Reflections about the L.A. Riots, 25 years later.
I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since the L.A. Riots. I was only 11 but recalling the internal feelings while watching the brutal beatings of Rodney King on video, living in the very white suburban neighborhood of Manhattan Beach feels identical to now. Anger. Injustice. Disgusted, of the morale of the “white man” who feels superior to everyone else. The overall sentiment in the neighborhood and my own parents was fear of the “hood” or basically anything on Rosecrans passed El Segundo blvd, or outside the bubble of the South Bay. South Central is only 12 miles away and there was a very clear distinction between black and white and rich and poor. My father and I went to pick up my half sister at Union Station and he held me tight into his chest, so tight I almost couldn’t breathe. Yes, it was a scary time — especially taking into consideration the heightened gang activity then — but I understood the rioting, even then. I didn’t like seeing the looting- I decided that the looters who were taking an emotionally driven event to sneak in a new T.V. weren’t fighting the right fight — but I felt the rage by watching the news clips of the riots, almost as if I was there. I remember as a kid being incredibly upset watching Rodney King brutally assaulted by white cops, while not being able to do a thing about it, nor receive justice. I mean he was hit, and hit, and hit. Again and again. It seemed to have no end. And with a bat. The video clip of his beating played over and over again, as well as his brutally assaulted face, and I just felt for him. He was clearly traumatized and hurting both inside and out. And when I saw that the two largest and most dangerous gangs; the blood and the crips came together in unity to fight the fight, I knew that I was a justice fighter.
In spite of the comments that I’ve heard attempting to reprimand the rioters, I viewed them as expressing their anger necessarily. And yet, it feels like we have been on the verge of it again as of lately.
The only difference now is, we all have iPhones, Facebook, and twitter.