The Urban Context Exegeting Pre Post Riot Los Angeles


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The Urban Context Exegeting Pre Post Riot Los Angeles

  1. 1. The Urban Context Exegeting pre/post-riot Los Angeles Presenter: Naomi Bradley, MAICS candidate
  2. 2. Objective • To construct a theology of mission for serving in pre/post-riot Los Angeles
  3. 3. “Unless you are burdened for a soul, methodology is useless.” John Taimoor, “Understanding Islam”
  4. 4. Our Lense “And they sang a new song…Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Rev. 5:9 (NIV)
  5. 5. The Story “Los Angeles 1992: In My Backyard,” Turning Point Magazine, Spring 1998
  6. 6. The Story As a newspaper reporter, our editor, Naomi Bradley, found it hard to contain her own emotions while recording what she saw and heard of the 1992 rebellion in Los Angeles. (p. 32)
  7. 7. Definitions • Riot – a noisy, violent public disorder • Revolt – to break away from or rise against authority • Rebellion – open, organized and armed resistance to rulers • Uprising – to rise in revolt, insurrection (resistance against civil authority)
  8. 8. Definitions • Civil Disorder – any public disturbance involving acts of violence by a group of three or more persons causing immediate danger, damage, or injury to the property or person of another individual • Civil Disobedience – refusal to obey civil laws to induce change; usually nonviolent or passive protest • Civil Unrest – a state of uneasiness and usually resentment brewing to an eventual explosion
  9. 9. April 29, 1992 It was a bit of everything and all of nothing— depending on when you were watching and from what vantage point.
  10. 10. I wanted to protest. • Protest – an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid
  11. 11. It made more sense. It made more sense to me to protest at Parker Center, LAPD headquarters, where I wanted to go, but had to work. (p. 33)
  12. 12. I was angry too. I understood what was going on. I was angry too, but I was a reporter, only a spectator…It was my job to interpret what was happening in reaction to the verdicts. I didn’t have to ponder much. “People are mad, baby,” one black woman on Florence and Normandie had told me. (p. 33)
  13. 13. Their pain I found it hard to look into people’s eyes. I didn’t want to connect with their pain, to add to my own burden. I wrapped up into myself, disappeared into my own soul and dug deep to determine what I would do. (p. 33)
  14. 14. The signs • Where’s the justice? • For Latasha • F--- Police • LAPD/187 • No justice, no peace • Guilty!
  15. 15. The signals • South Central is on fire! • Snipers are firing at firefighters! • Police are in retreat! • A state of emergency has been declared!
  16. 16. What ignited the “spark”? “It wasn’t a racist thing,” the young man said. “We’re gonna let them know how we feel. We’re cool now, but if we’re not satisfied we can start it up again. Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.” (p. 35)
  17. 17. Spark or fuel? “It looked like Rodney King all over again,” said J. Kakawana, a local businessman who is shown on the tape trying to calm the 71st Street crowd. “They weren’t gonna let that happen.” (p. 35)
  18. 18. The real spark? The white and black images of two women arguing face to face outside the Simi Valley court building personified the division: One for the cops. One for Rodney King. (p. 33)
  19. 19. Why did it happen? It was the threat to our security, to our future and to all we had worked for; the thought that Rodney King could have been any one of us, or even worse, one of our sons.
  20. 20. But violence begets violence. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could enjoy someone else’s misery. That’s shameful. Evil. Thugs. Hoodlums. How could anybody call what happened a rebellion, comparing it to the Boston Tea Party of all things? (p. 34)
  21. 21. But violence begets violence. Few others could fathom the victory blacks felt, mostly in the early hours of April 29, in chasing the white man away. How every blow to the white man was recompense for every blow to the black man, every lashed black, every lynched neck, every torched home and church, every police beating. (p. 34)
  22. 22. But violence begets violence. It was strange to think that in this country, being black, a descendant of slaves, having dark skin and nappy hair, that all of this was now an asset. Suddenly, being black kept you from getting lynched. That’s why the fists were raised. (p. 34)
  23. 23. And the looting? Even looters shared their wares. “Here, man. Enjoy it.” (p. 34)
  24. 24. The most tragic lost Over 50 people killed – in my backyard
  25. 25. My deepest hurts The LAPD verdict revived some of my deepest hurts, personal experiences I tried to forgive and forget in the name of progress. I didn’t take to the streets on April 29, but I understood why it happened. (p. 35)
  26. 26. Why did it happen? It was the threat to our security, to our future and to all we had worked for; the thought that Rodney King could have been any one of us, or even worse, one of our sons. (p. 35)
  27. 27. Why did it happen? Even the most unlearned black person understood the implication that the cops could now have a field day with us. Even blacks who only admitted it in black circles felt a need for some kind of protest. (p. 35)
  28. 28. A changed heart I wasn’t supposed to release my feelings...but how could I avoid it? This was happening to me, like a bomb dropping on my front porch. This was my story. This was my problem. This was happening to me. (p. 35)
  29. 29. The Scripture “He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Luke 4:18 Discussion: Who was hurting?
  30. 30. The Churches Discussion: How should we respond?
  31. 31. A Theology of Mission: Leading By Example “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Mt. 5:14-15 (NIV)