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“Controlling Disasters: Recognizing Latent Goals After Hurricane Katrina” by Lee M. Miller, focuses on the impact Hurricane Katrina which had occurred in late August of 2005. Which had put tons of thousands of people in troubles one could not imagine. It also put different processes of recovery that had to take place. Miller discusses many different topics about Hurricane Katrina; such as ones normal minds would not ponder. Throughout “Controlling Disasters” Miller brings up the topic of social media and how it can be skewed to obtain the publics attention. Miller successfully argues about this topic.
One tactic miller uses is located on page 125 which states, “The White people had just ‘found’ food and the Black person had ‘looted.’” In this quotation is the common misunderstanding about how racism takes place. In a sense the black people are doing the same thing as the white men. Unlike when the white man does it, it is considered a crime. The media had a field day with this because of the large percentage of black people living in this area. According to the text before the storm, “sixty seven percent of New Orleans’ residents were Black” (Miller 125). With this large population the media could easily torque the perspective of what the people watching from home could see. Especially since a large amount of this population accounted for the majority of the poor living in that area.
Another way the media had twisted what the public had seen was how they only showed, according to Miller on page 126, “images of chaos and anarchy.” When the public gets this in their mind why would anyone want to help people who aren’t even helping themselves? This left a lot of people stranded and worried about what they could do for themselves, or even how they would regenerate after it all was over. Overall this helped the government send in the National Guard to step into play and look like the heroes. If it wasn’t for this people still would be suffering from the tremendous damage that had occurred.
Another aspect Miller focused on in the article was the idea that the Criminal Justice System had a “risk management” program. On page 126 Miller introduces that the jail had opened to regular scheduled practice even though 25,000 people were still in dire need of help. These 25,000 people still were waiting to be rescued. This sounds like the criminal justice system only helped themselves, and never took action to help the people in need. This does not look as if their “risk management” program was in full stride to the public, only to there own party.
As one could tell after reading this Lee M. Miller had successfully made her claim that the social media had dramatized the actions going on to obtain the publics attention. This was done with the use of racism and the actions of chaos and anarchy during the situation.
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