Mass hysteria!!!

There is a mass-email circulating the internet that includes the following:

“FW: Ladies please be aware-lock your car doors – This is so scary and i hate to make things worse in the wake of a tragedy, but be careful. Just wanted to pass this info along. In wake of that tragic car jacking incident that happened yesterday, it couldn’t hurt to take the extra precaution: Some of you may have seen the news yesterday where a woman was carjacked…The police think this is the same man who raped a woman last weekend, (school teacher 2 months away from retirement), took her to her bank and had her clean out her ATM, and then stabbed her! (thankfully she did not die). The police also think this man is from New Orleans. Today here at the office we had a patient who came in who is a 9-1-1 operator. She said that calls are coming in like crazy over the past 2 weeks with carjackings! (right around the time we have had this influx of new residents!)

You won’t hear this on the news as the media will not let this out…. But I did hear on Fox News this morning that there are 4,500 sex offenders that were let out of prison in New Orleans that have NOT re-registered! All the communities who have taken in these folks are now at risk.

The purpose of this email is to put all of you on ALERT! Lock your car doors the minute you get in. Keep your homes locked. Please let others know about this- be Safe!”

There we have it, straight from a Fox News supporter – random violence is rampant because of the displaced (and not coincidentally vastly minority and poor) residents of New Orleans! And of course, the “liberal” media is neglecting the story because as we all know, lefties live to protect criminals! One must assume that right after the hurricane, the constant footage of African Americans looting in New Orleans by CNN and nearly every news outlet must have been a rare mishap. There may be some truth to this warning however it seems highly unlikely and presumptuous at best.

This email reminds me of a sociology college class I took on crime and deviance. In an obvious attempt to spread fear and stereotype without substantial evidence, urban myths of random violence like the above are generated. Most turn out to be highly exaggerated.

Let’s examine this further. “Crime is rampant in the last two weeks but the media won’t let it out.” Since when has the media been reluctant to show crime? We seem to never escape stories of crime! What are they really saying here? Why would the media supposedly hold back on these particular crime stories? Are they implying that the mostly poor, minority population of New Orleans are criminals? Are we to presume that the rampant criminals are specifically from New Orleans? What about the rest of Louisiana and Alabama? What about the criminals that already exist in our cities? How did the police come to the conclusion that the car-jacker was a New Orleans resident? They certainly don’t tell us in their email and where are the links to these stories of 9-1-1 calls?

Finally, according to the author, the purpose of the email is to warn us. We should “lock our car doors and lock our homes” as soon as we get in. Apparently there are boat-loads of New Orleanians in our yards and on our streets just waiting to take our possessions and harm us! Maybe we should duct tape our windows? Perhaps the government has raised the terror level to a bright orange/red by now. How would we know unless we turn to Fox news?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook