Los Angeles Riots

Dec 4, 2017 at History Essays

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The American history is well-known as violent. The country has been struggling against any discrimination and for equality of rights for years. Though such battles were not always peaceful. 

One of the prominent events on the way of changes may be considered in Watts Riot. It took place in Los Angeles in August, 1965 and lasted for six days. The results were damage and destroying. 

The McCone Commission identifies that there were such cases as “high unemployment, poor schools, and other inferior living conditions for African Americans in Watts” (Wikipedia). It was rather a racial rebelling than an ethnic one. The reason lies in discrimination of African Americans. Moreover under the rule of Chief Parker, teenaged or pre-teenaged black people were treated cruel. The chief’s goal was to remind them who are the bosses (Wikipedia).

Solutions to prevent future riots

To prevent future riots three solutions are proposed (Chang, 1999, p.24). The first one is to avoid discrimination and segregation in employment. Increasing the amount of working places will reduce the number of crimes. If people have means for living, and if they are protected by the state, they will not rebel. The second solution is to improve the level education. Children, in spite of the colour of the skin, should get a good education, because they are the future of the country. As the police is the governmental representative of citizens’ defence and discipline, such rights cannot exist only for white people and be neglected for the black ones. The implementation of these solutions was gradual but it was not so effective. Police did not learn to behave properly with African Americans. If they were efficient, another Los Angeles riot in 1992 will not flare up.   

Ethnic Riot

The population of South Central Los Angeles has changed noticeably in the years. "Between 1970 and 1990 the South LA area went from 80% black and 9% Latino to 50.3% black and 44% Latino” (Grant, 1996, p.127). Such conditions, not extensive changes in the economic system and the same attitude of the police led to riot in 1992. Chang noticed that the society is divided by races the fault line will be drawn between black, yellow, brown and white. The riot in Los Angeles in 1992 can be defined as ethnic riot because African Americans, Hispanic, Korean Americans rebelled against the discrimination.

The riots in Los Angeles are very similar by causes, but the riot of 1965 is more racial while the riot of 1992 is ethnic. Both these events show defects of the American governmental system and desire of any citizen to have equal rights in any sphere of life. 

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