Trump's call for a wall to protect U.S. borders from marauding Mexican criminals not only demonizes Latinos, but evokes toxic themes of Manifest Destiny that were used to justify American expansionism into Mexico. Themes that allowed white folk -- the U.S.' original "anchor babies" -- to be legitimized as citizens.
As the country continues to deal with racial strife, fatal police encounters, and dogged economic inequality, the Watts protests has instructional value for advocates of racial justice and their adversaries. For the former, short-term improvements can prove to be fruitful and can be an important respite from the daily onslaught of racial oppression.
Excessive force puts white lives at risk, as well as those of blacks and Hispanics. But the silence of the white community and of the white church is deafening. We need people of conscience in the white community to join with the growing movement grounded in the African-American community to demand reform.