Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said it best. He noted that the Hurricane Katrina disaster had "brought out the best in some, the worst in others."
I assume that he was talking about the media, which keeps broadcasting the same "Black people looting" scene, over and over.
The racial biases of the reporters in New Orleans has been on full - and shocking - display, since Tuesday.
Repeatedly, reporters refer to white victims clinging to life as "survivors" and "residents," while African-American victims doing the same things are called "looters" and "criminals." Disproportionately, the humanizing, "heart-breaker" stories feature white victims and families. Meanwhile, images of African-American crowds are almost invariably in the background during discussions of "criminal activity."
Yahoo.com's news page provided one of the most blatant examples of this kind of bias.
The website featured a photo of two white residents, wading through the water with food. The caption read: "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)"
Then there is a photo of a Black youth, wading through water with food. The caption reads: "A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)"
You can see the images yourself below:
This is the kind of shameful bias that keeps the country divided, even during awful tragedies like this.