Newspapers in Southern California and beyond are reporting and criticizing a potential celebratory parade for the victorious NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers this coming Wednesday.
The Daily Breeze
I am as thrilled as any Laker fan that our Lakes took home the trophy. I watched literally every minute of the play-offs from start to finish. However, this is not a time, within our city and around the world, to throw a multi-million dollar public celebration for our beloved giants, whether they deserve it or not.
The city of Los Angeles is in the middle of making decisions about lay-offs and work furloughs, and 3,000 LAUSD teachers have been laid off for the 2009-2010 school year.
Lakers fans behaved abominably in downtown Los Angeles around the Staples center after game five. Property was destroyed, lives endangered and precious police and fire department man hours were wasted due to looting and lighting bon fires throughout the area.
The people of Iran are suffering violence at the hands of the state police during otherwise peaceful protests. Following the tweets of several residents of Tehran, I have learned first hand hair curling information about shootings, power outages and beatings of people either peacefully protesting or going about their daily business.
Once might argue that in times like these, we must celebrate the things that are positive in our lives, things that make us smile, fill us with pride and elevate us from our troubles. I wonder, however, if there are not outlets to express this celebration in a manner less pricey for our troubled city economy. In a way that feels less gauche, less flashy. Can we celebrate the athletic achievement of some of our favorite citizens without further highlighting the disparity between the haves and the have-nots, simultaneously making an overt attempt to limit opportunities for the needless shenanigans of foolish revelers which tax our city services.
It is Governor Villaraigosa's responsibility as the leader of our city to put the kabosh on this inappropriate and untimely parade. It would simply be unseemly.