9.03.2005

Frustration

Why does it scare you? People stealing TVs are stealing. "Wal-Mart has insurance" is hardly an excuse. Do you have insurance? Can I rob you?
Wait, that's a stretch. It's not an excuse, but these looters are hardly depriving people of things they need. They aren't depriving anyone *because* the insurance will cover it all. I'm just saying, let's stop crying for Wal-Mart or Kmart. In fact, looters clearing out the electronics section probably turned over more product (and profit) than Wal-Mart usually does in the same time frame.

It isn't that I'm trying to justify their actions, I'm just trying to get anyone to understand that when you are so disenfranchised from society - because of race, creed or social class - you likely aren't going to care so much when it's "your turn". That is what these people are feeling, they are feeling it's their turn. Reports said that some people were trying to claim certain parts of the city as their own, and they likely have been waiting for the day they could it. Not because they are criminals, because they found out what it is like to be in control for once in their lives.

I don't think everyone stealing stuff is a 'criminal' (before the hurricane), but even the criminal element out there aren't just born that way. Are they? I've always learned/thought/whatever that criminals are made, not born.

I don't treat criminals any particular way, as I am not in law enforcement or the criminal justice system. I'm just saying that the looters (except the ones taking vitally needed food and water) should be treated like any other time those crimes are committed.
It's just property, a poor boy like you should realize that. The fact that people basically committed a misdemeanor or small felony doesn't give anyone the right to order "shoot to kill". If one person walks out of Wal-Mart with $10,000 in merchandise by him or her self they are still only committing a very small crime (in comparison, we are talking theft here, not baby rape). No matter, you get Miranda rights from a rape case - not a shoplifting, robbery or grand theft case.

To say that shooting to kill or any other inhumane treatment is on the table only makes the looters and rioters go even more crazy. All bets are *really* off. (Now, I'm not trying to say that you wanted "shoot to kill" orders, I'm just talking about the issue at large).

The criminals in New Orleans are criminals, no matter their race, class, or economic status.
This is true - and has been my point for days really. People I talk to confuse "black" with "criminal" in this situation (like they do with every situation). Just looking at the numbers makes you wonder why the "criminals" are almost all "black". 28% of the city is below the poverty line, 84% of the poor are black. A city of a half a million people - and over 100,000 are black.

Whites have moved out of the city, partially due to crime and partially due to racism (remember, this is the state that almost elected David Duke governor back in just 1991). As many people are pointing out - this bothers us (me, others) because we are seeing the effects of disenfranchisement and poverty and almost what has become economic apartheid in this country.

Fuck it: I'm a liberal and with that comes the feeling that I hate to see people die *just* because they are poor. Forget the looters, forget the failed relief efforts. The fact remains that most people living in the city of New Orleans (9th Ward, etc) didn't have access to cars - something that could have saved them from day one. People drown in their own homes because there was nothing they could do, no where to turn. When you just expect everyone to hop in the car and take off - you've committed mass murder. Are the feds, Bush, FEMA, Louisiana's response people, whoever it is, are they that stupid to think that a major city like New Orleans doesn't have a large poor population that can't just "up and go"? And to think, all of the cities poor lived right next to those levees.

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