SAM'S THE MAN.
I have to publicly credit Sam Quinones at the LA Times for single-handedly re-orienting my attitude about the paper. In the previous post, I expressed some concern regarding Jill Leovy's take on the significance of the racial component to the homicide rate. While I agree that the racial aspect isn't "driving" the homicides to a huge degree, her opinion leaves one wondering what's the bodycount threshold for starting to take the racial aspect seriously? Is ten percent not enough? At what point in the stats does race homicide become worthy of James Byrd or Matthew Shepard levels of public outrage?
In the Sunday edition, Quinones revisits Harbor Gateway, digs deep, and comes up with the real goods. Unlike a lot of what we see in print, it's clear Quinones didn't phone it in. Having been there and done that, I know you can spend a week working your jaw and knocking on doors to come up with one good quote. And he's got lots of them.
Clearly, the staff at the Times is not monolithic in perception and attitude and I can only assume, based on these dissimilar stories, that there's some healthy dialogue happening on Spring Street. All the for the better. Quinones, by the way, is the first reporter I can think of that makes an unequivocal connection between Eme policies and the race homicides. Read the story, download it and save it. This one is a seminal piece of reportage that, in light of the inevitable future events, will prove to be spot on the money.