This was going to be a comment on pilotsworld.blogspot.com, but I decided to make it a post. You can read his original post here that inspired my response.
It's true. What did cause the riots? Was it the hurricane? Lack of food? Because, last I checked, they didn't store food in shirts and shoe boxes. They don't keep blankets in electronic stores. The shops with busted windows didn't seem to be any less flooded than some homes, so it wasn't to find a dry place to stay safe.
This hurricane has taken an underlying social problem that can generally be controlled by policing. But due to the disaster, the rules change.
The question I'd like to ask is this: Would this situation of rioting and anarchy happen in Regina were it to be hit by a natural disaster? I'd like to say no, but I wonder. If I lived in poverty and had the chance to make my life a little better by looting some items (that would eventually be destroyed by the disaster anyway), why wouldn't I take it. I wouldn't be able to get it any other time. I'd like to say I wouldn't do it, but if I was the person living in North Central with a bad habit for whatever drug comes my way, my story might change. It just sometimes takes some tragic things to make the society realize what they are capable of and that problems do exist.
We'll take the example of the surge of American patriotism after the disaster of 9/11. I've never seen so much flag wagging and other patriotic dribble ever before. I'm not saying that being proud of your nation is a bad thing (because I'm quite proud of my nation) but it was almost to the point of mass fanaticism. Every public event that followed shortly after would somehow work the message of standing firm in the face of travesty and blah blah blah. Other private citizens took it on themselves to insult and shun Canadians and French for "their lack of support". But what I don't think a lot of people realized, is that this was just a symptom of a serious national affliction. These people were scared out of their fucking minds. The show of patriotism was just a screen to prove to terrorists that nothing they could do would shake the foundations of what made the good ol' US of fuckin A so great. But I think that underneath it all, they were scared. Scared for what they had done in the past to piss these people off. Scared for the other countries they had pissed off and wondering if they would do anything about it. They were scared for what their Commander-in-chief was going to do next. But we won't let anyone see it. We will stand proud, and united.
Now to bring it back to the hurricane, the symptom is shooting, looting, and all the other crimes that are going unchecked after the storm. The problem is poverty. These people were down to begin with. And from what I've heard (and my sources might be questioned) they didn't have much help to get out. They piled some in a stadium and others just had to fend for themselves. So is what they're doing is surviving? Yes and no. But they are taking what may not be deserved, but what society prevents them from having in the first place. Do I have a solution. Fuck no. I don't have solutions for any of the great world problems. But I do like to recognize things for what they are. I guess it's the first step to solving a problem.