Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Shame, Shame, Shame

Remember all those horror stories that floated out of post-Katrina New Orleans? The murder and child rapes that turned the Superdome into a terrordome? The rampaging gangs and piles of corpses that made the convention center seem like a rain-soaked corner of hell?

Well, guess what — they didn’t happen. According to the New Orleans Times Picayune (with more from the Los Angeles Times), workers cleaning up both sites found no evidence of widespread murder. In fact, they only found evidence of one possible murder, which will require further forensic investigation to confirm. Obviously, evidence of rape is much harder to come by, but even that seems to have been considerably less common than originally reported.

Good news, then, for those worried that those cracks in the foundation of the American Dream might bring the whole edifice down. Still, a question remains: Why was everyone so ready to believe the horror stories? Is it because raping, murdering and pillaging are the kind of behaviors most people expect of poor blacks in America?

And do I even need to point out how unspeakably racist such an assumption is?

Comments:
is it as racist as people saying blacks were resorting to cannibalism four days into being without food and that the reason these people are suffering is because they're black? You bet.

But how come it's okay to be racist if it's used against George Bush, and not racist to point out the left's obvious racism towards blacks?
 
You know, anon, if you re-read what I wrote, you'll find no mention of Bush, of right versus left, or of partisan politics of any variety. To reiterate -- and feel free to read this aloud, if that helps -- what I want to know is why people were so eager to believe the horror stories about post-Katrina violence in New Orleans. People in general, anon -- not just a specific interest group or political party.
 
Hi J.D.,

I was discussing this same article in my blog:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/nhennies/215650.html

My friend Blake runs the blog The Next Left and had this to say about this very same article:

Maybe it's 6 murders. May be it was 6 bodies on the floor of the dome. There are enough reports that I think we should believe the people who were actually there on this one rather than administration and its cronies. We're not talking about UFOs here. We're talking about crimes committed by desperate people and a political juggernaut that is faced with accusations of criminal negligence.

Almost everyone involved in the clean up has very good reasons to keep the numbers as low as possible. The military went into the city fully armed and didn't allow any photographing of the bodies. 40,000 body bags were ordered. When journalists went toward the freezers that supposedly only had 4 bodies in them, loaded automatic weapons were pointed at them and they were threatened.

I don't feel comfortable with conspiracy theories, but I do feel comfortable saying that there are too many conflicting accounts of what happened in New Orleans to take what FEMA or the administration says at face value.

This post:
http://www.thenextleft.com/blogatory/archives/2005/09/were_the_five_m.html
quoted two sources. In addition, Reuters published an article on this as well. Now, there's nothing on it at all ... as though it didn't happen. This was the NOPD reporting these deaths, saying they killed these people. Now, it never happened.

So yes, on this one, I'm going to say there's a conspiracy to cover up what really happened. I'm not saying it was nearly as bad as the reports coming out of the dome, but I do believe those reports came from somewhere. It wasn't just collective schizophrenia on the part of 30,000 people.

- b
 
Maybe it's because people like you prey on the stupid side of people? You push and you push and you push the supposed flaws and failings of the Bush administration, you push and you push that these things really are the symptom of something greater than they actually are, and yet, when you learn that what you believed to be true really WASN'T true, you attempt to pull a smoke and mirrors move to cover up the fact that, yes, it's YOUR racism that's made people think these things. Because you think black people are capable of doing this, you say it happens. Why don't you face up to the fact that maybe it's because you PERSONALLY are willing to believe that these things are automatically true, because, ultimately, what you're pushing is nothing more than liberal racism. I personally think that people like you don't really, truly care about black people. You keep them in the victim zone, you keep pushing oppression, you keep pushing that they're willing and capable of doing these things to one another--and then you act surprised when you find out they're not true? Gee, that says an awful lot about you, don't you think? Feel free to read that out loud, if that helps.
 
nhennies -- Good point about maintaining a certain amount of skepticism. There is a lot at stake politically, and I would not be surprised if the body counts are, ultimately, massaged. But I do think that there was a certain amount of hysteria reported, and accepted uncritically. And I think everyone, from the dailies to Oprah, needs to ask why those horrors seemed so easily believable. But you're right -- we need also to ask how much faith, at this point, anyone can put in the "official" story.

As for anonymous, you may want to check your meds. You seem to be arguing with people who aren't here.
 
we should have known, right? I feel bad for believing it.
 
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I was surfing around and found another George Bush site.George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People This place has a ton of funny videos and mp3s.
 
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