Stevenson on the Anniversary of the L. A. Riots | LA Times

ABWH member Brenda Stevenson on the L. A. riots in the Los Angeles Times:

Family members of Latasha Harlins, with South Los Angeles civil rights leaders and clergy, gather to hold a prayer vigil for those who lost their lives in the 1992 riots. (Los Angeles Times)

“What has not changed in the last 25 years is that people demand equality and are willing to fight for it. African Americans have been part of this battle from the beginning — as heroic patriots during the American Revolution, abolitionists in the quest to end slavery or marchers in the civil rights movement. They have been undeniably crucial to the evolution of our society toward its founding ideals.

“And race, perhaps more than any other variable, continues to divide us all. If that were not true, how could we tolerate the manifest differences in resources, well-being and protections that place black people in such an unenviable and vulnerable position in our society?

“Today, as 25 years ago, black unemployment in Los Angeles is more than triple that of the national average. More than one-third of households in South Central Los Angeles are below the poverty line — two times the percentages in California and the nation. South Central, the focus of the unrest a quarter of a century ago, still has the county’s largest concentration of liquor stores, the smallest percentage of green space, the lowest proportion of medical facilities and healthcare professionals, and the largest share of deficient K-12 public schools. These structural deficits were foundational to the civil unrest in 1992, and they will be just as foundational the next time…”

Read it all: No community can tolerate such loss, not in 1992 and not now – LA Times

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