The City of Los Angeles Is Not a City of Diversity

Op-Ed: Villaraigosa: We came together after the 1992 uprising. We can do it now

By Chris R. Hines

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If there was ever a time in which Los Angeles should have been unified in opposition to federal overreach, it is now.

If there is ever a time in which Los Angeles should have been united in support of immigration reform, it is now.

The political and cultural divide between the city’s increasingly diverse communities, and its increasingly homogeneous communities, no longer exists. And that’s not the fault of the newcomers — though there is certainly a legitimate concern that the city’s leaders have failed to appreciate the need for a robust economic strategy that embraces this new reality.

What is the problem? Why can’t we all get along — or at least not hate each other so much?

The answer lies in the city’s own history — in the fact that we have a city that, in the past, had no problem co-existing with different cultures and ethnicities.

In fact, as early as the 1950s, there were even two distinct races in Los Angeles — the African-American community, and a diverse, primarily Latin population.

But then came the riots — which sparked the first great social and cultural disruption in the city’s history.

Many black and Latinos came here from the South or from the West, but the rest of us came here seeking jobs, the promise of better pay, and the freedom from racial discrimination.

So when those same waves of people turned violent and destroyed the city’s foundations, it all went south.

When they rioted, the people who built the city moved out — and so was born the culture that is now being erased from this city.

And when the rioting began in 1992, it wasn’t just Los Angeles; it was the Los Angeles region.

The rioting started in Watts, but it quickly spread to the rest of the black and Latino neighborhoods, and from there to the white communities in the city itself. They were not happy about it.

The very same people who had

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