« The Whites stay as far away from any color as they can »

Après Deborah (voir « I don’t blame it all on immigration, but… »), suite de cette série de portraits d’Angelinos rencontrés au hasard, dans la grande salle d’attente de la gare centrale. Mark travaille dans un bureau à Santa Monica, avec vue sur la plage. Il ne précise pas son métier, préfère se dire « citizen of the world ». « I don’t believe in borders, I don’t believe in countries ». Il décrit le caractère de sa ville, ses problèmes, et envisage des solutions…

The character, personnality of L.A.?

There’s not one thing about it.
It is such a melting pot.
There’s nothing… that I could say
«This is what Los Angeles is like.»
every color of the rainbow
every crayon in the freakin’ box
It’s everything.
But nothing
predominantly stands out.
Except the variety.

What are the major problems in L.A.?

Not enough adequate planning for the traffic.
The city was built about the vehicle.
It’s built for the vehicle, but not
well thought out.
So gridlock will always be a part of it.
And now it’s too big of a problem to
There’s too many people
who don’t want to
make any kind of concessions
to allow for more freeways or alternate transportation.
I don’t think that’s a problem that
anybody would say
‘no, everything’s fine with the traffic’.
Everybody knows the problem.
There’s no money,
and again,
the people aren’t willing to give up their land…
To create, say,
light speed rail, or monorails.
They want everybody else to make concessions
except themselves.
So, it’s never gonna be fixed.

And, race problems. Definitely.
Nobody seems to get along well with anybody.
There’s an underlying tension
And especially with the economic crisis
this past couple of years.
It’s very evident.
Black people stay only hanging around with the black people
The Mexicans with the Mexicans.
The Whites stay as far away from any color as they can.
Well, it goes back to the eighties.
The Reagan eighties.
When everything turned around to the ‘me’
‘What can I get?’
The white male has always been perceived as being able to get more.
probably so,
because throughout history,
the white male has done better.
So, everybody is looking for
how can I get ahead?’
without looking how to help each other
as a collective
or as a whole.
Nobody’s willing to really try help people.
And so people turn to their own cultures,
because that’s where they feel safe,
not realizing that it just creates more of an isolation.

There’s a sense of community that I don’t belong in.
Where I live, I’m the only white person.
In Echo Park.
Right where the protests and riots are right now happening because of
the guatemalan worker being killed
over Labor Day weekend.
So, I’ve lived there for five years.
I… think I may have seen two other white people in five years.
I feel safe there.
I don’t feel part of the community
I’m not part.
I’m a part from it,
I’m not a part of it.

I was in LA during the 1992 riots.
I was trapped in Beverly Hills.
I sat on the balcony of my friend’s apartment
watching Downtown burn.
But there was rioting in Beverly Hills,
there was no transportation to be had
back to… Gosh!
I was living up in Hollywood at that time.
So, for three days, say,
stayed and worked in Beverly Hills,
stayed in my friend’s apartment.
It has no comparison.
The 1992 riots were city riots.
And I think it was a lot more…
That rioting again was
‘What can I get for myself’.
The rioting based,
here on Labor Day weekend,
was based on police brutality.

How would you spend one billion dollars on the city?

There’s too much in it…
For a billion dollars you can build a mile of subway.
That’s what that costs.
That’s not gonna solve the problem.
Neighborhood centers.
Something to…
I don’t think forced bussing
from the 60’s or 70’s are gonna work,
but neighborhood centers,
and do some sort of programs
where the community leaders are involved
in creating interaction among
the communities.
Building more of a sense of the city
as opposed to different packets of different cultures.

Twenty-five years I’ve been here.
Mandates have been put on
different problems.
problems still exist.
Nothing has changed.
Maybe the greed has got more evident.
The problems are gonna exasperate themselves.
But, I don’t think it’s enough to
destroy the city!
The city’s too important.
It’s the second major port in the United States.
It’s got to be, you know…
You’re probably too young to remember in the seventies when New York got bankrupt.
And the federal government were bundled out.
I don’t think they could deal with this stuff
‘cause they even don’t have the money to bail out a city
the size of Los Angeles,
the size of New York anymore.
It wouldn’t have to solve our own problems.
So, the problems will get so bad that
the city will have to fix itself.
The rest of the world will have to watch.
See what happens.
‘Cause we’re not the only city like this.


Voir aussi : Portraits croisés n°1 – « I don’t blame it all on immigration, but… »

Les interviews ont été réalisées et mises en forme à la manière d’Anna Deavere Smith qui est allée à la rencontre des Angelinos après les émeutes de 1992 et en a fait une pièce de théâtre: Twilight. Los Angeles, 1992.

Crédits photo: Bouleis, 2010. Mark à Union Station.

3 Responses to “« The Whites stay as far away from any color as they can »”
  1. carole lorène'mum dit :

    très très chouette ces insertions sonores avec les réponses écrites à tes questions. Cela permet aux anglomoyennophiles comme moi de comprendre et de tenter de capter les bonnes prononciations! A suivre!
    et bon Week-end!

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  1. […] Voir aussi : Portrait croisé n°2 – « The Whites stay as far away from any color as they can&nb… […]

  2. […] a ville. Une soixantaine de morts, plusieurs milliers de blessés et de bâtiments incendiés. Mark, habitant de Los Angeles que j’ai interrogé en début d’année, dit s’être réfugié chez un ami à Beverly Hills : «I sat on the balcony of my friend’s […]

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