Monday, September 05, 2005

It's Black and White

Yet it has NOTHING to do with the color of one's skin.

mAss Backwards, September 2, 2005

It's Time, People

And, please, spare me this whole "but they've been oppressed by the man" argument. I've been watching as much news coverage over the last couple of days as the next guy. What I've seen is that most of the people trapped in New Orleans, the poorest of the poor, have been banding together to help their neighbors get through this horrifying ordeal - people working together to save the lives of total strangers. These are people who have literally NOTHING but the clothes on their back, yet they remain focused on helping their brothers and sisters to survive.

This is not a black vs. white issue.

This is not a rich vs. poor issue.

This is simply a matter of decent, law-abiding people who have no choice but to share this planet with walking piles of amoral, subhuman filth.

Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, September 4, 2005

The looting instinct

HURRICANE KATRINA was horrific in its devastation, but the orgy of looting and lawlessness that exploded across New Orleans in its wake was, in a way, even more sinister. A natural disaster can inflict massive physical damage on a community. But when human beings become savages, they shred the ligaments of civilization -- fairness, trust, respect, consideration -- that make life as a community possible.


As New Orleans sank into anarchy, The Washington Post reminded its readers to steer clear of moral judgments. "What we think of as looting," Linton Weeks wrote on the front page of the Post's Style section, "may be more complicated than it seems." And vandals making off with DVDs or flat-screen TVs is "complicated" because -- why, exactly? Weeks didn't explain. He did, however, quote others who were "trying to understand the nuances of looting." Professor Benigno Aguirre of the University of Delaware: "It may look from the outside as if they are stealing or breaking the law, when in fact some of them are trying to survive."

But most of us have no trouble distinguishing between desperate people in need of food and water and brazen criminals descending to the level of primitives. Just as most of us understand that morality and virtue are never more essential than when disaster strikes.

If too many people behaved shamefully last week, countless others responded to Katrina's horror with goodness and courage -- from the heroism of those who braved the flood to rescue strangers to the torrent of private relief, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth, now pouring in from across the country.

In his classic "Man's Search for Meaning," the great psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl wrote: "There are two races of men in this world ... the 'race' of the decent man and the 'race' of the indecent man." Each of us chooses which "race" to belong to. In New Orleans last week, the decent and the indecent made their choice.

Case in point:

Boston Herald, September 5, 2005

Crowd turns ugly in close call for Hub cop

A lone cop trying to cuff a man firing bullets into the night sky in Roxbury early yesterday was confronted by nearly 200 frenzied, bottle-throwing, cursing youths.

By the end of the tense incident, eight people, including six teens, were arrested.

According to police, the officer walked into the crowd standing near Lawrence Avenue and Mascoma Street at 1:22 a.m. He watched Luis Rivera, 23, of Roxbury stand in the middle of the intersection, point a gun toward the sky, and squeeze off one round.

The cop began to approach Rivera, who apparently did not realize that a uniformed officer was in the crowd. As the officer closed in, several people in the crowd yelled to Rivera that the officer was approaching. Rivera fled, dropping the weapon as he ran, police said. The officer caught up to him and ordered him to the ground.

The crowd, seeing Rivera on the pavement, began to get unruly, cursing the cop, throwing bottles, and trying to help Rivera get away.

Upon receiving news of this incident, Boston Mayor Tom Menino was, no doubt, "outraged".


At one point, a woman approached Rivera and tried to assist him in getting away by pulling on his shirt and yelling, "Get up and run!"

George Bush made her do it.

Here's a thought.

If it's OK now for any celebrity du jour to jump in front of a TV camera and declare to the world that President Bush doesn't care about black people based on what they saw on CNN following Hurricane Katrina, what do you think they'd have to say about Menino's leadership in the City of Boston?

I mean, just because he's a Democrat doesn't mean they'd...oh...never mind.

After more than 4,400 days (and counting) serving as Mayor of Boston, Menino still presides over a city where the hard-working, lower-income minority residents are forced to live side-by-side with the lawless thugs that continue to plague the streets of the city. God help us all if we ever find ourselves facing a true disaster scenario here.

Perhaps, Menino's master plan has "Be reeeeally super-outraged this time" and "Get wickid tough on crime" kicking in sometime around Day 4,500 or so - right after the "1,000th park bench bearing my name on a plaque" celebrations die down a little bit.

Nothing to worry about folks, everything's running according to schedule.