So, most people are aware of the wildfires that are raging in California right now. There was just a recent article about people living close to the blaze who are not evacuating.
“It’s my house, I don’t want anything to happen to it,” said the 47-year-old film producer, whose wife and daughter left Monday to stay with friends. “I’d rather be here and leave at the last minute than down the hill not knowing what’s happening
That hasn’t daunted Joseph Stachura. He’s staying with his 3,500-square-foot home in Big Tujunga Canyon where he has his own well and a pump that can drain 12,000 gallons of water from his pool. He has also stocked fireproofing gel to spray on his roof along with other firefighting supplies
Something to highlight. All of these people have consistent resources to get out whenever they want. They can afford materials to save their house or can, as one pair did before, jump into a hot tub to protect themsevles from the flames.
Meanwhile, the people of Katrina, who did not have resources to get out and were stranded or just did what some of these people are doing, which is not wanting to leave their homes and everything they had (a completely natural human reponse), were called stupid and were told they had what was coming to them.
There is a big difference between the people that are being highlighted in this article and those that were stranded before Katrina and there is a big difference between what the way they are being presented. One is exhibiting a very human response and are given agency and not being criticized for any moral failing or blamed for any possible damage to their homes. The others were considered crazed animals who didn’t know any better to save themselves and deserved no sympathy because their reactions were obviously so different.
What are the most obvious differences: One is focusing on the rich and the white (people who are always given the benefit of humanity and agency in our culture), the others were low-income and mostly POC (people who are often dehumanized and denied the very basic right of being allowed to exhibit basic human behavior/limitation without judgment).