Juan King, brother of Rodney King, whose merciless traumata provoked the 1992 Los Angeles riots, shares his narrative of homelessness
African American motorist Rodney King was pulsated on the side of the road by four lily-white Los Angeles police officer in March 1991. A year later, a finding that cleared the personnel of all but a single criminal bill prompted the Los Angeles riotings, the most difficult lawsuit of civil unrest in the citys history.
King became a epitomize of splintered hasten relations in the US. But there is an untold story, one in which his family exemplifies another unpleasant phenomenon in American life.
A few years before Rodney Kings flogging, his younger brother, Juan, had taken to alcohol and drugs. His addictions deteriorated when the glare of the media turned on their own families. It was a family crisis. And I went depressed, Juan did. He left his mothers home for good, territory on the streets of Santa Monica, Hollywood, Pasadena and Skid Row.
Ive been homeless off and on for 25 years now, he said.
Juan King fits a common profile of a homeless person in 2017: black, male and middle-aged. Minorities namely African Americans and Latinos have compiled a disproportionate share of the nations homeless person for decades . Yet the implications are rarely accepted explicitly.
People who work with the homeless see this obvious disproportionality, spoke Karen Lincoln, an assistant professor and expert in social work at the University of Southern California, but its not something be addressed in program solutions.
The recently announced results of this years homeless weighs in municipalities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Portland substantiate current trends: people of color are overrepresented. Some 40.4% of “the member states national” homeless person is color, in agreement with the University of Maryland School of Public Health, although African Americans make up exactly 12.5% of the general population.
Life right now is unpredictable for me, suggested King. Unfortunately, a lot of people of color are losing worse.
Minorities is no more than a shred of the homelessness person in the early 20 th century. Even in the 50 s and 60 s, the usual homeless person was lily-white, male and in his 50 s, in agreement with the National Coalition for the Homeless.
A shift began in the 1970 s and after, when homelessness started to have appeared in its modern figure, following the completion of major sections to low income home and mental healthcare resources that affected the poorest communities often minorities most severely. With the onset of the war on narcotics, prison became a holding yard for drug users and those with psychiatric maladies.
The crack cocaine epidemic of the 80 s, meanwhile, produced black and Latino parishes around the country to rock bottom, did Deon Joseph, an LAPD elderly lead officer who patrols Skid Row in Los Angeles.
Being African American and growing up in the 80 s, I saw how this disproportionate question of crack cocaine destroyed communities of colour, Joseph announced. Some parties could go get medicine in Malibu, but pitch-black and dark-brown parties ended up in prison, and we still experience the effects today.