QUESTION - What is going on in this photo?
ANSWER - According to the Associated Press: "Scavengers Simone and Dougal roll home an empty barrel that they recovered from Branscombe beach near Sidmouth, England. Dozens of people swarmed over the pebble beach exploring the contents of containers from the stricken vessel Napoli, which is grounded about a mile out at sea. Officials said some of the containers were carrying the possessions of people immigrating to South Africa. Picture: AP"
While smiling Simone and Dougal are cheerfully wheeling home what is allegedly an empty barrel, hundreds of photos just like these are all over the global electronic and written press. In all of my reading I continuously see the words "scavengers" and "beachcomers" describing these people, as if they are a cheerful group of retirees looking for nick-nacks to share with the gang at the old folks home. Of course, the words used to describe the actions of these people are "liberating" and "salvaging."
Let me back up for a moment - a few days ago, a massive cargo ship ran aground in high winds during a storm off the coast of Sidmouth, in England. The ship was carrying a wide array of goods, many of which fell off and washed ashore and still more that remained on the deck of the grounded vessel.
Well, the citizens of the nearby towns have decided to descend on the beaches to steal all that they can find of value. Some of the more popular items are brand new $15,000 BMW motorcycles, expensive engine parts, clothes, shoes, dog food, oil paintings and other things. Hundreds of people are just all over the place STEALING things that DON'T BELONG TO THEM!!! But, the English police are on the job! According to the AP, the police are TELLING the SCAVENGERS to stop taking items from the beach. TELLING THEM!!! At last count I have seen at least three photos of police standing around looking bored and stupid with their hands in their pockets.
My issue here, if you haven't figured it out yet...
Why is this considered such a mild and happy-go-lucky crime? Is it because the people commiting these blatant acts of larceny are jovial caucasians? Is it because the people STEALING all of this property are so blindly drunk with their own arrogance that they feel it is okay to take what does not belong to them? Is the media looking on them as kind-hearted ruffians because of their skin color and stupid Alfred E. Newman - "What, me worry?" smiles on their thieving mugs?
All day, I kept saying to myself, "With great power comes great responsibility." Sure, that line is straight out of Spider-Man, but it is true! It is true for both the National and International Media. The mass media has to constantly be aware of its power and its impact on the world and on global racial relations.
My point is - PERCEPTION IS REALITY! The mass media controls much of the perceptions that people around the world make and live by. This controlled perception becomes the reality that many people live and die by. When the media gives hundreds of white people that are clearly breaking the law, a white-washed and sugar-coated presentation from one end of the planet to the other - it skews the global perception. It makes white people seem light-hearted, playful, whistful and high-spirited.
" The [WHITE] scavengers, joyfully found thousands of dollars worth of other people's belongings strewn across a sunny beach. Many of these fun-loving scavengers playfully ignored the chiding of local police as they loaded motorcycles and BMW transmissions on their family vehicles." This is basically how most headlines read.
Now had this ship run aground in say, Mogadishu, the headlines would have read-
"Thousands of angry Somalis violently looted a beach covered with Internationally owned property and belongings. Seven people were injured when private security, hired by the ship owner, arrived on the scene in heavily armed helicopter gunships." And, you know I'm NOT lying.
Need I bring back the images of countless Black folks in New Orleans after Katrina? Okay - sure, some folks WERE looting! When your home is flooded and sitting underwater and you are stealing stereos and DVD's - yes YOU ARE LOOTING, regardless of your race! But, on the other hand just because you are black and you have a bag in your hands YOU ARE NOT A LOOTER! The Mass Media ignored this fact! Every Black person on film in the Katrina aftermath that was holding a bag and standing near a business was captioned as A LOOTER! [Google it if you doubt me!] While White Katrina victims were described as "finding" things to survive the Blacks were all "looting"!
The Global Mass Media has to look hard in the mirror and learn to be fair and neutral when it presents events that happen across this planet!
By the way - the people in the photo - ARE LOOTING! THEY ARE STEALING ITEMS THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THEM! For God's sake, these arrogant fools gave their names - they need to be found and prosecuted!