One of the most shocking things for me over the past week has been the extent of the demonization and dehumanization of the black and poor of New Orleans, even in the middle of the direst of tragedies.
The US media constantly played up and fed the wildest rumors of violence, looting, and rioting, never bothering to check, never correcting when they gave false information, and rarely pausing to give a balanced assessment of situation.
The Guardian has a damning article. It ends with this vignette, which summarizes things well:
Similarly when the first convoy of national guardsmen went into New Orleans approached the convention centre they were ordered to "lock and load".
But when they arrived they were confronted not by armed mobs but a nurse wearing a T-shirt that read "I love New Orleans".
"She ran down a broken escalator, then held her hands in the air when she saw the guns," wrote the LA Times.
"We have sick kids up here!" she shouted.
"We have dehydrated kids! One kid with sickle cell!"
More after the flip.