Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sacrificial Lambs

Sai-i-gu is a very important documentary bringing light to one perspective on the L.A. riots, that was pretty much glossed over. Although, the L.A. riots in general were almost completely forgotten part of US history despite it being the deadliest urban riot with the most property damage in US history.

In the documentary the Korean women describe themselves as being the sacrificial lambs in the riot as the police shifted the rage from themselves to the Koreans. Much like a "pogrom" the Russian term for rage focused on another group defined as outsiders, such as Jews in Russia. This is a very valid statement, since the LAPD did nothing to thwart the rioters away from the Korean owned businesses, essentially quartering off this neighborhood letting it burn leaving the Korean community to defend its own property. Koreatown was the perfect buffer between South Central LA and the rest of LA. It was just convenient that there were already some racial tensions between the different groups of people.

The police and military were essential in pushing this clash of racial groups together making it into a conflict seemingly between Koreans and Mexican/Blacks. Because who in their right mind would destroy their own neighborhood? In the film there was a remark from a Korean woman saying that after the riots, black people from the community came to her wanting her to reopen her store. Because although they were racial tensions, these businesses mainly catered to the groups that destroyed them.

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