NEW ORLEANS—Throughout the Gulf Coast, Caucasian suburbanites attempting to gather food and drink in the shattered wreckage of shopping districts have reported seeing AfricanAmericans “looting snacks and beer from damaged businesses.” “I was in the abandoned Wal-Mart gathering an air mattress so I could float out the potato chips, beef jerky, and Budweiser I’d managed to find,” said white survivor Lars Wrightson, who had carefully selected foodstuffs whose salt and alcohol content provide protection against contamination. “Then I look up, and I see a whole family of [African-Americans] going straight for the booze. Hell, you could see they had already looted a fortune in diapers.” Radio stations still in operation are advising store owners and white people in the affected areas to locate firearms in sporting-goods stores in order to protect themselves against marauding blacks looting gun shops.
See also the big time fabulous sarcasm by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
My friend Marjorie passed along this prayer. I am neither religious nor Jewish, but still I found it moving.
A Prayer for Guidance and Understanding
Richard S. Moline and Rabbi Elyse R. Winick
Ba’al HaRahamim – God of Compassion:
Mikolot mayim rabim – Above the voice of vast waters;
Mishberei yam – The breakers of the sea;
Adir bamarom Adonai – Awesome is Adonai our God.
In the path of Katrina’s destruction, let the good in humanity rise to the top of the flood.
Give us strength to console those who have lost family, friends and neighbors.
Give us the courage to provide hope to those who despair.
Provide us with the guidance to heal those who ail, both in body and in spirit.
Hoshi’eini Elohim – Save us, O God;
Ki va’u mayim ad nafesh – for the waters have come into our souls.
Open our hearts so that we may support recovery efforts to the best of our abilities
Enable us to endure and to be steadfast in the weeks and months ahead, in the face of a tragedy whose scope is beyond our understanding.
We mourn for those whose lives have been lost. We pray for those whose lives have been shattered.
Mima’amakim k’ratikha Adonai – From the depths we call to you, O God;
Adonai shim’a b’koli – Hear our cry, heed our plea.