Once dangerous and unwelcoming, Downtown went through a process of revitalization, its face today unrecognizable to past visitors. Back in 1984 I elected to go to UCLA rather than USC due to the neighborhood. Things have drastically changed. Downtown has become a center where young people live, it is safe to walk at night and there is bustling nightlife in place of the notorious cardboard and tent homes.
Today, at a lecture held Downtown by a self-declared "Palestinian from Palestine," I heard that the new Ritz Carlton hotel and condominiums complex, immediately adjacent to the Staples and Convention Centers, drove away the Latin community and was built on the ruins of their homes. I actually remember an empty surface parking lot, where I used to park going to register for the LA Marathon. But then again, figments of imagination of the "Palestinians" never deterred them from making up stories, fabricating reality or adjusting it to suit their narrative.
The speaker raised numerous complaints against the United States, while no one in the audience protested the egregious allegations. More than 120 people, children to the elderly, White Caucasian, Latin, African Americans and others sat and applauded. Is it really that bad here that we should blame and castigate others? From where does this sense of entitlement arise?
Planting Discord in Los Angeles
As I was leaving, I was asked my opinion of the talk. I replied: Nothing should surprise me any more.
Water is interesting for several reasons: We see green all around us, front lawns and trees and shrubbery, we see gardeners and homeowners cleaning the curves with fresh drinking water and we forget that we live in a desert. Also, polluting our water sources or affecting the methods of transmission can be a form of a terrorist attack, resulting in heightened security since the September 11th attacks on the USA. Lastly, we are all witnessing a simple truth: The only way to effect behavioral change, such as changing consumption or usage, is by attacking one's pocketbook.
Despite unprecedented population growth in the Greater Los Angeles area over the past several decades, needs are still being met. It is exactly because of drought and other increasing pressures that we must all conserve. This applies equally to everyone, whatever one's gender, political affiliation, skin color or economic status. Imagine the speaker telling us that water is a form of Apartheid against a specific group here in Los Angeles and that this group is the victim of discrimination.
Anyone who grew up, went to school or lives and works in Los Angeles will be furious over such allegations. There is diversity in our great city the likes of which can be found nowhere else. Los Angeles is a true melting pot, the essence of America. Water conservation applies equally to us all, whether Latin, African American, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, or any other of our very many communities.
Instead of celebrating all that Los Angeles has to offer, the speaker raises allegations of Apartheid, discrimination and other atrocities. Is it not always easier to blame someone else than face the situation and try to find actual, constructive solutions? Blame alone is doomed to fail. It is wrong and those using it as a method for personal gain must be held accountable.
The speaker's flawed arguments and hateful speech must be countered. They bring harm and discord; they divide, destroy and diminish all Americans.