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Enyi, Zhao (Zoey)


Dr. Carlisi

28 November 2017

Thesis Statement

Racial discrimination and police brutality led to the Watts Riots and still exist today, so they

need to be addressed in order to improve Black lives in the U.S.

Detailed Outline

I. Introduction

A. The Watts Riots caused huge damage to the LA city and warned the nation that Blacks

cannot tolerate their position anymore.

1. History tells us that the Watts Riots caused 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,952 arrests

and hundreds of buildings were destroyed as well as $40 million in


2. The Watts Riots gave the nation a warning that Blacks couldnt stand racial

discrimination, brutalities and unfair treatment any more(Carter).

B. Thesis: Racial discrimination and police brutality led to the Watts Riots and still exist

today, so they need to be addressed in order to improve Black lives in the U.S.

II. The main underlying forces of the Watts Riots are racial discrimination and police


A. The three primary aspects of racial discrimination against Blacks are basic living,

education and employment.

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1. Racial discrimination against Blacks in basic living mainly consisted of these four

parts: housing, shopping, living condition and health care.

a. California Proposition 14 which passed in 1964 denied minorities which mainly

consist of black access to housing (Flournoy).

b. Unfriendly white store owners in Watts raised the price of goods and sold low

quality food to black customers (Flournoy).

c. Only 13% of the homes have been built since 1939the rest are decaying and

dilapidated (Rothman)

2. Racial discrimination in education shows up as segregation, low foundation and

poor treatment.

a. In the 1960s, most African-American were educated in wholly segregated

schools funded at rates many times lower than those serving whites and were

excluded from many higher education institutions entirely (Hammond).

b. The school didnt provide good services to black students (Rothman).

3. Blacks experience racial discrimination in three major situations in employment:

hiring, career development, and income.

a. A study found that Whites got 36% more callbacks than Blacks after the

interview (Morris).

b. Black employees still need to overcome difficulties to have similar career

achievement as white employees in the same workplace (Khosrovani &


c. According to a group of data of average income of black and white, Blacks

income level is much lower than whites (Katz & Stern).

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B. Another significant reason for Watts Riots is police brutality towards Black.

1. During 1960s, LAPD was thought of as being particularly brutal in the relationship

with the African-American community (Gazzar).

2. Black people were abused and treated violently by some white polices.

III. Racial discrimination and police brutality still exist today and have negative influence

toward black.

A. Racial discrimination in basic living, education, and employment still existing.

1. L.A. Countys Housing Authority prevented Blacks to live in Lancaster and

Palmdale (Gazzar).

2. Racial discrimination has negative effect in market place (Bennett).

3. The wealth gap between whites and blacks is still huge (Katel).

4. There are less African-Americans earn college degrees compared with whites


5. According to table 2, unemployment rate of black is still much higher than white

(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

B. The conflicts between Police and African-Americans didnt reduce markedly.

1. High range of black men were shot to death by police (Katel).

2. High percentage of Blacks stopped and frisked by police compared with their

population to the population of the whole city (Katel).

IV. Avoiding racial discrimination and police brutality will help to improve black lives in

the U.S.

A. Blacks life need to be concerned rather than being neglected.

1. Before the riots, Watts had been ignored by the whites, which triggered the Riots
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2. We won because we made the whole world pay attention to us (Flournoy).

B. Being Treated equally and friendly will let black feel accepted by the nation and help

them live a better life in the U.S.

V. Conclusion

The main reasons of the Watts Riots should be cleared and people should keep paying

attention to the present situations of the Blacks in order to let them feel concerned by

the nation as well as help the Blacks to gradually solve the problems so they could live

an equal live as the whites.

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Although it was fifty-two years ago that the Watts Riots erupted, we still need to pay attention to

it. Every riot always brings varying degrees of damage. People die, get injured, and numbers of

rioters would arrest ( The blocks and buildings might be destroyed as well as the

environment. In addition, it also causes economic losses. Therefore, it is important to find out the

underlying causes which lead to the riots. For the Watts Riots, the main reasons were racial

discrimination and police brutality. For racial discrimination, it exists in many aspects, such as

basic living, education, and employment. For example, when it comes to employment

discrimination, it shows that blacks has less opportunity to get the job (Morris); blacks need to

overcome difficulties to get the similar achievement as their white counterparts (Khosrovani &

James); blacks income is much lower than whites (Katz & Stern). In order to avoid the riots

happens again, it is important to take action to solve these problems and keep the solution

activities continuously working and upgraded with better ways. Unfortunately, there are still

many problems have not be well solved and some solution activities have been quit in the half

way and ignored again. Therefore, it is very important to keep paying attention to these problems

and keep working on or finding out good solutions to solve these problems in order to prevent

the similar riots. In this case, it will also have benefit to create a good life to Blacks in the U.S.
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Body Paragraphs: Outline Section III. B.

Police brutality as a stubborn problem still exists today, even though 52 years past from the

Watts Riots and the society pays much attention to this issue. The conflicts between Police and

African-Americans doesnt reduce markedly. On the one hand, high range of black men were

shot to death by police (Katel). The Guardians investigation, titled The Counted posts out a

group of data give evidence of the rate of people of different races that were killed by police.

According to Fig.1, 7.13% of blacks were killed by police while the percentage of Whites were

only 2.91%, which reveals that Blacks were more likely to be shot by police compare to the


Fig.1. The rate of people of different race that killed by police, the guardian,, 31 Dec 2015

On the other hand, high percentage of Blacks stopped and frisked by police compared with their

population to the population of the whole city (Katel). According to Chicago stop-and-frisk data,
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no matter in New York City or Chicago, percentage of black people stopped by police are even

much more than the percentage of black population (see fig.2.), which indicated that black is

more likely be stopped by police and it also reflects that police brutality and unfair treatment

towards black still exist.

Fig.2. Percentage of Whites, Blacks and Hispanics stopped and frisked in Chicago and New

York City, Tinyurl,, May-Aug 2014
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Works Cited

Bennett, Aronte Marie, et al. "Shopping While Nonwhite: Racial Discrimination among Minority

Consumers." Journal of Consumer Affairs, vol. 49, no. 2, Summer2015, pp. 328-355.

EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/joca.12060.

Carter, Richard. "Recalling Watts: The Mother of All Urban Uprisings." New York Amsterdam

News, vol. 89, no. 34, 20 Aug. 1998, p. 18. EBSCOhost,


Edy, Jill A. Watts Riots of 1965. Encyclopdia Britannica, Encyclopdia Britannica, inc., 24

Aug 2015, Accessed 15 Nov 2017.

Flournoy, Angela. Watts 1965: Riot or revolt? Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug 2015,

story.html. Accessed 15 Nov 2017.

Gazzar, Brenda. Revisiting the Watts riots 50 years later: the explosion was almost

predictable Los Angeles Daily News, 28 Aug 2017,

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Hammond, Linda. Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education. Brookings, 1 Mar 1998, Accessed 27

Dec. 2017. Staff. Watts Riot begins. Watts Riot begins, A+E Networks, 2010, Accessed 15 Nov 2017.

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Katel, Peter. "Racial Conflict." CQ Researcher, 8 Jan. 2016, pp. 25-48,

Khosrovani, Masoomeh and James W. Ward. "African Americans' Perceptions of Access to

Workplace Opportunities: A Survey of Employees in Houston, Texas." Journal of Cultural

Diversity, vol. 18, no. 4, Winter2011, pp. 134-141. EBSCOhost,


Kreitner, Richard. "Its the Racism, Stupid." Nation, vol. 299, no. 11, 15 Sept. 2014, p.8.



Michael B. Katz and Mark J. Stern. Beyond Discrimination: Understanding African American

Inequality in the Twenty-First Century. Dissent Magazine, Winter 2008,

american-inequality-in-the-twenty-first-century. Accessed 27 Dec. 2017.

Morris, Tatiana. Q&A: Anti-black hiring discrimination hasn't improved in 25 years. What can

we do? the guardian, 21 Sept 2017,

news/2017/sep/21/hiring-race-discrimination-african-americans-study. Accessed 27 Dec.


Rothman, Lily. "50 Years After Watts: The Causes of a Riot." Time.Com, 12 Aug. 2015.


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Swaine Jon, Laughland Oliver, Lartey Jamiles and McCarthy Ciara. Young black men killed by

US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths, the guardian, 31 Dec 2015,

young-black-men Accessed 27 Dec. 2017.

Table A-2. Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Race, Sex, and Age. U.S. Bureau

of Labor Statistics, Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.