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


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.”

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

Paula Tavrow, Pasadena



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.

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


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.”

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