Wednesday, May 2, 2012

VH1 Uprising: Hip-Hop & The L.A. Riots

Last night VH1 aired a documentary about the L.A. Riots. Given the fact that I was only nine when the riots happened, I found the documentary very informative. Here is just a few things that I learned from it:

-Rodney King did not initially pull over for officers and a short pursuit took place

-Rodney King did not want to pull over because he was drunk and was on probation   

-Rodney King was hit by officer's batons 56 times

-Two weeks after the Rodney King beating, a black teenage girl named Latasha Harlins was killed by a Korean store owner in South L.A. -Latasha Harlins

-The Korean store owner only received probation for the killing

-Many years before the riots, LAPD officers were recruited from Southern states

-The riots actually lasted more than one day

-Rioters targeted Korean shop owners out of retaliation for Latasha's death.

I remember very clearly seeing the live footage of white truck driver Reginald Denny being dragged out of his truck and beaten by black rioters. It was hard to watch back then, and even harder to watch last night. And what really bothered me was that the man that put his foot on Reginald's neck to hold him down while others beat him, to this day has no remorse for his actions...

The documentary also discusses how Hip Hop music played a role in the riots, and includes interviews from rappers Ice Cube, Ice-T, Easy E, and others.

Even though it was hard to watch certain parts, I'm glad I watched this documentary. I learned a lot and I recommend everyone watch it, as I'm sure VH1 will replay it all week.

"Can we all just get along." Rodney King

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