The Reasoned Review

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“Looters” in Chile

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The rubble from Chile’s horrific earthquake has just barely settled, and already the US media is howling over “looters” and their dastardly attempts to salvage some sustenance and supplies from Chile’s ruined supermarkets.

The Washington Post has the charming headline: “Massive quake brings looters and heroes“, while ABC gives the ominous “Looters Descend Upon Chile“, and The Daily Beast informs us that “Chile Sends Troops To Battle Looters“.

Now, place yourself in the shoes of a Chilean citizen who has just survived the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake. It’s demolished every structure around you, the shopkeepers have all fled, and you’re literally standing in rubble. You’re hungry, thirsty, and scared. You see, out of the corner of your eye, a bit of canned food peeking out amid the devastation. You’ve got kids, of course, and they’re all clamoring for food. So you pick up the can and begin to dig around for a can opener.

Then clickety-clack go the keyboards of those safe, secure journalists in America and elsewhere, instantly branding you a “looter”. I mean, what would these people have the Chileans do? Go to the nearest ATM, withdraw some cash, somehow find the shopkeeper (who’s house has been destroyed and who has likely fled) and hand him the money? How do they expect them to feed their families if not by “looting”?

This calls to mind the grimly hilarious photo juxtaposition that came out of Hurricane Katrina back in aught-five. I’ve reproduced it here for your viewing pleasure:

Our media learned their lesson well from Katrina: black people loot; white people find.

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Written by pavanvan

March 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm

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