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Letters to the Editor: Don’t be flippant about looting. Many business owners are devastated by it

A jewelry business in downtown Los Angeles was struck by vandals.
A jewelry business in downtown Los Angeles was struck by vandals during days of demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Nancy Silverton and Michael Krikorian’s op-ed article about the looting of their Mozza restaurants was a disgusting display of elite virtue-signaling.

Silverton is a wealthy and internationally celebrated restaurateur. Of course a stolen case of Barolo wine means nothing to her.

Talk to the many first-generation immigrants whose businesses were destroyed by the riots in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City and other places, and you’ll get a different story.

Dana Levitt, Pasadena

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To the editor: Silverton and Krikorian’s op-ed article was oddly passive-aggressive. They described in great detail their experience of being looted — using words such as “hideous” and “nightmarish” — but then claimed that they want no sympathy.

However, far more concerning was when they wrote that upon the approach of police, “the looters shouted and scatted [sic] like roaches.”

Unfortunately, it is this kind of dehumanization that underlies police brutality, as well as genocides. It wasn’t so long ago that Radio Rwanda labeled all Tutsis as “cockroaches.”

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A first step in learning to be antiracist is to recognize and challenge language that equates people with vermin.

Paula Tavrow, Pasadena

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To the editor: The nonchalance expressed by Silverton and Krikorian was upsetting to read. They no doubt have the financial means to rebuild the property damaged by looting.

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Not all of us can share their c’est la vie. We’ve lost everything and cannot afford the basic necessities. We are devastated.

Diana Hurley, Culver City

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To the editor: I am deeply disappointed that Silverton and Krikorian used xenophobic language to describe the current pandemic. They were flippant with their language by calling it “that Wuhan, China, bat thing.”

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While I understand their goal of describing the news cycle, such xenophobic language has no place when examining systemic racism in America.

Michael Szeto, San Marino


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