Friday, April 27, 2012

LA Riots Then & Now

L.A. ablaze in '92. Source link

Until seeing this article Thursday via Instapundit it hadn't occured to me that we have just about reached the 20th anniversary of the rioting that took place in Los Angeles back in 1992. The unrest occured in light of the acquittal of police officers in the police brutality of Rodney King.

This piece shows the photojournalist work of Ted Soqui. He was taking shots of the rioting around LA during the event and those images are combined with shots of those sames scenes today in a much more peaceful era. It seems to those who live it race relations and relations between police and civilians are much better today. Let's hope so we should live without riots!

I have to excerpt something from this!
The California Economic Development Department had at the time painted a bleak picture of L.A.'s labor market as "experiencing one of the most severe recessions of the postwar era." Between April 1991 and April 1992, 108,000 local jobs vanished. Black and Latino communities were hard hit, with a combined 29.7 percent in poverty and more than 13 percent unemployed.

Perhaps worse, L.A. was in the throes of a vicious era of street violence, and a years-long bloodbath was unfolding in U.S. cities. Driven by armed gangbangers and violent crack and PCP dealers, the mayhem in L.A. produced 1,025 murders in 1991 and 1,092 in 1992 (there were 612 in 2011). It wasn't safe to walk in South L.A. in the afternoon - that's when armed teenagers got out of school.

The aging mayor, Tom Bradley, widely seen as tired and burned out, nevertheless worked hard with top business leaders after the riots to create Rebuild Los Angeles, a group that hoped to lure billions of dollars of corporate investment to South L.A., the worst-hit area.

Few of Rebuild L.A.'s plans came to be, but its most clear achievement was that it managed to clear away the vast, depressing rubble left by hundreds of destroyed buildings. The biggest private success story was thanks to Lakers basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who in 1995 built a movie theater complex in South L.A.

It wasn't just businesses and investors who rejected South L.A. after the riots. As L.A. Weekly reported in 1993, black families ramped up the "black flight" from L.A. that had started in the previous decade. Some 56,000 African-Americans fled L.A. between 1980 and 1990. Cal State Northridge researchers found that the exodus was driven by racial displacement - the mass movement of mostly illegal Latino immigrants into the city's affordable black neighborhoods.

After the riots, between 1992 and 2007, the city's black population dropped by 123,000, as households left for the Inland Empire, close-in suburbs and even for family hometowns in the Deep South. They were running, and being pushed: The city's Latino population grew by more than 450,000 in those years.
With that in mind while LA is a different place today than it was in 1992, it seems some of the areas hardest hit by the rioting is still stuggling.

Still this is a good read and check out the images. I hated to see the burning city, but it was interesting to see those very same sights today. Things have changes but by how much?

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