This npr podcast summarizes the key factors that go into making the L.A riots a racial turning point in American history. After explaining the aftermath of the beating of motorist Rodney King, it is further analyzed that racism existed in all fields of life around that time. As a college educated black female states, “It doesn’t matter if I have a suit on my back and a degree in my hand, it will make no difference in the eyes of law enforcement.” This is basically implying that Rodney King did nothing to declare himself a threat to the police, and it was completely brought on by his race. How many black people felt in America at that time was completely isolated, they felt like authority didn’t look upon them for who they were as people, rather were blinded by their race, thus, they were treated unequivocally to other citizens which resulted in brutalization. King was one example in a huge spectrum of inequality amongst the races, and racism truly wasn’t just a thing with law enforcement, as it was in many aspects of life.
This is a song written by the band Sublime referencing the day Los Angeles went up in flames out of anger of race inequality. With lines such as “There was a riot on streets Tell me where were you? You were sittin' home watchin' your TV While I was participating in some anarchy,” the lyrics tend to be in support of the misconduct among the citizens. This offers a bit of a different perspective because it’s coming from the point of view of someone claiming to actually be on the streets and getting involved in the protesting. I think the point they are trying to make is that reform comes from fighting, not waiting around and doing nothing. Within the lyrics, they compared participation in the rioting to sitting around watching it on the t.v, which displays the superiority they feel getting involved gives them. I agree with this because I find that taking a stand and calling attention to the situation isn’t always a picture perfect thing. If waiting around for people of authority to give equal respect to everyone was meant to work it would’ve done so, however, the anarchy caused called enough attention to actually deal with the matter at hand.
This reflection of the riots offered a new perspective on the less publicized portions of the story. Author David Whitman claims that simple ‘greed’ and personal motivation inspired the riots just as much as wanting to fix a racially unequal justice system. He states that there was just as much racial prejudices involving different groups of POC besides the widely publicized black versus white theme. In conclusion, Whitman’s final point is basically that hate and greed were the main motivators for the riots, rather than love for the people and defending the innocent. I understand that many people go into causes seeking personal gain, however, I could even argue that to be the reason most people do anything, but the rioting came from a place of frustration in my opinion. As far as the other groups of people who were targeted, I think that when it came to this controversy, everything was so out of hand because the room for reason and the chance the justice system had to address issues with the treatment of POC was far too gone by the time Rodney King was assaulted. Therefore, everyone sort of became a target for violence because it was a pure lashing out in immeasurable frustration, rather than something solvable by talk and empty promises.
This is a video interview by Oprah Winfrey asking Rodney King (who was forty-seven at the time) questions regarding his role in the racial tension in L.A nearly two decades ago. In the interview, King was asked if his unrightful beating by the L.A.P.D was something he still carried with him today, and what he feels his role was in the rioting that followed. He responded with a personal anecdote regarding his growth from the experience, and states that he’s glad it happened to him because it led the world to hold discussion and handle situations that often go overlooked. I admire the strength it takes for King to overcome the violent beating he got by the police because I believe that he has every right to be angry at that for the rest of his life. He possesses the ability to look at the bigger picture, which was less about the violence involving him, and more about sticking up for the people that are oppressed because of their skin color everyday and our society's tendency to treat people differently.
his article displays images side-by-side of the aftermath of the L.A riots, and almost twenty years later post-repair. A very popular method of violence during that period was arson to local businesses and structures, so these images reflect this. This photos include a side by side imagine of a burned down business and mall at Crenshaw Boulevard, and the same structure rebuilt ten years later with everything perfectly intact and rebuilt. I enjoy journalism such as this that displays pictures to make a statement because I find a new perspective comes along with it. Especially since I was not alive to witness the riots myself, I'm sure I am very biased in siding with the citizens doing the rioting, because I can understand the frustration that comes along with authority oppressing people. Through seeing these images of buildings up in flames, I sympathized a bit more with seeing the side of the public that felt that torching structures and attacking random people was a little bit too far.
In the article regarding the infamous L.A riots written by the Los Angeles Times, the central theme is based around what happened surrounding the riots, and what’s changed twenty years later. In 1992, L.A went up in flames after white police officers were acquitted after savagely beating a black man by the name of Rodney King. With thousands injured and around sixty dead, rioters set fire to buildings and caused over a billion dollars in damage as troops of different law enforcement agencies were deployed to break it up. Personally, even though I am not one typically advocating for violence, I think that with something so controversial as race inequality that is so negatively and deeply ingrained into our society, a little bit of rebellion can be necessary. I don't think that citizens having outbursts against other citizens was a good thing, however, I can understand why so many people got so angry very quickly simply by looking at the raw footage of Rodney King being so unrightfully attacked by the very people who are supposed to be keeping us safe.