The editors of the Washington Post lament the shootings of two sheriff’s deputies in Compton:
America is in a moment of rage. Hours before the shooting Saturday in Los Angeles, more than 200 people there protested the death of a Black man, Dijon Kizzee, who was shot to death on Aug. 31 by LA sheriff’s deputies. The sheriff’s office said he was riding his bicycle, fled on foot when the deputies tried to apprehend him for an unspecified violation, then punched a deputy who chased him. The deputies opened fire when they thought they saw him reaching for a gun, the sheriff’s office said. Activists and Mr. Kizzee’s relatives say he was unarmed when deputies shot him in the back.
Systemic reforms are one thing. Wise leaders who exert a calming influence are another. Both are badly needed at the moment.
I think they’re doing a combination of misreporting the incident, obfuscating it, and failing to understand what’s actually going on. The shooting took place in Compton, a city in Los Angeles County. Compton disbanded its own police department in 2000 because it could no longer afford to support its own police force, contracting with Los Angeles County for law enforcement services.
Since 1990 Compton has gone from about half black and a third Hispanic to nearly the opposite. Almost half of LA County sheriff’s deputies are Hispanic compared with about 10% black. When their identifies are finally released I am confident that we will learn that the two sheriff’s deputies shot were both Hispanic while the perpetrator was black.
I have been saying for some time that what the future was likely to bring was that once Hispanics outnumbered blacks there would be a struggle for political power between them. I think that’s going on now. In California the sheer number of of Mexican-American immigrants is an impediment to their assimilation into the general culture. Increasingly, it’s beginning to look as though the assimilation will be in the opposite direction.
I believe that one of the reasons for the vehemence of some of the demonstrations and protests of the last several months is that urban black activists have realized that events are passing them by. Rather than being better able to secure concessions due to white guilt, they will increasingly be coming into conflict for power with Hispanics who don’t feel that they owe them anything.
IMO that’s what’s happening in Compton right now.