L.A. Riots 15th Anniversay, Obama gets Racey

By The News Apr 30, 2007

Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama spoke incisively about race in America and the economic and social inequalities that spur historic events such as the L.A. riots. The Chicago Tribune reported:

Invoking images of Los Angeles in flames, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama argued Sunday — the 15th anniversary of the nation’s most violent modern civil uprising — that little has been done to fix the social and economic conditions that gave rise to a three-day rampage that killed at least 53 people. And although the riots occurred in Los Angeles, the conditions that spawned them persist around the U.S., Obama told an overflow crowd at the First AME Church. "There wasn’t anything going on in Los Angeles that was unique to Los Angeles," Obama said. "If you traveled to Chicago, you would see the same young men on street corners without hope, without prospects and without a sense of any destiny other than ending up in prison or in a casket." Obama drew a sustained standing ovation when he rebuked the Bush administration for funding the war in Iraq ahead of improving the lives of impoverished Americans, particularly those in minority neighborhoods. "We have now spent half a trillion dollars on a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged," Obama said. "We could have invested that money in South Central Los Angeles, or the South Side of Chicago, in jobs and infrastructure and hospitals and schools."

Obama always says it well. Another good point to make however is that the L.A. riots, and the slew of deaths and burned buildings it left in its wake, sadly lives on through Katrina. The Black Informant put it this way:

…one could easily see the parallels between Katrina and the 1992 riots of LA from everything from government response, the media’s obsession to get the story out without all the facts, civilian responsibility and contribution to the situation, etc. Also, let us not forget the politicians that used the LA riots to score political points.