How well does your analysis of your riot in the first assignment fit with those data visualizations? Do those data visualizations change what label you think should be applied to your riot? Explain why.
In my initial analysis of the riot, I described it as a rebellion – opposition to one in authority or dominance – open, armed, and usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government: an instance of such defiance or resistance. After creating the data visualizations, I am even more convinced of the label that I chose. The single inciting incident of the traffic stop of a Black man by a white police officer would not start a 6-day event of lootings, rioting’s, and struggles between the African American people and law enforcement of a community unless there was built up resentment of the longstanding racial injustices in the Watts area of Los Angeles. My timeline and map provide details about the time and location of the inciting incident and then traces examples of many of the events – like the lootings, destructions and burning of cars and property – throughout the time of six days and the region expanding out from Avalon Boulevard.
In my initial assignment, I did successfully identify the features of the riot but did not focus on the asymmetry. The data visualizations were helpful in providing more detail to some of the features that I listed. For example, the trigger for the riots was clear by time and location. The duration and location of some of the major incidents associated with the riot were also evident as were some of the amount and kind of property damage. But the sources that I used to create my spreadsheets for the map and the timeline were not always specific. The newspapers had more general information for that day without always providing names, times, and specific locations. The McCone Commission report and the Fire This Time, historic report, gave more detail. I tried to choose examples from throughout the six days of the rebellion that best described how and where the event took place but could not be comprehensive with all the information that was available.
From the beginning of this assignment, I did not focus on the relative casualties among civilians and the authorities, which show more violence by police than against them – 73 civilians injured, 136 firemen, 90 police officers, 10 national guard, 23 other government officials. That was evident in my research, and I tried to consider that in the data. Now at the end of the assignment, I would choose that key feature of asymmetry. The damage to property and injuries and loss of lives throughout the six days were disproportionately to the African American community. On the map and tracing the timeline and incidents, most if not all the activity stayed in the Watts area and did not move into White neighborhoods. White residents were told by the media to stay away, and it became a struggle between the African American community and the majority White LAPD and National Guard.