Hurricane Harvey has proven to be one of the deadliest hurricanes in American history. With a now confirmed death toll of 23 and thousands of people affected, it has been horrific to see videos and picture of what Houston is going through. Houses and buildings are completely flooded, people are frantically searching for missing loved ones and shelters are filled to the brim with people seeking aide. It makes it seem as if all hope is lost.
However, there has been a surge of volunteers and even other hurricane victims themselves coming out to help others in their time of need. Locals have been using their boats to rescue victims from their roofs, giving them shelter and food. Trustworthy organizations have been accepting donations and using the money to those affected. Even a mattress store, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, has opened his two huge locations to provide shelter to victims.
Throughout all of this, there has been one photo that has been constantly being used. It shows a man saving a woman and her baby from the water that is very high. The woman is cradling her child and the man is holding on to them tightly. Just seeing this photo gives anyone a warm and fuzzy feeling in their hearts. It was taken by David Phillip and the people in this photo were later identified to be officer Daryl Hudeck, Catherine Pham and her 13-month-old son, Aiden. Both the mother, son and the father were rescued from the top of their roof and are currently safe.The photo easily became a beacon of hope for everyone.
“Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and support. All of the first responders are working tirelessly to find and move those impacted by the flooding to safe ground. Please continue to keep the city of Houston in your thoughts and prayers,” said officer Daryl Hudeck.
While this is an extremely heartwarming photo, it seems as though many are using it for the wrong reasons. Instead of using it to show the effects of the hurricane and how we are coming together, many are using it to promote sexism and racism. Some are saying its a metaphor for how our society should be, with how a woman’s life should only revolve her children and man can protect both of them. Other users are using it in response to white supremacy, claiming that the photo shows how people cannot condemn white men when they do good things like this.
It is truly horrifying to see so many use this photo to promote their bigotry. These are coming from the same people who claim that liberals and millennials make everything about race or feminism, yet they spin events and photos to fit their hateful agendas. With raw emotion captured in this picture, it will quickly become the most iconic photo of the disaster, so this photo should not be associated with sexism, white supremacy or racism of any kind.
Luckily, many users have caught on this to horrid trend and have been sticking up to those using the photo for no good. They have successfully been shutting these users down and have even made a meme out of Matt Walsh’s comments on the photo on how it represents how genders should be.
If you see anyone using the photo for anything sexist or racists, please shut them down immediately, whether it be reporting the photo or standing up to them. We can not let them turn this symbol of hope and humanity into a symbol of bigotry.