More myth-busting about Hurricane Katrina aftermath.
Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy
Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong.
By Susannah Rosenblatt and James Rainey
Times Staff Writers
BATON ROUGE, La.— Maj. Ed Bush recalled how he stood in the bed of a pickup truck in the days after Hurricane Katrina, struggling to help the crowd outside the Louisiana Superdome separate fact from fiction. Armed only with a megaphone and scant information, he might have been shouting into, well, a hurricane.
Just one of the few honest reports about what really happened during Hurricane Katrina. Many media outlets on both sides of the political arena played the race card to either blame whites for a lack of apathy towards blacks or to blame blacks, particularly poor blacks, for a lack of moral character. After all of these years since the hurricane hit, I have found that neither side were accurate. I would even venture to say that not only were they not accurate but I believe many of these so called trusted news sources and commentators were out right dishonest. I've heard some say that blacks stayed behind due to their immorality and government dependence, essentially the implication is that they were lazy. Yet, over 90% of the population in New Orleans is black and it has been reported and verified that over 80%-85% of the residents evacuated. This tells me that the majority of blacks actually had the good sense to listen to the warnings and leave! Now, I would never profess to be a scholar of any sort but to me, common sense dictates that if you have a population where the majority is black, then it is readily obvious that the majority of those left behind are also going to be black. Just sayin'. So those who used the few who stayed behind as an overall indictment against the immorality of blacks were actually being very dishonest in that the relatively few that stayed behind, for whatever reason, is not an accurate reflection of the majority of the populace and therefore is not an indictment of all black people, not even most black people. Yet, there are those, white and black, who not only believe that it is but continue to perpetuate this falsehood on radio and t.v. as if all of the whites got out and all of the blacks stayed behind. Ridiculous!
The other side of the coin is those who want to blame "whitey" for the ills of the black community, starting with George Bush and going on down the pipe. This is equally ridiculous and only distracts from real issues surrounding the incident such as the levees breaking, thousands of displaced residents, and reconstruction. It also discredits legitimate concerns surrounding the Army Core of Engineers and their upkeep of the levees. Why did they give out, that is if they actually gave out. There are many who purported that the levees were blown up, including many testimonials of residents hearing a blast or explosion prior to the massive flooding, yet this is not looked at in any serious manner due to the outrageous claims and accusations attached to it by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Louise Farrakhan. Allowing people like them, race hustlers, only brings a type of discredit to the entire event. It makes the plight of those stranded seem as if they are truly what the stereotypes say they are, poor, uneducated, black folks, too lazy to do for themselves. Yet, true reports from those who were on the ground give a different story as the article indicates. Read, and see for yourself. My advice is to listen to everything, believe nothing, and research for yourself to find the truth.