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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