A reader writes:
Many have blamed the looting and violence in New Orleans on poverty, racism, and neglect.
Major recent flooding in the Indian city of Bombay (population about 18 million) lead to severe consequences for the city. Over 1000 people were killed, parts of the city were destroyed, and the government was unable to handle the situation effectively. It's interesting to note that according to the Bombay police, there were no reports of looting or violence. Personal accounts from city residents, foreign travelers, and media reporters also indicate there was no lawlessness - even with all the opportunities that existed in the chaotic situation. City residents actually worked together to provide humanitarian assistance, businessmen handed out free food, slum dwellers and even criminals rescued people, and some provided strangers with a place to stay.
By most measures (poverty, economic inequality, access to education and healthcare, discrimination [i.e., the caste system]) the average poor person in Bombay is vastly much worse off than the average poor person in New Olreans. Yet one city's residents acted like the Japanese and the other city's residents acted like Haitians. It seems to me that the exemplary behavior of the residents of Bombay should disprove the theory that poverty and discrimination lead to lawlessness.
In New Orleans there was shooting and looting when the floods came last week. When a similar inundation struck India's financial capital Mumbai a month earlier, there was no violence, just free wada-pav bread...
Mumbai police commissioner A.N. Roy confirmed there were no cases of looting, arson or violence when the floods hit. "Even stray cases of robbery were not heard or reported," he said.
Mumbai has nearly 20 million residents. New Orleans had about 500,000.
In case you are wondering, "Mumbai" is the new way to spell "Bombay" that was invented by The People in Charge of Confusing You.
A reader writes:
That account was absolutely accurate by the way. My sister lives in Bombay currently. And she could have corroborated the facts. She was actually quite shocked when she saw the footage of rioting in New Orleans and all the stories about rapes and looting.
Another reader writes:
The scale of the Great Katrina Cover-Up is just dawning on me. (I'm a little slow on the uptake. My mother always said so) ...
What a peculiar thing. Everybody seems to know all about this, yet the public culture is silent. See no black anarchy; hear no black anarchy; say no black anarchy. Amazing, amazing. A complete flight from reality.