Can anybody in America explain

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bob the Spiderman, Sep 2, 2005.

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  1. On British TV we are seeing images from New Orleans that are beyond belief, and I am having great difficulty in understanding the mentaility of the people who are acting this way. One report said that when the rescue helicopters came to help people in the Sports Dome they were shot at, and consquently the rescue crews went away and would not come back.

    Please do not think that I am sitting in judgement because I am not, but I am not finding it easy to understand the Anarchy that seems to exist in the city of New Orleans at this moment in time.

    Best Wishes Bob F.
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Most of us here are just as shocked and appalled as you are Bob. Just goes to show that the savage is still just beneath the surface in many individuals, and all it takes to expose these traits is a loss of societal constraints.

    Makes me ashamed to be a human being.
     
  3. Bob, funny that I should see this thread after just speaking with a co-worker about this. Here is the theory from an old American fellow who has nothing to brag about but his own experience. Firstly, what you are seeing is certainly not an American phenomenon. Look around the world and you see that a certain percentage of the world population has taken on a "you owe me" attitude, and they don't care who the "you" is as long as it isn't "them".

    Over my 55 year, so far, life span I have always seen some percentage of people with this attitude, but to honest with you I think the percentage is getting higher. Couple that with the desire by the news organizations to go for "shock value" and the problem seems even greater. We see short snippets of folks like Brett Favre's, NFL QB, mother being found OK and Fats Domino being found, but those are 30 second sound bites if that much.

    I think that here we find this very shocking as the worst comes out when a disaster strikes, be it a hurricane/earthquake/flood/riot. Now we will see people who will try to take advantage of the situation by fake scams for "relief" or trying to price-gouge on the necessities. Really is sad.

    Bob, I don't take this as anything but what you state, a question from another decent human being who does not understand how human beings can drop so low. But just look around the world to see the same type of attitude, sometimes institutionlized in goverments. I find it to be much more prevalent than we would like. Perhaps this is such a shock because you don't expect this to happen in the US in time of disaster, but we sure have our share here as well.

    Thanks for asking, Bob, it gives me pause to reflect on how happy I am that I don't associate with people like that as well as reminding me of how prepared I need to be in the event that something of that nature occurs.
     
  4. Bob, I doubt there is an explanation that would seem rational. I have my opinions on what's going on. Bottom line is I feel it's a deterioration in morals that allows an individual to loot and steal firearms then use the same to shoot at those who are trying to help others, all while people are dying. The events in New Orleans are so different from the events in Central Florida last year when we were hit by 3 hurricanes. Surely makes one wonder.
     
  5. I will admit, I am the LAST person to get up to speed on a national news event but after reading the reports of the looting, raping, theft, murder and then the shooting of FEMA rescuers I have lost patience with the citizens of New Orleans.

    This is going to seem harsh, but the thought occurred to me this is God's modern day Soddom and Gomorrah.

    My younger brother is flying relief supplies in and out of the airport down there as a Navy pilot in a C-2 Greyhound cargo plane. He has personally talked to other military pilots that have been shot at by the crowds.

    Bill you had some great words to say, mine may be a little more harsh.

    Once again, while I feel deeply for everyone's loss it makes me wonder, like Kevin stated, at the what and why of the situation.

    -Brett
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2005
  6. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I think you have to take into account that many of the people who remained in the city before the hurricane hit were the poorest of the poor who did not have the means to evacuate. Like many cities with large urban populations New Orleans has always had problems with crime and gang activity. Now these people have lost everything and are desperate, and some of them are resorting to violence and crime. (Not all of them, mind you, but enough to create a really dangerous situation). Unfortunately the people most hurt by this are the innocent familes, elderly, etc who are stuck there along with the thugs and criminals and end up being victimized by them.
     
  7. Bob;

    There are lots of us scratching our heads about this. These people had several days to evacuate and many didn't for whatever reason. For some it may be that they just couldn't get out. For others they might not have believed the reports of what potential this storm had. Finally, there is that group, already mentioned, who believe that everyone "owes" them something. These are the ones who are wading waist-deep through the flooded streets carrying looted big screen TV's to who knows where, since their homes are gone and they have no power! Fortunately, this group makes up a small percentage of the population.

    I don't understand why a city would be built below sea level on the coast with levees made out of dirt to hold back the water! It's a wonder the city hasn't been wiped out before.

    If residents are allowed to rebuild (I don't they should be) they'll have an awfully had time getting any insurance for their homes and businesses.

    Don't get me wrong, I feel for anyone who is in a tragic situation whatever it may be.

    All in all it's a tragedy any way one looks at it. Let's hope and pray they can recover from this.
     
  8. Hi Bob,

    My son is in the 82nd Airborne and was just deployed to the New Orleans area in an attempt to restore order. This is a sad state of affairs that we see there in that city. I might contrast this with a natural disaster that occured in Idaho a number of years ago when the Teton Dam broke and wiped out cities and homes in a wide swath of destruction. The people of that area did not loot or take advantage of one another, instead they reported in to their religious sanctuarys where they organized themselves into teams to help one another. Instead of looking to the government to come in and save them, they saved themselves. While it is true that this was much smaller in scale the principle holds.

    It is a sad day for all of us, first because of this tragedy that has taken place and second because of the way "some" of the citizens of New Orleans are reacting. The gangs are rampant in that city and the police have been unable to control them. We here in the USA are as appalled as our friends and neighbors in other countries. Certainly this is not representative of what we stand for. The military should be able to restore order and the relief efforts will go on. We have so many good people ready and willing to help.
     
  9. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Just a humble opinion of a former law enforcement officer (Captain):

    I have been to New Orleans a good number of times, I have spent several days at a time there.

    Most cities have what you might term a "standard" mix of all types, and most cities have a certain character. It generally balances out, and the usual statistics on crime and social issues are similar in most of our cities.

    I feel that New Orleans, as a couple of other US cities, don't have that standard mix of types. And the character of New Orleans has two "faces".

    One face is the stereotyped "jazz and music" center of Bourbon Street and the unique culture of the French Quarter. But if you have been there in recent years, what you see is a filthy place, with a huge number of people looking for a "good time", AND an awful lot of very angry and insolent people looking for trouble and persons to "do wrong to". New Orleans is right up at the top of the list of cities infested with predators, gangs, drugs, guns and violence as a daily routine.

    The police presence on Bourbon Street is much larger than that, for instance, of the Times Square/Broadway area of New York City. New Orleans has had a reputation for a very high crime, street predators and a high violence rate for a long time.

    Now, add a catastrophe of the proportions we have, which takes the very minimal police presence and assigns is to search & rescue and it was just a piece of dry tinder waiting for a spark. The disproportionate numbers of let's call "criminal types", or with a propensity for violence and an anarchistic state of mind, simply took advantage of the situation.

    What we have seen happen in New Orleans is something that could happen in a couple of other US cities under similar circumstances. Fortunately for most of us, there are just a few of these cities, and most of us don't live there.
     
  10. Thanks. I am glad that some of you are as perplexed as I am. Just heard on the 10.00pm news that aid is now beginning to arrive.

    Jeff. Your comment about the poor being the ones who were left because they had no means of evacuating the city in the first place, and therefore have no reserves in times of trouble strikes a very sensible note.

    I have just heard President Bush say that the country is capable of tackling 2 problems at once. Well in my opinion it is a great shame that he has the first problem to which he alluded within his speech, but that is another matter entirely.

    BW. Bob F.
     
  11. Brew

    Brew Guest

    It’s really too bad what’s going on down there I everybody has summed the problem up pretty well but I’ll be blunt. It has a lot to do with the welfare state / entitlement. Some of those people don’t know what it’s like to earn or work for something. They’ve been given a monthly check year after year without doing anything for it. And like Jeff said these people are now desperate. Now take the people in Florida, most worked hard to build their cities and houses and if God blows them down they work hard to build them back up.

    It’s a shame and although I’ve donated money for relief I think they should not rebuild the city. Why spend Billions and Billions to have it just happen again in 30 to 50 years!!! It’s a darn bowl they live in; they have to look up to see the Gulf or the Mississippi river.
    The city government has been corrupt for years lining there pockets with money intended for repairs and upgrades and this is what it got them. I feel just terrible for all the good people down there but I have to shake my head too.
     
  12. Reaction in New Orleans

    About 1/3 of the citizens of New Orleans are living below the U.S. defined poverty level. Although the U.S. has one of the highest standards of living, it has never been able to wipe out poverty throughout and Louisiana is overall one of the poorest states.

    Those 33% in poverty were by far the majority of people who were left there during the storm...unable to leave in this quick emergency(no car, no money, no way to have their home protected if they left).

    By far, the majority of those in this poverty group are good, law abiding, god-fearing people. But in the numbers we are talking about (about 150,000) probably, there certainly are a large number who live on the edge of American society.

    Once the constraints of civilization were lifted from them, it is not surprising to see anarchy immediately raise its ugly head. Many are mentally ill, drug addicts, gang members, etc. They are all surviving in a very stressful environment at the moment.

    Many are also uneducated and exist at the full shadow of the American society. I can certainly envision mindless 13 and 14 year old children who have found guns through looting and are simply firing them as part of thrill.

    As for the gun-shots. As a retired career military helo pilot, I can just say, that low slow-flyers know that they can be fired on from the ground anytime. It is not part of a well-thought out plan. And it is certainly not done by people who are right in the mind.

    Regards,

    Paul
     
  13. I am going to get on my soap box.

    Some of the problems that have been encountered are due to PPP at the top of the leadership chain in NO and must bare some of the responsibility of the current situation. There was a mandatory evacuation. Some individuals simply will not heed those orders, some did not have transportation out of town. The NO leaders at that point should have used every publicly owned mode of transportation to provide transportation. I know Monday morning quarterback. Every year the State of Florida and its counties have a a hurricane exercise and usually it is Hurricane "Zack" to prepare its first responders and relief agencies for another "Andrew". It gets people in a mind set for the upcoming year.

    I am tired of hearing about the lack of response by the media. Considering the storm passed through the area on Monday I ,who was the logistician for my agency for Andrew, am amazed by how much has been done to date with the fact the infrastructure for the city of NO is in shambles. Correct me if I am wrong but I didn't think the levees gave way until the day after the storm.
    Wasn't the airport shut down for a least 2 days. And wasn't it the military that came in and helped get at least one runway open and provide ATC support.

    Amateurs think in terms of strategy while professionals think in terms of logistics

    After working in LE for over 35 years I have seen the best and the worst from our citizens. For the overwhelming majority they are decent law biding people. Please do not judge the USA on what you see in NO.
    Those that are shooting and looting TVs were criminals before Katrina and will still be criminals when this is all over. They are taking advantage of the opportunity to loot and apparently to settle some old scores.

    I will step down from my soap box now. If the moderators feel I have crossed the line feel free to delete my post.

    Russ
     
  14. I have read all of the responses here, and for the most part find valid points in all of them. Let me offer some different ways of considering this. You are told to go to "the shelter" if you can not escape town on your own. You are told to bring 3-5 days worth of neccessities. You are told to leave your beloved pets behind.
    Now you do all of the above and the first day the electric fails, you are shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people, hot acrid, humid. Then the toilet facilities fail. then people die or commit suicide before your eyes. No PA system to communicate any sign of hope. Then someone steals some of your meager supplies. you can not bath, you have nothing to eat or drink, you know nothing of what is to come, they will not let you leave. I think the fine line of sanity starts to get tested at about this point. Then you realize you have no home, you lost your beloved pet(s) and perhap lost family members or friends, you did not have much to begin with.....
    Is anybody following my logic?
    I do not condone the horrific acts that I have read about, but I believe mankind is basicaly good so I am seeking some reason for all this.
     
  15. cknight

    cknight

    663
    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    I probably don't think I'll say anything that hasn't already been said, but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.

    I'm just as disgusted and shocked by what I've seen as by everyone else. Some of the looting is understandable. People need to eat and feed their kids. People's anger and frustration is understandable. If any one of us had to spend a couple of days in the superdome in those conditions, we'd be pissed too. But I don't know what they expect. Figuring out what is needed and getting it there to a place that is cut off with no infrastructure takes time. It seems like real help is finally getting there now. Maybe a day or two later than it should be, but overall pretty good timewise.
    The crime sprees, shooting, and rapes that are occurring are shocking and disgusting. My gut tells me that these are mostly gang type people that were morally bankrupt to begin with. They arent' shooting at rescue helipocpters because they're angry, they're shooting because they get a kick out of it and don't think they will get caught. They should be shot on sight.
    Its been an eye opener for me. I usually see this kind of activity in other countries and like to think that we, on average as a country, are better than that and more civilized. Maybe not. Maybe its the presence of LE that forces us to be that way.
    Anyway, I'm done ranting. Hopefully within the next day or to order will start to be restored.
     
  16. PGB

    PGB

    Jan 25, 2005
    Seeing as we all have the same dismay concerning this situation I feel that this thread has outlived its usefulness. We all have our opinions on what the issues are, the problems that are being faced, the blame for the anarchy.

    We should be focused on what the next step is. We should be praying for the safety of all those that are there or are on the way to help with this disaster. We should all pick up the phone and call our loved ones whom we don't see or speak with often and tell them that we love them. There are thousands of people without communication that cannot do just that.

    It is a terrible tragedy that will take a long while to get over, but there is hope we will all get through this if we stay positive and work together.

    With Regards,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2005
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