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But the poorest are always the first victims.” Irma hit St.
Martin on Wednesday, killing at least nine people on the French part of the island and damaging a majority of its buildings. Ils ignoraient qu'Irma avait touché les USA avant St Martin !
Tin said the island’s poorer residents were doing what they had to after an ineffective government response.
“What some call theft, others call survival,” he said.
#Ouragan Irma pic.twitter.com/2a Bzz Ev GJF — Nardine Morano (@Nardine Morano) September 11, 2017The following day looters were seen hauling food, water and televisions from shops, and videos featuring predominantly black people raiding shops circulated online.
Some took to social media to blame the thieving on non-whites, and characterising the white evacuees as innocents escaping the chaos.
“In the coverage I saw, the victims were mostly white tourists, or white French mainlanders.
Some black and mixed-race residents of the hurricane-devastated French territory on the island of St Martin are expressing anger at a perception that white tourists have been given priority during evacuations.
The anger over perceived discrimination exposes underlying racial tensions that have long plagued France’s far-flung former colonies — especially its Caribbean territories, where most of the population identifies as black, and is poorer than the white minority.
On Monday, France’s Representative Council of Black Associations wrote to the government asking for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the Irma recovery, amid concerns that those evacuated weren’t “necessarily the most in distress.” “In my eyes, Irma is for the French Antilles what Hurricane Katrina was for Louisiana in the US — an exposer of racial and social inequalities,” the group’s spokesman, Louis-Georges Tin, told the Associated Press.
The terror of facing down a Category 5 hurricane has combined with a long-held sense of isolation among local residents of St.
But after slavery was abolished in 1848, Tin said, “there were no reparations for the slaves, only for the slave owners,” so the former slaves won freedom but remained destitute.