August 31, 2005

White People "Find" Goods, Black People "Loot" Them
— Ace

At least that's the case that Wonkette makes, based on a not-subtle difference between two captions of people photographed taking goods away from shops.

She may have a point -- there may be unconscious racism (or conscious racist animus) which causes some to see white looters just doing what they need to feed their babies, and black looters just using the cover of chaos as an opportunity to boost some bling. And, I guess, that should be kept in mind.

Still, it doesn't seem like this is very strong evidence to go indicting the very liberal legacy media on, especially given their drive for "diversity" in the newsroom.

Racism is bad, mmmkay? But I can only quote William F. Buckley, Jr., writing about the left and their love of hate-crime legislation: "If only the left hated crime as much as they hated hate."

Edit: I originally wrote they were both AP captions. They're not. One's AFP and one's AP.

Thanks, Allah.

Posted by: Ace at 08:49 AM | Comments (26)
Post contains 177 words, total size 1 kb.

1 It's not two AP captions. The "finding" caption is from AFP, which refers to blacks "looting" in captions to other photos. So there may well be racism here, but AFP is the culprit, not the AP and certainly not Yahoo News.

Posted by: Allah at August 31, 2005 08:52 AM (X3QeK)

2 Actually I think she's correct. How does one find bread and soda?

I noticed during the tsunami that the press did not want to show anyone dead or injured that was brown. They really focused on the "white" folks on vacation in the area. It has always struck me for all their talk that the liberal folks are actually repulsed by color.

Posted by: Dayna at August 31, 2005 09:07 AM (GFuA7)

3 Allah beat me to it. Wonkette likely found this via Metafilter, here, where a tizzy erupted until the above was pointed out.

Posted by: Ray Midge at August 31, 2005 09:08 AM (kUNrb)

4 Nobody needs VCRs to feed their family-- THAT'S my definition of looting.

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at August 31, 2005 09:13 AM (y1hCN)

5 I saw looting and "finding" both on TV last night and this morning. Finders seem to be looking for food for their families, looters seem to be concentrating on colthes, DVD players and liquor. I didn't notice any racial differences between the two groups, it seemed pretty well divided. I did notice quite a species difference between the two though, taking food in a situation like this is understandable, and human, stealing things that you don't need and likely won't ever get home without ruining them is not, and race has very little to with that. Trash is trash no matter the color of the skin.

Posted by: bullwinkle at August 31, 2005 09:17 AM (AZvIl)

6 Behold: a white "looter".

Posted by: Allah at August 31, 2005 09:22 AM (X3QeK)

7 Wonkette needs to get out more, as that girl appears to be mulatto, and is therefore also a "person of color." Her homeboy seems to be white, though he could also be mulatto or even hispanic. In short, she's barking up the wrong tree from behind her latte.

The vast majority of looters in New Orleans--say 90% or more--seem to be black. I don't think that is a function of race, just an accounting of who stayed behind. The word choice I attribute to chance.

Sorry, but I'm not buying the race angle.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 31, 2005 09:24 AM (2cgwG)

8 When we've had riots and looting in LA, almost all of the looters had prior convictions for theft crimes. A natural disaster is merely an opportunity for known thieves.

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 09:36 AM (Ehvu2)

9 I think that is probably white. The city had a high percentage of its populace drawn from 'people of color' and it isn't surprising that they are over represented among those who didn't have the means to flee from Katrina's approach.

That doesn't change the nature of the looting though. If I see a young woman making off with a pack of diapers and baby food, it's a very different thing than the guy wading in waist deep water with a box containing nothing but bottles of beer. There is survival and then there is opportunism and barbarity.

Posted by: epobirs at August 31, 2005 09:38 AM (51CH/)

10 white people can't dance, so they steal. then the racists photoshop the non-dancing looters to make their skins look dark. it has no end, this republican racism!!!

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 09:43 AM (Gi7oA)

11 I think it's pretty hard to conclude much of anything from the pictures. The two people on the right (one of whom, I'll agree with Confederate Yankee, appears to be non-white or racially mixed) have backpacks on and are carrying a few items. Actually, it's hard to tell if the white boy has anything in his hands. However, the woman on the left has two garbage bags full of stuff in tow. So it's very possible that the one on the left is a looter while the other two are not, especially if she filled those two bags at the store. However, it largely just depends on what items each of them "found".

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 10:03 AM (Y2Bw/)

12 Ha! Due to the worse than usual articles posted, Gregg Gutfeld has declared martial law at Huffpo. Take no prisoners, Gregg!

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 10:06 AM (Ehvu2)

13 I'm with Dave, go with what they're carrying. Food, yeah, TV's, no.

Posted by: SGT Dan at August 31, 2005 10:12 AM (jCQ+I)

14 Wonkette says the solution is "an apology from the AP," which is the organization that used the term "looting." The solution, it would seem, would not be for the AP to apologize, but for AFP to call it what it is. The only way this is an issue is if AFP captions similar photos of black people as "looting" (or if the AP capitons photos of white people as "finding.) I wouldn't be surprised if AFP captions all such actions as finding, regardless of race. It would be a little closer to socialism.

Posted by: M at August 31, 2005 10:14 AM (gIIfU)

15 Slightly O/T, but "Screw 'Em" Kos has been "out of touch" in a cabin in Clinton, MT (just up the road) so has moonbat ketchup to do in re: Katrina. Hmm. Why the hell was he in Clinton? Surely he hasn't got the... er... umm... well, for this:

Posted by: at August 31, 2005 10:46 AM (xcwcN)

16 I went to the original source of the photo - Getty Images and found the photo and its caption. Looks like it was captioned by the photographer (Chris Graythen, a New Orleans photographer), and the caption was never changed thereafter. Not much of a media conspiracy.

Posted by: geoff at August 31, 2005 10:49 AM (J0ZE/)

17 No apology. All anyone has to do is turn on their TVs. Blacks are looting the city blind. Not food. But TVs, ever electronic device out there. Drug stores looted and burned. etc etc etc. I've yet to see one white person involved. One NBC camer crew even filmed black New Orleans cops looting a Wall Mart.

Posted by: William R at August 31, 2005 10:59 AM (UcRmL)

18 Walmart is "the man" so that makes it OK.

OTOH, there is food/water in Walmarts, so its hard to say. Unless he was walking out with a $5,000 plasma TV...

Posted by: Tony at August 31, 2005 11:47 AM (dYcZw)

19 I heard ... that WalMart has a standing agreement with police, fire, rescue agencies that, in the case of large disaster/emergency those agencies are allowed to go in and take needed items to help folks [food, clothing, blankets, etc] so long as they let 'em know what they took later. dunno if'n it's true but worth tossing in.

Posted by: Claire at August 31, 2005 02:10 PM (l1oyw)

20 Behold: a white "looter".

I don't know. Is Mexican white? Because he looks like a Mexican or at least a Hispanic guy in that picture.

AFP oppressing a lighter shade of brown?

Posted by: digitalbrownshirt at August 31, 2005 02:21 PM (ipjUv)

21 Just to put a final nail in this thing, I emailed the photographer to ask him why he worded the caption that way. We'll see if he has a chance to get back to me.

Posted by: geoff at August 31, 2005 06:44 PM (J0ZE/)

22 So Chris Graythen was kind enough to write me back and direct me to this
thread at

->> Jeasus, I don't belive how much crap I'm getting from this. First of all, I hope you excuse me, but I'm completely at the end of my rope. You have no Idea how stressful this whole disaster is, espically since I have not seen my wife in 5 days, and my parents and grand parents HAVE LOST THIER HOMES. As of right now, we have almost NOTHING.

Please stop emailing me on this one.

I wrote the caption about the two people who 'found' the items. I believed in my opinion, that they did simply find them, and not 'looted' them in the definition of the word. The people were swimming in chest deep water, and there were other people in the water, both white and black. I looked for the best picture. there were a million items floating in the water - we were right near a grocery store that had 5+ feet of water in it. it had no doors. the water was moving, and the stuff was floating away. These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water. They would have floated away anyhow. I wouldn't have taken in, because I wouldn't eat anything that's been in that water. But I'm not homeless. (well, technically I am right now.)

I'm not trying to be politically correct. I'm don't care if you are white or black. I spent 4 hours on a boat in my parent's neighborhood shooting, and rescuing people, both black and white, dog and cat. I am a journalist, and a human being - and I see all as such. If you don't belive me, you can look on Getty today and see the images I shot of real looting today, and you will see white and black people, and they were DEFINATELY looting. And I put that in the caption.

Please, please don't argue symantics over this one. This is EXTREMELY serious, and I can't even begin to convey to those not here what it is like. Please, please, be more concerned on how this affects all of us (watch gas prices) and please, please help out if you can.

This is my home, I will hopefully always be here. I know that my friends in this business across the gulf south are going through the exact same thing - and I am with them, and will do whatever I can to help. But please, please don't email me any more about this caption issue.

And please, don't yell at me about spelling and grammar. Im eating my first real meal (a sandwich) right now in 3 days.

When this calms down, I will be more than willing to answer any questions, just ask.

Thank you all -
-Chris Graythen

Posted by: geoff at August 31, 2005 07:14 PM (J0ZE/)

23 "Racism is bad, mmmkay?" It isn't politically correct, but I don't exactly agree with that Ace. I think there are well documented differences in the races that make them, on average, excel at certain tasks. When was the last world record holder in sprinting Hispanic, Asian, or Caucasian? When was the last heavyweight boxing champion Japanese? Apart from physical differences there are apparent mental ones as well. Asian stoicism for example. Is that a myth or stereotype? I'd love to be super fast and have the ability to totally ignore pain. Kidney stones would be a breeze. Is it racism to point out advantages that races other than your own seem to have? Or am I mistaken and all humans are exactly the same?

Posted by: Kingslasher at September 01, 2005 02:17 AM (SOfML)

24 Yo Ace, post that email geoff got. If he can find a link for it, anyway...

Posted by: someone at September 01, 2005 02:23 AM (S22v9)

25 Yeah, I screwed up the link somehow. Here it is:

Let's see if I can actually get it right this time.

Posted by: geoff at September 01, 2005 05:17 AM (J0ZE/)


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