A living history

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 24, 2009

It's frustrating to observe the enmity between blacks and Korean shopkeepers. As well as seeing the actual footage of the King beating, we watch surveillance footage of a shopkeeper who, after a physical altercation with a 15-year-old black girl, fatally shot her (she mistakenly thought the girl had shoplifted a container of orange juice). Although the jury recommended a 16-year jail sentence, the judge gave her community service and a $500 fine.

Late in Twilight, a Korean immigrant (Mark Carter) at a genteel, upper-class, why-can't-we-all-get-along dinner party given by restaurateur Alice Waters (Sandra Barrett) points out that Koreans have had a long history of prejudice and oppression in Japan, since their forebears were brought there as slaves 200 years ago. We are reminded, as we are with many of the disturbing vignettes here, that the Los Angeles riots had roots reaching far deeper than the streets of South-Central.

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