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Not Working

18 Aug

Wattsriots-burning
The Watts Riots in LA in 1965
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

I have been watching the News for the past week with a very heavy heart,  as each day, as the events unfold in Ferguson, painful, ugly and difficult memories are brought back.

What is happening there,  is in many ways quite similar to what we in LA and the surrounding areas experienced with Rodney King, in the 1990’s.

And both of these are entirely too much like the LA Riots in Watts in the 1960’s.

Then there was the Trayvon Martin murder, here in Orlando and the Trial and the verdict that once again met with violent public reaction and out cries everywhere.

All of these tragic events, these sad places,  have touched my life, none in a good way.

That  week in  August of 1965 during the Watts Riots,  was a time of total violence and great turmoil and no one liked what was happening.

Few were sure, including the law enforcement, as to how to find a solution before the City was left in ashes.

In time, it did stop, but not before the deep scars were in place and bitter memories that would last for many, a lifetime.

Next came Rodney King, only this time it was brought right to my own front yard.

The Trial for those who brutalized King was held in my town of Simi Valley.

It was all such an ugly time for a tiny peaceful place.

It seemed to drag on forever and then the verdict came, that no one was prepared to handle, especially the Police.

I left West LA that day and drove towards home, wondering what may lie ahead.

I could not have been prepared for what came next.

As I tried to get off of the Freeway at my Exit, which was for the time of day that it was, unusually backed up onto the Freeway.

When I finally got to the bottom of the ramp, I saw why.

Every single car there was being stopped and examined by a uniformed patrolman, who asked to see ID proving that the person driving did indeed, live in this particular neighborhood.

This was a disturbing, frightening and very unpleasant experience.

My house was about a mile from the freeway and the troubled exit, but only two blocks from the hysterical scene that was happening at the Court House.

It looked like a war zone, or a movie set.

There were huge crowds of onlookers, countless TV crews, Police cars, SWAT crews, my God it was all just terrifying.

But our small town’s terror was about to be unleashed on all of the City, as the turmoil that day in Simi, quickly spread to all of LA and once again, as in the 60’s with Watts, the violence, looting, shootings and arrests, were soon out of control.

When it thankfully began to calm down many days later, we all wondered how and why this could just keep happening.

Why was it always black and white, white police, black victims?

Now once again, in Ferguson, this Country is experiencing another Racially inspired reaction, to what is now being called a racially motivated murder and the results are, as before, violent, dangerous, out of control crowds, venting their frustrations and setting the stage once again, for probably another ugly Trial.

God help us, why can’t we stop this pattern?

Why don’t we learn?

What will it take for this Country to mend our Racial wounds, to stop the Violence and to stop the Hate?

Why are so many, who should know better, doing all of the wrong things?

Governors, Police Chiefs, Judges, Lawyers,  everyone who should and could be using their years of wisdom and experience to calm things, seem to only be pouring fuel onto the already out of control fires.

For the lack of a better explanation, it seems that too often, these people care more about their political careers and futures, than doing what is right, or best, for what is happening right now.

Perhaps it is time for an uninvolved neutral, or third-party, to get involved in these kinds of tragedies because those who should know better and behave better, really could use some better ideas.

The ones they are using now, are just not working.

 

Places to learn more:

Watts Riot

Rodney King trial verdict announced

Shooting of Trayvon Martin

Governor Nixon orders National Guard to Ferguson

 

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13 responses to “Not Working

  1. Dr. Rex

    August 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Right on the nail: why don’t we learn??

     
    • Gator Woman

      August 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Thank you so very, very much for sharing this Dear DR. Rex!!!!
      This is/was so personal to me.

       
      • Dr. Rex

        August 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        I can imagine. I feel it now & I’m not even close!

         
      • Gator Woman

        August 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        It was all like a bad dream, but you did not wake up.

         
      • Dr. Rex

        August 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        Agree!! Hugs …

         
  2. infinitelyremote

    August 18, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    I don’t know Donna, I think at times like this it is so important to recognize how far we have come even while admitting we still have much further to go. When we see a city burning it is all to easy to focus on the bleak in the situation. The only “Earthly” thing we can do at a time like this is to look into our own hearts and examine if we are personally part of the solution or part of the problem. The frustration being exhibited in Ferguson must absolutely be felt internally when reflecting on those circumstances. Those who feel no need to understand will be found to be ignorant. I guarantee that ignorance can be the only thing at the root of this turmoil. Education and compassion is the only sure fix and it will not be a quick fix. Any claims of immediate solutions that do not include a healthy element of LOVE should be rejected out of hand.

     
    • Gator Woman

      August 18, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Seeing it up close, living in the shadow of it, makes you feel like somehow you should be able to do something.
      But, in LA, after the different Riots, it was all still the same and nothing did really change.
      These Riots, this Hatred, hurts me personally because all of my life I have had so many friends of every race and every color.
      Racism is such an ugly word and here we are all these years later and what have we learned, or done about it?

       
  3. IdealisticRebel

    August 18, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Reblogged this on idealisticrebel.

     
  4. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    August 18, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    A girlfriend of mine drives a truck from NC to CA every week, she called me from CA where the place erupted because of the Rodney King thing. She didn’t know why the place went crazy. I have a feeling that racism will be with us until people stop seeing color and begin seeing humanity. It is heartbreaking for me to think we have made no progress at all.

     
    • Gator Woman

      August 19, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      It has been nearly 50 years since Watts, how little has changed.

       
  5. eurobrat

    August 18, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    And the sad thing is, all it takes is a little unrest and a lot of people will cry out for the authorities to clamp down more in the name of safety. It’s scary sometimes how close we are to a police state.

     
    • Gator Woman

      August 19, 2014 at 8:16 AM

      Yes, hearing a Minister say this morning that many are coming from outside the area,
      just looking for trouble is so sad.
      This seems to happen every time, this is no way to heal anything.

       
      • eurobrat

        August 20, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        Ugh, outside instigators? That is sad indeed.

         

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