Racism and L.A. Riots

As I watch the violence that has overrun our city the past few days, I find myself feeling equal anger at the large amount of ignorance and misinformation that exist among many whites in this city. I am an American of Afro-Hispanic descent who just so happens to work in Simi Valley. While I in no way condone the violence that has overrun this city, I find myself baffled at the sense of surprise that exists among whites.

How long have sociologist and community leaders warned us about the potential of this sort of violence happening? How long have we heard the cries of people like Jesse Jackson, Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Bill Bradley warning us about the growing "underclass"? Like most of our social ills that involve minorities, only when they threaten the lily-white suburbs is any action taken.

I am 28 so I was only an infant during the riots of the 1960s. I am aware that conditions for blacks and Latinos have improved. Yet despite these gains, we are still a nation that is more divided than united. As I sit in front of my PC typing this letter, I feel very angry, very black and very different.

RAY CASTRO

Simi Valley

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