September 1, 2005
by Kevin Caruso
The vast majority of people in New Orleans are trying to do one thing:
I am incensed and disgusted at the disparaging – and racist – label of “looter” being indiscriminately attached to survivors who are in the midst of the worst natural disaster in our history.
People are doing what they need to do to survive.
Is a man who has two hungry children a “looter” because he goes into an abandoned
store and gets food and water to nourish his children?
Is an elderly woman a “looter” because she goes into an abandoned store to get medicine?
Is a five-year-old a “looter” because he goes into an abandoned store to get a change of clothes?
The term “looter” has been insensitively and ignorantly overused throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
There certainly have been some REAL looters who have taken television sets, etc., with the intent to sell the items for a profit. That type of thing happens in EVERY disaster of the magnitude that we are in.
And clearly there are horrible crimes occuring. And in many areas lawlessness exists.
But, again, the labeling of innumerable people who are simply trying to survive as “looters” has been overdone to a sickening, and patently unfair, degree.
Knock it off.