Salvaging food?

January 15, 2010


Bodies pile up after Haiti quake; aid jams airport

Looters swarmed a broken supermarket in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince, carrying out electronics and bags of rice unchallenged. Others siphoned gasoline from a wrecked tanker.

It would be more humane if you would have written, “Starving, injured and traumatized victims of the earthquake peacefully salvaged food and electronics from a (partially?) collapsed supermarket (what is a broken supermarket?). Others took the opportunity to collect fuel from a wrecked tanker.”

Why would you chose such language as “looters swarmed” in a situation where thirsty, starving, injured, homeless and grieving people were reacting to a catastrophic situation (more dire than their regular daily lives) in hopes of feeding themselves and obtaining goods that could later be sold to feed, clothe and house their families and neighbors?

Should they leave the food and other goods there to rot or rust? Is it necessary to try and make victims appear lawless? SHAME ON YOU! How low will you go?


Salvaged food? Collected fuel? Please remind me not to hire you as a reporter.

People were looting and siphoning. Whether it was justified is for others to decide, not us. But you’re right about one thing. I don’t know what a broken supermarket is, either: GBU

Looters siphon gasoline from a wrecked tanker in Port-au-Prince January 14, 2010. REUTERS/Kena Betancur

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While the reporter clearly painted in a criminalistic light the activity of victims of a catastrophic event that escapes all imagination , I’ll pull the race card and state that had this natural disaster occurred in some richer area of the world populated by people of white heritage, the reporter would have been more sensitive with his choice of words.

Posted by vittorio | Report as abusive

Alternately, could have gone with something like “earthquake survivors” and say they “took” food, if you wanted a middle ground between “look at these criminals” and “look at these people singing kum ba ya.” Would agree though that electronics counts as looting.

Posted by Cantras | Report as abusive