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Riots are fun!

I read a post in saqb’s journal that got me thinking about all the frightening events that happened around my school. The Aces of Spades murder of Alex Giraldo, the murder of the local crossing guard (so they could drive her car), drive by shootings (amazingly no one was ever hurt), but the scariest was the LA riots.

I went to School in downtown Long Beach during the time of the LA riots. Everyone saw the news of the events going on at Florence and Normandy before they left for school that day. It was far away but still the main topic of the day. By second period some teachers had on the news so they could monitor what was going on. This was probably a bad idea. The riots has grown to encompass a larger area and riots had also broken out in North Long Beach. Tension and fear among the students had put everyone on edge. Over the next few periods all learning stopped. Fights broke out in the classrooms. Some students would flee from the classroom with the fight while all the students from the class across the hall would empty into the hallway to find out what was going on. When it came time for Lunch most students were sitting on the edge of fight or flight panic.

All of a sudden there was complete chaos in the Quad. Students were running in two different directions. Most ran towards the fight I never saw. The rest ran towards out of the Quad, I headed towards the Drama room, it seemed like a safe place. The vice principal had her jaw broken while trying to break up the fight. She was a very thin tiny woman. Once lunch ended they announced they were closing the school and we were being sent home early. They should have allowed us to leave earlier. By this point the riots were heading down towards the school and were only a mile away. There was a problem for the kids who were the most freaked out. There were no buses to take the kids who lived far from school home. Luckily I got a ride home from my friend everyday. We loaded so many other kids in the car that day we could have won a record. Little did I know when we drove off, it would be the last time I saw a lot of the buildings around my school.

When we were finally allowed to go back to school I had to catch the bus to school because my friend who normally gave me a ride had to help out his parents put their shop back together. Luckily it wasn’t burnt down, and there wasn’t too much stolen. I was amazed at what I saw on that bus ride. Most businesses had signs that read “Black Owned.” that is the ones that were still there. Most of the buildings around my school weren’t there anymore. They had been burned down. The only building around my school that didn’t burn was V.I.P. Records which is the record store that launched Snoop as well as many others.

That day most of my classes were spent discussing the riot. Some felt it was a healthy expression of discrepancy of equality between white and black. But most of the people I saw on TV weren’t black, they people of all races that just wanted to a new TV. It had nothing to do with justice or equal rights. A few of my classmates got new ghetto blasters from Circuit City and were proud to admit it.

The one thing that really sums up the riots for me was graffiti that I passed by each morning and afternoon, “FUCC THE POLICE.” They had seen the word police so many times that they had no problem spelling such un-phonetic word but they misspelled fuck. The anger was there and it was misdirected, and it just came out not as it was intended, it just made them look really stupid.

Don't Save Us From the Flames - M83 - Before the Dawn Heals Us


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)

Keepin' it real... stupid ;)

It's funny, I watched all this on TV, but when I hear someone mention "the LA riots", I still think of Watts.

I guess it's what happens when you're young that you remember.
May. 2nd, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
That must have been a very scary time.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )