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Racial Relations

A 20-year-old picture of movie legend John Wayne is stirring up already divisive feelings in the Los Angeles County Fire Department after a Carson battalion chief ordered a portrait of Wayne off the wall of the Victoria Street station. So many firefighters were incensed by the order that the union has filed a grievance, even though the picture was quickly reinstated by county Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman.
November 12, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Direct from the age of black-and-white television, Reginald Rose's "12 Angry Men" has been redeployed to confront the issue of race relations. This Pasadena Playhouse production, which opened Sunday under the direction of artistic director Sheldon Epps, has evenly cast African American and white actors as the dozen jurors who end up splitting here along racial lines. If the result seems, well, a little too black and white for an era that, while hardly post-racial, has a bit too much gray for such a neatly polarized scheme, the play still has a way of ensnaring an audience's attention.
June 30, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
A former Boeing Co. unit was sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations that the unit, Boeing Electron Dynamic Devices Inc., refused to hire a black woman because of her race. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, also names as a defendant an L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. unit that bought the Boeing division in February, the commission said.
October 31, 2008 | Michael Finnegan, Finnegan is a Times staff writer.
Some white union members in the suburbs northwest of St. Louis are blunt about their racism when Gary Booth knocks on their doors. "I am not voting for a black man," they tell Booth, who leads organized labor's Democratic campaign effort in nearly all-white St. Charles County. Others are indirect but make clear that their unease with Barack Obama's race will influence their vote on Tuesday. "It's a difficult thing to try to break down those barriers," Booth said.
When a black teen-ager was killed in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn last summer after a run-in with a gang of whites, mayoral candidate David N. Dinkins made it clear what New York should expect from its top leader: "The tone and climate of the city does get set at City Hall." The perception that Dinkins could soothe racial tensions was probably the single biggest force behind his election as New York's first black mayor.
Blacks and whites together. Has the eruption of violence in Los Angeles altered the way people of different races deal with one another? Yes, said Kate Rubin, a 33-year-old law clerk who was riding in an elevator Thursday night with a primly dressed black woman leaving work in a Woodland Hills office tower. "I wanted to say hello," Rubin said. But she was hesitant because she remembered the hostility between racial groups after the riots in her hometown of Detroit in 1967.
He is arguably the nation's most influential African American televangelist, but for many years, says Pastor Frederick K.C. Price of Crenshaw Christian Center, a lot of blacks "thought I was white." Price, whose Vermont Avenue church is the nation's biggest religious sanctuary, with more than 10,000 seats, eschews the traditional black church's "emotionalism." He prefers opera to gospel music.
July 20, 2004 | Gayle Pollard-Terry, Times Staff Writer
There's an old saying in the African American community: Black women raise their daughters and love their sons. A legacy of the atrocities of slavery, it signifies a communal protectiveness of black men, from the coddling of toddling boys to a reluctance to report rape and incest. It's not like a get-out-of-jail-free card.
October 15, 1989 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
Rock 'n' roll is in the hot seat again. Call it media hype or justifiable outrage, but an acrimonious debate is raging over whether hard-rock heavyweights Guns N' Roses--as well as rap idols Public Enemy and speed-metal kings Slayer--are promoting bigotry and hatred. Guns N' Roses has been under fire for a host of inflammatory lyrics in its song "One in a Million," which uses derogatory epithets to describe blacks and gays.
The crystal clear waters of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center are calm, but poolside, things are getting rough these days with a lawsuit and allegations of racism that are a reminder of a past that many in Pasadena would just as soon forget. Nestled in Pasadena's Arroyo Seco in the shadow of the Rose Bowl, this sparkling oasis is one of Southern California's premier swimming and diving facilities.
August 3, 2008 | Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writer
Trying to put an end to a week's worth of sniping between the presidential candidates about the issue of race in the contest, Barack Obama said Saturday that John McCain's campaign was not racist, only cynical in encouraging voter concerns about his candidacy. "In no way do I think that John McCain's campaign is racist," Obama said during a morning news conference at a Cape Canaveral, Fla., hotel. "I think they're being cynical.
August 3, 2008 | Mark Z. Barabak, Times Staff Writer
Race has bedeviled this country from the start, when the Founding Fathers ducked the slavery issue for fear of killing the nation in its cradle. Obviously, much has changed. For one thing, Americans are seriously weighing the prospect of elevating a black man to the White House in November. But as this past week's debate over "the race card" illustrates, there is still no subject in American politics as fraught as the color of a candidate's skin.
June 19, 2008 | Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writer
Even as gang-related homicides have been dropping in the last several years, the proportion of such killings in which race was a factor has increased, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Wednesday. Sheriff's homicide investigators reported that race "played a role" in 16% of the 207 gang-related killings in 2005, rising to 19% of 133 gang slayings last year, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.
June 13, 2008 | Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles' two top lawmen are increasingly at odds over the extent to which gang violence is being fueled by racial hatred. Police Chief William J. Bratton and his top deputies have long cautioned that race-motivated violence remains fairly rare and that gang feuds over turf and drugs are the leading cause of such violence. But over the last few months, Sheriff Lee Baca has publicly voiced a more ominous view of violence between Latino and black gangs.
June 10, 2008 | Faye Fiore, Times Staff Writer
Some places are defined by a single event. Roswell, N.M., will always be known for space aliens, Dallas for assassination. And this little town in the Piney Woods of eastern Mississippi will forever be the site of one of the most brutal crimes of the civil rights era.
April 19, 2008 | From the Associated Press
President Robert Mugabe devoted his first major speech since the unresolved presidential election three weeks ago to denouncing whites and former colonial ruler Britain, blaming them for the country's political and economic troubles. "There are black people who are putting prices up, but they are being used by the whites," Mugabe said. Whites "want the people to starve so they think the government is wrong and they should remove it," said Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980.
February 12, 2006 | Sharon Bernstein and Megan Garvey, Times Staff Writers
The violence that rocked Los Angeles County's jail system over the last week is the legacy of operating jails on the cheap -- with violent inmates living in large, open rooms despite wide agreement nationally that such offenders should be held in cells. Sheriff's Department officials freely acknowledge that the practice has exacerbated racially charged disturbances in the jails, where violent incidents have increased significantly since 2003.
July 19, 1992 | CHUCK PHILIPS, Chuck Philips is a regular contributor to Calendar. and
I got my 12-gauge sawed off I got my headlights turned off I'm 'bout to bust some shots off I'm 'bout to dust some cops off. Cop Killer, better you than me. Cop Killer, f--- police brutality! --Ice-T, "Cop Killer" Ice-T is fed up with George Bush, Bill Clinton and other politicians taking potshots at rap artists.
April 6, 2008 | Jill Leovy, Doug Smith and Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton is reaching out to black leaders in an effort to counter criticism that he has written off concerns about racial violence. In recent weeks, the chief has been bombarded by challenges on the issue after he asserted that racial violence between blacks and Latinos has been overblown by the media and the public.
April 5, 2008 | Paloma Esquivel, Times Staff Writer
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was the guest of honor Friday at a Los Angeles mosque. But it was the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that held the crowd. "King was a leader who gave his life working for justice," said Muzammil H. Siddiqi, religious director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, in his sermon during Jumah, the weekly prayer service. "He stood for freedom, justice and equality among all. These are principles that we have to talk about as often as possible."
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