Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Levees


What language has been used by the national media to describe the citizens displaced by Katrina?
If the story could be re-written what might the media need to change?

Is Spike Lee being fair?
What elements of persuasion does he use to get his point across?
Who does he place in view of the camera on?

When commenting please remember:

Identify yourself, respond to others questions, and acknowledge the insight other students had on the topic.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The national media called them refugees. I mean, it isn't right for them to say that. They ARE and will forever be citizens of the United States. The media might need to change the word they are using instead of citizens. Spike Lee shows images of the results of what happened after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. He also interviewed people talking about how they felt about what the government and the Pres. is doing. It's really depressing and sad.
-TLau

manpreet kaur said...

The language that has been used by the national media to describe the the citizens displaced by Katrina is "rufugees", this word is very wrong I think to use; since they are not from a foreign country the people are American citizens. Rufgees aresomebody seeking a safe place: somebody who is seeking or taking refuge, especially from war or persecution, by going to a foreign country (often used before a noun)
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation.

Dr. Michael says, " before Houston had crime, and what it became more with a smaller portion of people moviing in the state, then there is already?"Mr. Brown you said, that the violence they showed were past recordings.
If the media would need to change what they called the American citizens "rufugees", and try to send the message to the governmnment that they needed to act faster, then what happened in New Orleans.
I have a question, if we pick the people who we want to run the government,because we trusted them to make the right and correct decisions in times of crisis; so shouldn't the people who we elected not break that trust of people by not helping "American citizens"?

Anonymous said...

Calling these american citizens refugees is morally incorrect but i do not belive the goverment meant any harm by using this word.
In no way shape or form are the people of New Orleans refugees. The goverment messed up with this hurrican and it jus seems they dont care at all. Did the goverment mean harm and disrespect by calling these people refugees?

Matthew Morrison

Anonymous said...

The government and the media are referring the citizens of the United States as “refugees”. They have no right to call them that at all. I believe that the reason they are being called a refugee is because they hear it from someone using it in a bad term or when they hear it on the news or movies. But I think that most people who say or call anyone that name doesn’t understand the meaning of it. A refugee is defined as a person outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinions. I found out this information on this website http://www.immihelp.com/gc/refugee.html . Spike Lee is showing everyone the real story behind hurricane Katrina. He actually went out of his way to interview people who had the experience of this disaster and what I liked a lot about this film was he showed the truth he showed how the government is. But it was very depressing to see the damage that was done. I feel terrible.

Leah Maddaloni

Anonymous said...

I agree with tiffany and manpreet about the usage of the word "refugees". United states are acting as " when the hurricane came it also blew away these peoples citizenship". I dont think there is any kind of persuation taking place by spike Lee because he actually just put peoples thought on camera showing the affects and proticals tooken to save most of the suvivors, this was more of a statement to the United states, to TAKE BETTER CARE OF THERE PEOPLE!!!

Jamaal adams

Anonymous said...

I agree with what some of the students have said. It's completely wrong how the media called them "refugees" when they are the citizens. Personally I would be hurt if someone called me a refugee because I am a citizen, not a refugee. Even if the government didn't mean to hurt anyone by calling them refugees, it was still wrong.

-Simran Kaur

Courtney Wilson said...

Like we saw in the video, BBC, the British television company, depicted those who were displaced by the storm as simply survivors. In our own country, we show them as if they were refugees from a foreign country. Its a shame because its our own people that we are looking down upon. Its almost as if there is no true sense of national pride. I an article on BBC's website it becomes more evident that they have more compassion in this situation as opposed to our media. With that said, I leave you with this quote: "We cannot allow it to be said by history that the difference between those who lived and... died... was nothing more than poverty, age or skin colour,"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4210648.stm

Mr Tesler said...

Our class caught the "refugee" comment, and I can say that we weren't too happy about it. We felt that they are Americans no matter where they go in this country, and should be afforded whatever rights, etc. that come with that distinction.

Althought the connotation of "refugee" is pretty harsh, in essence the people of New Orleans are "cultutral refugees." The way of life that these people once knew, good, bad, indifferent, is gone. The language, conversations, foods, it's all gone. Do you think the lady in Utah is really going to be able to get some good Jambalaya? Ever eat pizza or a bagel outside of New York?

Spike Lee, throughout his film career, has been a controversial director. Most of his films have portrayed the actions of whites in stereotypical terms. While sometimes deadly accurate in his depicitons, he nonetheless tends to show whites as overly insensitive to the concerns of African-Americans.

Think of the whites that are interviewed for the movie. The older, wealthy, couple who were on vacation, dressed in their best clothes. The images of a smiling George Bush. Where were interviews with the firemen who pulled the lady hanging off of a water pipe out of her house? Maybe a little face time with the Canadian Mounted Policemen who came down to help?

Anonymous said...

the national media called the Hurricane Katrina survivors refugess. Refugees are foreign people who come to America to fled away from violence in their country, people who are not citizens. Now does that sound like the survivors of hurricane Katrina, I dont think they should have said that and could have used better choice of words because those people are citizens of the United states and deserve to be treated and respected as one. If this were white people in the same situation, would they become refugees also?. The media needs to change the word refugee because it doesnt fit ther description of our people, because it can effect them in so many ways the last thing they need is to know their not apart of America even though how they were treated seems like they were not. Spike lees shows images of the aftermath of Hurricane katrina. Also he shows things that the media covers up to make the Government look good but in his documentary everything is shown, meaning the truth is being revealed in this video. Its sad and ashame but that just goes to show how our government really is in situations like this.

M. Harmon said...

The citizens diplaced by Katrina are being called refugees, which is completely untrue. I agree with Courtney when he said that was a shame. We need to see the people of our own country as people who need and deserve all the help they can get. The media needs to increase the amount of sensitivity to this matter. To call the victims refugees is like saying theyre at the bottom of the list when it comes to people in need. In regards to Matts question, I dont think the goverment meant disrespect, I just dont think they felt it was their responsibility to help. Spike Lee is showing all the things that the government didnt show. I think the point he is trying to get across is the fact the government did as little as possible to help the people of New Orleans. He places the view of the camera on all the people who were affected by the hurricane and it showed the truth.

Anonymous said...

A refugee is a person who flees its country in search of refuge due to oppression or war in their country. The term refugee was used in the media countless times to describe the people in New Orleans. I agree with Tiffany. The people of New Orleans are citizens of the U.S and will always be. I feel the documentary itself was horrible to see but good to let others know of what really happened and how the people felt.
I also agree with megan on the fact that the government did little to help and waited too long.

-Bryan S.

Anonymous said...

Courteney Richardson

Being called a refugee is an insult , especially when your a United States citizen. Another thing that bothered me was that every single news caster said the word REFUGEE. What's the definiton of refugee? A PERSON WHO FLEES FOR REFUGE OR SAFETY ESPECIALLY TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY, AS IN TIME OF POLITICAL UPHEAVAL OR WAR. ( www.dictionary.com) No the hurricane katrina victims werent foreingers and no they werent running from a war, they were trying to keep healthy and go where theres food & sheltering. I think with spike lee making this documentary was just to get the point of the victims out. Also to show how things were dealt with by the government. This documentary shows that if something like that was to happen in any other state how it would be dealt with.

John said...

Mr. Tessler is right in saying that the film is a bit one sided. Yes, we were shown part of the rescue effort, but a very small part.
Also, I must agree with everyone in saying that calling those affected by Katrina refugees. The media used the term in the wrong way and did so so that we would not think or ask about it as much as we would if they had been called americans. In essence it could be said they were helping to cover FEMA's butt.
As for what FEMA could have done, well there are very few words that could be used to describe how massive a screw-up it was for them, and those words that I could use aren't allowed on this blog. "A heck of a job Brownie!" Tell that to the people who were still stuck on thier roof tops, tell that to the people who were stuck on the highways waiting for help. "A heck of a job Brownie!" This comment surpassed Cheney shooting his friend in the face, it was a heck of a job all right, but not in the way the president meant it.

A faller said...

According to the dictionary, a refugee is, a person who flees for refuge or safety, esp. to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc. Either the reporters who used this word, did not actually know the meaning of it, or they were just trying to send a message. I do believe that the people who were effected by the events of the hurricane Katrina were in many ways treated as refuges, but at the same time they weren't. It's said to say, but i believe that the reason our country did not help them as good and properly as they could have done, was because in the long wrong, we would have not gained anything from helping them. Even though we knew that a part of our country was in terrible trouble, our government did not act on it, instead considering them as refugees.
I think that as watching Spike Lee's video, it opened up my eyes to a lot of different things. I never knew half the stuff that i learned by watching this video. This is because what consumes our news is either Britany Spears shaving her head, or which famous celberity is going to rehab. Some may say that this is our own fault, because we choose not to learn about events that are actually going on in our country, but in the end who are the people that portray this message. That is why i believe that Spike Lee's video was fair for the most part. At times it was a little dramatic and maybe showed some things and events that just proved why these people were not being helped. I don't mean this in a bad way, i just mean that when the video showed a teenager in some ways making fun of the RV, that FEMA gave to him, it made me made mad to think that the little help these people were getting that they were mocking it. But i can't say what i would do in that situation, because that is something that you need to experience to really be able to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Pointing out the fact they called the citizens ''refugees'' is typically not the right way to say it because its not like they came from acroos the world and dont belong here the american citizens they deserved respect as well as everyone else around here. the government shows no sign that they care about the people whom was there when the hurricane katrina hit new orleans. spike besically pointed out all the pictures and things that wasnt shown during that time.

kristal atchison

Anonymous said...

I agree with Coco and Alyssa refugee stands for one who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.(www.theamericanhertiagedictornary.com)They were victims that were trying to look for a better life and stay healthy. They wasnt ruuning away from war but from danger and death.'Reffering to a REFUGEE that was basically a insult and thats why they did the documentary so everyone can understand how they dealt with all this happening and to try and get a point across. But they are refugees they are citizens and ill be mad if they called me that!!!

-Sorybel

Anonymous said...

J Dilan

When we were watching the documentary it was the first time that I saw the national media call our own citizens the people from New Orleans refugees. I never thought the people in the U.S. would be called that ever. It’s tough to take sides in this documentary because you can argue for both sides. One side that you can take is that people would have just got out of the city when they were told to the death toll wouldn’t be as bad. The other side that you can argue is why the government didn’t react quicker than they did. I don’t know if spike lee was fair enough in this documentary because it think that there is more to this than they allow us to see.

Anonymous said...

I agree with every one the media called the people of N.O refugees. That was wronge when they didn't come form another country they came from the United States of America. The media should have used better terms like it wouldn't have hurt them to say citizens of N.O than to call them refugees. I like the way spike lee did this document it showed me that they are as important as any other places. I didn't know how rich there culture was. They didn't even know they had one. And it will be so sad if these people loose it. Must of them want to go back but they can't. They placed the people of N.O in the camera to show they side of the story and there point of view . And it was totally different from what the media was showing.




KEMI AJIROTUTU

Anonymous said...

All of the previous comments in my opinion are right on the money. In the documentary the media started to refer to the katrina victims as refugees. This is the definition of a refugee. "A refugee is a person who is seeking asylum in a foreign country in order to escape persecution, war, terrorism, extreme poverty, famines, and natural disaster. Some regional legal instruments further include those seeking to escape generalized violence in the definition of a refugee". Now to call people that are just as much of a citzen in this country as the next man is down right disrespectful. In the documentary Spike tries to focus in on the underachieving and also give you a up close and personal look at the bad that has been going on since the storm hit.


-JBlount