"Honest" Looting in the Big Easy

Europe’s socialist (and America’s liberal) media cannot suppress a hint of gloating over what is happening today in New Orleans. Observing the scenes from the Big Easy, where looters are shooting at policemen, commentators remark: “And this is not the thirld world, but the richest country in the world.” Indeed, they imply, the arrogance of the Americans has boomeranged back upon them: “Looters are turning New Orleans into ‘downtown Baghdad’” and “the army has not enough helicopters as they have all been sent to Iraq.”

The European public are being reminded that welfare state Europe is a so much better place to live in than capitalist America where one looter, a certain Mike Franklin, told Associated Press: “To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it’s an opportunity to get back at society.”

There, that is an “honest” looter for you. His words remind me of the recent words of an equally “honest” man in Belgium’s Borinage region where, since the mines were closed down several decades ago, three generations have spent their lives on the dole, claiming unemployment benefits as their right without having to look for a job: “Once, the miners were exploited by the state; now we exploit the state,” he said.

Difficulties in getting water and food to the victims, people crying out for help... The point that this is happening in the richest country in the world is totally irrelevant: pain, hunger, hardship are hard to bear for anyone in that situation whether he be rich or poor. True, such scenes are branded in the minds of TV viewers as typical of the third world, and are associated with incompetent economies and government. Often it has little to do with the latter, but more with the fact that those countries are situated in parts of the world where such natural hazards occur while most of the rich West lives in temperate climate zones so far from the experience of nature’s full destructive force that three days of severe rain is regarded as a national disaster.

The latter is particularly the case in Western Europe, while the United States has always been a region more prone to the violent and unpredictable forces of nature: hurricanes, twisters, earthquakes. Many Americans live with the knowledge that, nature being unkind, perhaps in a week from now everything they possess might be wrecked. It is a reality that seems unimaginable to most Europeans and it has a deep influence on the psyche of the American heartland, where, contrary to the cliché, people tend to be considerably less materialistic than in Europe. This is probably also one of the reasons why Americans are a far more religious people than Europeans.

The fact that nature does not often scourge Europe may partly explain its arrogance and sense of superiority, as if having fewer natural disasters has something to do with merit. Such arrogance can lead to carelessness and a sense of invulnerability, reinforced by the certainty that if things do go wrong, the nanny state is there to pamper us. But nature does not discriminate. Now and again she reminds Europeans, such as the Dutch in 1953, that they, too, are vulnerable. However, though the Dutch have to go back more than half a century to be reminded of this, Americans in Florida and elsewhere along the Gulf of Mexico are under threat several times a year.

Tsunamis and hurricanes make no difference between rich or poor countries. Floods and tornados wreak the same havoc wherever they strike. Only political utopianists, such as Marxists, think that governments can create a world without pain and hardship.

Brutally, Katrina has proved that the latter is an illusion. But it is not the only illusion socialists harbour. The other illusion is that governments can create a world where all people will be good to one another. However, not only does nature strike the rich and poor alike. Clearly the capacity of man for evil is the same whether he be rich or poor. The terrible thing is that individuals who have grown up in a society where every child receives an education and no-one need want, can lose every sense of dignity and resort to barbarianism at a moment when their citizenship is put to the test.

It is sad to see how so many whose lifestyles are based on the attitude that others are there to help them, do not reciprocate that attitude. Stealing from shopkeepers who cannot protect their stocks, raping women who have no walls left to protect them... It is shocking that the authorities are required to devote their attention to controlling crime and are even under attack, when every resource is needed to help fellow human beings. And it is hypocrisy to criticise the authorities in the name of the very people who are doing everything in their power to thus thwart the relief efforts.

It's the locals, stupid.

Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy today.

After the Tsunami, local people were helping each other, they were even helping foreign tourists, and we saw them trying to do something constructive. The comparison is odious, and the fact that news reports don't seem to be able to find very much admirable to say about what is happening points to the fact that these creatures are the lowest on the planet. You can't excuse what they are doing on poverty, decent poor people just don't behave this way.

If this is how blacks act only three days after a regional tradegy. How can anyone think that blacks will behave if we have a national disaster? What if terrorists unleashed nuclear or biological weapons. Image blacks acting like this in every city.

If the great depression happened tomorrow, America would be turned into a brutal 3rd World Africa-like country in days. If the Great Depression happened now, it would be all over. Blacks would destroy every major city that is 25% or more black.

Obnoxious, anonymous and stupid

...the fact that news reports don't seem to be able to find very much admirable to say about what is happening points to the fact that these creatures are the lowest on the planet.

Not as low as people who don't wait for the facts before voicing obnoxious and racist opinions.

Bob Doney

Racial reality

To Hubert: do you always start your contribution to a discussion by using insulting language to those who might disagree with you?

I am not clear how reading Mr Sailer's article is going to help me grow up. Perhaps you should tell us what you have in mind.

Bob Doney


Some people who were trapped in New Orleans took food and other essentials, which does not seem at all culpable. Others took advantage of the chaos to steal valuable non-essentials and, in some cases, commit violent crimes. We don't need a racist explanation to explain these differences, but it's also true that we can't put them all down to poverty. Most black Americans (and most whites) are decent people who try to retain their moral code even in a crisis. What probably is true, and what we should acknowledge frankly, is that a minority of blacks in American cities live in slum conditions, supporting themselves on welfare or the proceeds of illegal activities, and over the years have become isolated and alienated from the broader society around them. That is a genuine social problem and it needs to be addressed, although no one seems to know how.

On another note, it would probably be good for the moderators of this site to exclude openly racist comments.

You're absolutely right,

You're absolutely right, Bob. Somebody with a deviant opinion is much more despicable than raping and murdering looters.

As for the facts: anybody can see that the majority of the looters is black, and there are multiple reports of racial-based black-on-white violence.


More facts please

As for the facts: anybody can see that the majority of the looters is black, and there are multiple reports of racial-based black-on-white violence.

Well, the broadcasts I have seen have all included reporters saying how difficult it is to travel anywhere in south Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Might be best to wait awhile before jumping to conclusions about the causes and effects of this disaster.

Bob Doney

Ok, Bob, then what is YOUR

Ok, Bob, then what is YOUR explanation for the difference in behavior of the victims of Katrina and those of, let's say, the tsunami?

MY explanation

...what is YOUR explanation for the difference in behavior of the victims of Katrina and those of, let's say, the tsunami?

What difference? As I said, I'll be content to wait for the facts, especially as last week 1,000 Iraqis were crushed or drowned because of rumours (it is rumoured!).

Bob Doney


Euhm... Perhaps the whole hurricane story is a rumour...