Though appalled by behaviors I saw on the news last night ─ where the peaceful protest in Los Angeles morphed into rioting, I wasn’t all that surprised because this ain’t my first time seeing such a thing.
I was a young woman during the Watts Riot ─ dating a cop, of all things. The cop that later became my husband, fathered my Twins.
I remember the looting and burning of businesses. I also remember how there was a favorite Mexican restaurant I’d frequently ordered from. That restaurant was right in the epicenter of the unrest and the white woman whose restaurant it was, along with her mexican husband who did the cooking, were much respected and liked by the neighborhood. So liked and respected that groups of neighbors stood outside the restaurant to protect the business, stop those looting and burning from destroying that business.
I also remember how quite a few of those looters were hunted down after-the-fact and charged. Best I can recall, looters were found through house-to-house searching of homes in that area for stolen goods.
Was that search legal? I don’t know. It’s just what was done at that time, which makes me think that, after things settle, license plates, seen on news feeds, will be tracked to looters and surveillance cameras will be looked at to determine those looters who let their masks slip during the looting.
I was very happily divorced, my Twins were living on their own, and I was at work in the law firm when the verdict on the officers that beat Rodney King was announced ─ not guilty of excessive force.
All of a sudden, the office manager ran up to my desk, told me riots had sprung up all around us and told me to go home immediately, as I might not be able to get out later.
I was completely oblivious to the verdict and the smoldering anger on the streets, but took her seriously because she didn’t like me (no reason, just one of the many evil humans I had to tolerate in the working world) and the fact she looked concerned about me, a woman she didn’t like, carried a lot of weight. I took off and headed for the metro. Just in time because, inasmuch as the train travelled straight through the rioting areas (I could see looting and burning from my window seat), service was discontinued after the train I was on reached end of the line.
I was home/off work for a week, with pay ─ which was pretty sweet and, from my patio, I watched tanks rolling down the street. The National Guard set up their command post on the roof of the old J.C. Penny building at the mall, adjacent to where I was living. We were under curfew orders and there were armed (rifles) guardsmen stationed at intersections to enforce the curfew.
Now here we go again.
I’m in a safe place ─ no protests, no riots, no curfew but, when I saw where businesses were being destroyed in Los Angeles and the posh Melrose area, I became concerned for the guy who makes my glitter masks, as his business is near those epicenters.
Checking on him, I find he’s okay, his business is okay, but I feel for the businesses that are not, as they were already under water due to the pandemic, now this.
I’m no expert, but it’s been my experience that though peaceful protests will continue, the rioting runs it's course in two/three days.
However, if they don’t do something about having charged murder cop with only third degree and/or if he goes to trial and is acquitted, I’ll be worried about what is yet likely to come.
Again, I’m no expert about the justice system, but it seems to me that when you’re kneeing an individual on the neck, all lackadaisical like with your hand in your pocket, the individual is pleading “I can’t breathe” and you’re taunting him with “Well, get up. Get in the car” knowing full well he can’t get up because you’ve got you knee in his neck and your buddy cops are on his back and legs, that’s Malice Capital Murder, murder cop intended for Floyd to die.
So anyway, amidst all the chaos on the television screen, I gathered supplies and assembled a week’s worth of tamales.
I steamed them in the instant pot, as I didn't have a tamale steamer. The instant pot could only hold so many at a time, so it took some time to get 'em all steamed in batches, and the lid squished 'em down a bit, but they came out delicious. However, I'll be purchasing a tamale pot for next time so they can spread out and fluff up.