The 1992 Rodney King Riots and Today’s Looting and Rioting in LA
With Los Angeles under a curfew for a third night in a row following looting yesterday in Santa Monica and Long Beach, we will begin with an historical perspective from a sociologist who has studied the LA riots of 1992 sparked by the beating of Rodney King. Darnell Hunt, Dean of Social Sciences at UCLA and author of Screening the Los Angeles “Riots”, Race, Seeing, and Resistance and Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities, joins us to discuss the similarities between then and now, chiefly that while incidents of police brutality continue daily out of sight, Rodney King’s beating was caught on tape as was the murder of George Floyd. But this time there appears to be a lot of malign political actors taking advantage of the protests whether they are anarchists, white nationalists or Vladimir Putin, not to mention the street gangs who have targeted high-end stores in The Grove and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. And while Trump slinked off into his bunker yesterday as a very vocal crowd across from the White House in Lafayette Park called for justice for George Floyd, today he berated the nation’s governors for being “weak” urging them to “dominate” the protestors, taunting “if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time”.