Friday 10 July 2009

Why New Orleans looted and Bombay didn't

In late August 2005, the American Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Along with large scale destruction, there was, supposedly, a breakdown of law & order, and a great deal of looting.

About a month earlier, there was a massive flood in Mumbai. This too caused great destruction, but there was no looting at all. In fact, the then president drew attention to this contrast in a speech. 

Somehow, it didn't make sense. Perhaps all this has something to do with the fact that many of Hurricane Katrina's victims were black. But what?

Today, I got an answer. I was going through lecture notes on Stereotyping by Prof. Jacob Groshek of Iowa State University. In his section on stereotyping of blacks, he had this cartoon.

For once, a picture was worth a thousand words.

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