What I saw as a black journalist covering the L.A. riots 25 years ago
Washington Post
23018

Thank you for writing this story and providing the context. I was living in LA, right near the intersection of Vermont Ave and 3rd street. The arson and looting reached my neighborhood by noon the day after the verdict. I watched columns of smoke rise all around from the roof of my building, which remained a safe place. Yes, the #Black Lives Matter movement has been decades in the making. Citizen reporting via on-line video of police violence against the black community, and the limited media coverage of the justice system’s willingness to allow the violence to continue unchecked is just the tip of the iceberg. How people respond to the situation is shaped by personal, social and cultural legacies. I read a sampling of the comments from readers at the Retropolis blog and here. The public conversation about these events and the underlying issues is hijacked too often by toxic anger on one side and toxic fear on the other. Even honest reportage such as yours triggers the dysfunctional reaction. I will keep reading and paying attention to voices that are talking about the things that matter: human life, human suffering, human compassion.

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