As some of us have seen through social media, and as many others have no idea what is going on, this week I am going to discuss how the ‘Baltimore riots’ is just one of many to have begun with racial conflicts between communities. Rioters have been putting parts of Baltimore into chaos, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars on fire and throwing bricks at officers hours after thousands mourned the man who died from a severe spinal injury he suffered in police custody. This scenario starts to sound very familiar, especially if you were to think of South Central around the same time many of us were born.
On April 29th, 1992, the city of Los Angeles had erupted into the same amount of chaos, if not more, fired by the same sorts of racial conflicts. As four Los Angeles police officers that had been caught beating an unarmed African-American motorist in an amateur video had been acquitted in court. Hours after the verdicts were announced, outrage and protest turned to violence, as rioters in south-central Los Angeles blocked freeway traffic and beat motorists, wrecked and looted numerous downtown stores and buildings, and set more than 100 fires.
You may remember the case in which traffic was blocked, and rioters beat dozens of motorists, including Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who was dragged out of his truck and nearly beaten to death with a brick by three African-American men. Or how Korean shop owners in African-American neighborhoods defended their businesses with rifles. It was not until 72 hours of fires setting and people being brutally beaten that President Bush called in the National Guard and other trained officials.
Well this three days of disorder killed 55 people, injured almost 2,000, led to 7,000 arrests, and caused nearly $1 billion in property damage, including the burnings of nearly 4,000 buildings. Completely exemplifying our governments ability to handle it’s own domestic racial conflicts while still trying to handle international agendas. This also shows how thick the segregational border is within our country to this day. Let’s hope Obama can keep the handle on this one.