Why Do People of Color Get Accused of ‘Looting’, While White Folks Simply ‘Borrow’

…… during times of severe national crisis?

(trigger warning: photos of natural disaster)

Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, 2005

“We looted a store because we had no food and we had to do something,” Wood told AFP outside their French Quarter hotel while waiting for a ride to nearby Baton Rouge.”

“Post-Katrina Looters: The Hungry, The Mean, The Dangerous”- Agence France-Presse Aug 31, 2005

Haiti Earthquake, 2010

“… people could be seen scavenging in the streets, pushing each other away to pick up whatever they could find in the collapsed homes. They rummaged through plastic bags lying amid mountains of debris. Other survivors clutched tightly to their finds as they walked through the streets.”

“A Frenzy of Looting Seen in Haiti’s Capital” – CNN January 18, 2010

Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines, 2013

“…Some survivors in Tacloban dug up water pipes in their desperate need for water. We don’t know if it’s safe. We need to boil it. But at least we have something,” said Christopher Dorano, 38.”

“Philippines Looting: Desperate Typhoon Survivors Loot, Dig Up Water Pipes”. Reuters. November 13, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing, 2013

“……tried to set the record straight by noting that the jackets were being actively distributed by volunteers in order “to comfort the injured or those who could not go back to the hotel.Yes, some people took advantage of it, what can you do,” writes Sim Salabim, “but it’s not looting what you see.”

“Hey, Internet: Boston Runners Almost Certainly Weren’t Looting Jackets.” Gawker. April 16, 2013

For Further Analysis:

“Black People “Loot” Food … White People “Find” Food”. By Van Jones, Environmental Activist

“The Real Story of ‘looting’ After a Disaster like Typhoon Haiyan”- Richard Seymour, The Guardian


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