Macro and Micro Problems with Riots Essay

453 WordsJan 18, 20142 Pages
The riots came about due to racial tensions sparked by the acquittal of three officers accused of police brutality against Rodney King following a high speed chase on March 3, 1991. It would be easy to suggest that the Rodney King trial and verdict was the cause of the rioting, considering the immediate reaction to the news. However, although the acquittal of the police officers was the immediate precipitant, the Los Angeles riots of 1992 were the result of many underlying macro social conditions - specifically racism, social Injustice, and poverty. The living conditions in South Central Los Angeles in the years prior to the riots were below average. The per capita income was less than half that of Los Angeles as a whole, and poverty and unemployment rates were more than twice as high. Additionally, drugs, crime, and gang violence had all become visible problems in South Central Los Angeles. Although the acquittal of the four officers was the immediate precipitant of the 1992 riots, there were many factors that had a part in the violence. First of all, the living conditions of poor, urban blacks had not improved in the past 10 years, racial tensions were high due to personal prejudices and institutional racism, and an increased foreign immigration led to inter-ethnic hostility. They were triggered by micro issues from conflict between members of minority community and the justice system, the violence was initiated by members of the minority community, and the looting and burning of businesses were the major forms of property crimes. In addition to the immediate trigger of the Rodney King verdicts, a range of other factors can be concluded as reasons for the unrest. A micro issue can be the anger over Korean American shop-owner Soon Ja Du's weak sentence for fatally shooting a black teenager Latasha Harlins was pointed to as a potential reason

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