« Los Angeles Riot 1992 »
( 475 Words )
Large scale riot does not happen often in rich democracies where governments are effective and responsive in meeting the needs of their citizens. But in 1992, the Los Angeles riot have lasted for days, leaving devastating effects where more than 50 people were killed, 4 thousand people injured and over 1 billion in property damages alone. Why would riot like this ever happen inside one of the world’s richest democracy, the United States? Is it racism alone that many have believed? Or is it the result of the interplay of unemployment, poverty, and racial misunderstanding?

It was apparent that the Rodney king case and the Natasha shooting plays a part in fueling the riot. However, it was not racial motivations alone that started all this. As demonstrated by the video, insurgents indiscriminately targeted all business and shops in the area. No one was safe. No one was a winner. Everybody, every business, whether Korean, Latino, African American lost. Some lost their business, some even their very own lives.

While racial misunderstanding was an apparent motivation for the riot, if we look further, we can find that local economic factors such as unemployment and poverty have also taken parts. Korean town in 1992 was a place where many Korean immigrants opened their small business, usually gas station, grocery stores, and liquor stores. Although it was named Korean town, most of the Korean small business owners did not reside there. In fact, most of the residents there were African Americans and Latinos. Furthermore most of the factories in the area had relocated to else in the country. This resulted in the high unemployment rate in the community. And the Korean businesses were not able to provide much employment opportunity simply because these small businesses can not afford to hire anyone outside families. All and all, this had formed the basic belief that Koreans are “blood-suckers”, they take away profit from the community and they never give anything back. Therefore the community was divided and hostilities grew. And ultimately, in the afternoon of April 29, 1992, the riot started.

The riot have been put in the passed for more than 13 long years. However, the hurts that has been done to the ones that has lost their every thing may never mend. The Los Angeles riot should forever serve as an alarm to our government, to our community and to every one of us that we are all responsible to keep such horrible tragedy from ever happening. As a government, we should strive to meet the needs of the people. As a community, we should encourage unity and cooperation between various ethnic groups. As an individual, we should never be blinded by ignorance and overwhelmed by rage. We must accept, respect and appreciate our cultural differences. It is then we can have a true community. It is then we will have a harmonious diversified society.