Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anderson Cooper Saves Boy From Looters

The following video is extremely graphic

First let me say kudos to Cooper for having the sensibility to drop his camera and help.  I do however take issue with the people of Haiti continually being referred to as looters.  These people have less than nothing and this has been the case for centuries.  It is easy for people like Sanchez to sit in his safe little office and decry their behaviour, but the truth is that none of us knows how we would act in the same desperate circumstances. 

The idea that these people are looters is ridiculous when you consider that Western nations have had no problem stealing from them for centuries.  I suppose saddling Haiti with a punishing debt and supporting heinous dictators is simply the civilized way of life, while fighting to get a few commodities is simply savage.  The problem with the West is that we have always affected a form of distance from our crimes, thereby denying the true horror of our actions.

These people were taking candles.  The electricity in Haiti is obviously not functioning properly, thus making candles a necessity but somehow the acquisition of said products is terrible.  Showing Anderson rescuing this boy without emphasizing western responsibility for these terrible circumstances only helps to solidify the White man’s burden aspect to this tragedy. 

Shortly after hearing that there was an earthquake in Haiti, I knew that Cooper would be on the first plane.  He does after all have to bring a face to all of that Black suffering and show the appropriate White liberal outrage.   Who could forget his serious reporting during Hurricane Katrina.  Thank goodness Anderson was there to show some caring on behalf of the White liberal elite.

What continues to happen is that people of color die and then Whiteness shows up on time to get it all on film.  We cheer their courageousness and dedication to journalism all the while safely consuming with voyeuristic glee the break down of any form of order.  I am reminded that a scant five years ago a tsunami hit Bangladesh and the western media went rushing cameras in hand to document the horror.  How many today are still concerned with the people of Bangladesh, though the poverty continues unabated?

We don’t really want to feel their pain or even identify with the victims.  We want to consume it, just like we consume any other product that is placed before our mindless society of troglodytes.  We don’t want to hear about western guilt because this trope only works when others are the savages or when we cannot actually smell and taste the blood.

Once again the Blacks are the mindless looters and savages dependent upon Whiteness to save it.  Nice to know that things have not changed; consistency has always been a necessary function of neo-colonialism.  Not to worry though, those who gave on Larry Kings celebrity packed special show can know that they did their part.  Isn’t that what western society is all about, everyone doing their bit?  If we fail to see the Haitians as human beings so much the better, it will make it all that easier when five years from now the celebrities have gone on to touting the next bloody spectacle.