but they did apologize for this very separate racial captions.

“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.

information taken from Friday, September 2, 2005 (AP)
Photo Captions From Katrina Stir Debate
By JOCELYN NOVECK, Associated Press Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *