Using An Abandoned Bus To Save Yourself And Many Others = “Extreme Act of Looting”

Scenario:  Imagine you’re an 18 year old male in New Orleans.  Hurricane Katrina is doing serious damage, flood water and sewage is everywhere, and people are dying.  By all accounts, this is just the beginning; it is guaranteed to get worse.  You see an abandoned school bus in the city (which was already declared a disaster zone).  You see people trying to save themselves by making their way out of the city.  Left with little choice, you hop into the bus, let aboard as many people as you can, and make a seven hour drive to the Astrodome in Texas—the only place remaining that has shelter and supplies.  This is exactly what happened to Jabbor Gibson.  He’s a hero, wouldn’t you say?  Well, according to Texas’ News Channel 5, he’s a looter.

HOUSTON—Thousands of refugees of Hurricane Katrina were transported to the Astrodome in Houston this week. In an extreme act of looting, one group actually stole a bus to escape ravaged areas in Louisiana.

(emphasis mine)

Let me get this straight:  a group of people decide to get out of New Orleans and save their lives (after the governemnt left them there without a thought), and they are criminals?  What the fuck!?!  It’s not like they killed someone and hijacked the bus.  It was abandoned in a city that was going to hell. 

It gets worse.  Once the bus load of people arrived there, the asswipes at the Astrodome were hesitant to let them in because they weren’t “expected or approved”.  And to add even more injury to insult, there is a possibility that criminal charges will be pressed against the brave Mr. Gibson:

Authorities eventually allowed the renegade passengers inside the dome. But the 18-year-old who ensured their safety could find himself in a world of trouble for stealing the school bus.

I really, really don’t like to play the race card, nor do I see racism in every single act that negatively effects a Black person, but am I the only person who thinks that, had the bus been loaded with white civilians, this would be on the news as an act of heroism and triumph, and example of real Americans taking care of themselves, and the officials at the Astrodome would have welcomed these brave and True Americans with open arms?  But I forget:  Black people stealing food from a store during a crisis= looters; White people stealing food from a store during a crisis = “finding” or “surviving”.

17 thoughts on “Using An Abandoned Bus To Save Yourself And Many Others = “Extreme Act of Looting”

  1. This kid a hero.  The copy writers at channel 5 might not know it, but just about everyone who read that story does. They’ll catch on when (and if) the authorities try to prosecute him.

  2. In Bush country (and remember, Texas = Bush country squared), there ARE no disasters. Only temporary setbacks. And obviously, such small troubles do not justify committing theft!

    Actually, it would be better if they tried to press charges. At least, then he’d eventually emerge a hero. This way, he may come out of it with a bad lesson.

  3. am in houston.  and i’ve watched the news almost non-stop since this all began to unfold.

    the channel 5 story is sensationalism and only barely accurate.

    20 year old.  not 18 year old.  so even the most basic of facts is slightly off.

    yes, they were denied entrance to the astrodome at first, because officials had promised to house superdome victims.  they were afraid if they admitted everyone, then they wouldn’t have the space they needed.  (which did turn out to be true)  he wasn’t the only one denied entrance in the beginning.

    thankfully, they had a change of heart and admitted him and his group. people try to play by the book, sometimes, and it just doesn’t work out that way, so they adjust.  they deserve credit for having the flexibility to do so. 

    even the best planning never took into account houston’s receiving the amount of victims that it has.  we’re learning on the fly.  we’re adjusting where we need to.  and we’re doing the best we possibly can.  even here in “bush country”.

    the entire “he could face charges” thing is bogus.  there is no one here that plans to arrest this kid.  you’ll note that it says, “he could *possibly* face charges”.  well, sure.  just like people caught on camera could *possibly* face charges for “looting” or “finding” food.  there are just absolutely no plans to charge him.

    he IS a hero and we are well aware of that fact.

  4. This is unbelievable…well, actually it’s not.  After everything I’ve seen this week, this makes perfect sense.  Our country is going to have to answer to THE biggest charge of racism since slavery when this is all said and done.  It is a disgrace.  It’s a shame that right after 9/11 we saw the best in people, and Katrina brought out the absolute worst. You get one young man that is trying to do some good and he’s in trouble for it?  Terrible.  Just terrible.

  5. Now, DOF, no facts, please.

    he IS a hero and we are well aware of that fact.

    Of course you are. I was pretty sure that this story would in fact backfire in a more positive direction. But the copywriter, by using those terms, showed either uncaring attitude or outright hostility (‘extreme act of looting’, ‘renegade’…)

  6. Regardless, that comparison of AP captions really says it all…

    The second is from AFP, not AP. Two different agencies, two different rules on how to state the facts, likely. Slightly similar to the fracas over insurgents/terrorists?

  7. Sorry, it’s that baklava in the kitchen distracting me…right, that’s it.

    As a true kid of the web generation, I prefer to let food burn if it distracts me from the net wink

  8. For food to burn, then one must be cooking. How do you cook? I saw pictures of a kitchen on the internet.  wink

  9. American Leviathan is an interesting article about the way we’re viewing and reporting the aftermath of Katrina.

    In response to the looting came expressions of outrage.  Someone identified as John F. Marretta offered this opinion to the letters page of the St. Pete Times:  “It figures the scum of the earth would be out looting in hurricane-devastated areas. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for stealing from somebody’s business if you are taking food and water. But if you are stealing designer clothing, jewelry or electronics you have no place in society. Police would have my full support if they were to shoot looters on sight. These types of human filth have no place among the civilized members of society.

  10. Firstly, it should be obvious to any rational, non-coerced person that what this kid did was good. Of course, this countries news is tied and bound…so it never surprises me to see such pathetic reporting pass for news.

    At least Mr. Marretta is willing to distinguish between survival and criminality.  When Diane Sawyer offered that distinction to the president in an interview, he responded stoically that the police policy should be “zero tolerance

  11. Again, our government is socialist/authoritarian.

    You’re raping the word socialist. A socialist economy is supposed to redistribute wealth from top down (no matter what real communism may have done). This society is more concerned with enabling the flow in the opposite direction.

    Calling that socialist is misrepresentation.

  12. (no matter what real communism may have done).

    You probably mean Stalinism.  Labels mean nothing is the object labeled doesn’t match.

    If anybody disputes this I will have to change my name to Kevin Costner, so the wife will do highly intimate things to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.