Louisiana, as you doubtless know, is experiencing a disaster of biblical proportions. The flooding there has damaged or destroyed 40,000 homes. According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, more than 10,000 residents are now in shelters.
The pictures coming out of the storm-plagued region tell an even grimmer story. The photo shown here, as a case in point, shows coffins that were unearthed when the floodwaters swept through a cemetery and are now floating down a street.
If you’re wondering how these dire conditions relate to the headline of this post, consider another headline, this one from Baton Rouge CBS affiliate WAFB: “Authorities arrest 14 on looting charges during historic flooding.”
If your jaw is not yet on the floor, give it a moment.
The story goes on to note:
While many were displaced from their homes and uncertain about what will happen to them because of massive flooding, law enforcement said some people tried to take advantage of the situation.
Authorities said they arrested 14 people suspected of breaking into stores in areas affected by the natural disaster.
Baker PD reported Green, Aubert, Kinchen and Dunn were arrested around 11 a.m. They are accused of stealing alcohol and cigars from Brother’s Food Mart on Groom Road. All four are charged with looting, burglary and unauthorized entry during emergency or disaster. Green and Kinchen were also charged with possession of marijuana.
Here is a photo of some of the looters, courtesy of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office via WAFB:
I have frankly never understood the tendency of the underclass to loot, which appears to be a kneejerk atavistic response to any perceived or real injustice or act of oppression. A “defense” of the practice (the author’s word) by one Willie Osterweil — “a writer, editor, and member of the punk band Vulture Shit” — was offered up in the midst of the Ferguson riots in 2014:
White people deploy the idea of looting in a way that implies people of color are greedy and lazy, but it is just the opposite: looting is a hard-won and dangerous act with potentially terrible consequences, and looters are only stealing from the rich owners’ profit margins. Those owners, meanwhile, especially if they own a chain like QuikTrip, steal forty hours every week from thousands of employees who in return get the privilege of not dying for another seven days.
There is much about this theory that is flat-out wrong. One of the most glaring fallacies is the claim that the targets of the looters are “rich owners.” In fact, the victims are generally minority business owners who live locally and are trying to scrape out a living. In any case, it would be interesting to hear Osterweil’s justification for the looting in Louisiana — especially which aspect of the merchandise carried away by heartless thieves he considers “hard-won.”