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Morning Briefing: Fallen Colonizers And 4th Grade Missions

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If you grew up in L.A. in the early '90s (I can't speak to other decades, but my guess is it's gone on a lot longer than that), then you have a clear and specific memory from 4th grade: building a model of a California Mission.

I remember reconstructing Mission San Luis Obispo out of cardboard and clay, proudly filling the fountain with blue toothpaste.

We learned about Junipero Serra like he was Santa Claus, a kind and generous man, beloved by all who gave us the gift of modern California. He had cool priestly robes and a penchant for arched doorways that seemed to signify purity and innocence, as the Disneyfied versions of history tend to do. He was a literal Saint in the making.

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I didn't learn until much later that "converting" the Native population to Catholicism was code for rape, murder and forced labor. It's not even shocking at this point, given the history of colonialism in this country.

I would have rather learned to build something more useful as a 10-year-old, but I did learn something new today: Karma is real.

Keep reading for more on what you need to know this weekend.

Gina Pollack


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The Past 24 Hours In LA

It was another day of protests in L.A. — Venice, Inglewood, Los Feliz, Compton. The energy is still up all over this city. Folks went all out for Juneteenth in Leimert Park (check out the photos). No curfews, no violence, no looting. Just peace, the right to assemble, and a celebration of Black lives.

Have you often heard those loud booms, at all hours of the night in your neighborhood? Do you wake up in a hot sweat thinking a bomb has been dropped? Is your dog stressed as hell? Yeah, it's officially summer in L.A. and the fireworks are going offfff.

People are refusing to wear masks despite a statewide order ... and advice from epidimeologists, public health officials, your mom and pretty much everyone else who believes in science. Small business owners are doing their best to enforce the rules, but sometimes it's incredibly awkward.

A group of Native/Indigenous activists tore down the Olvera Street statue of Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish priest who founded the California mission system, with the goal of converting Native people "at all costs." The action at Plaza Olvera was a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the recent wave of "unmounting" Confederate statues across the country. One of the organizers had this to say: "Here, in what is currently known as California, the legacy of slavery was operationalized by and linked to the Mission system ... To ignore this legacy for the prettier and softer side of Serra's actions is to accept gifts from an abuser."

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Andres Guardado was working as a security guard for a Gardena auto body shop when L.A. County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed him after he reportedly produced a handgun. In a press conference yesterday, Captain Kent Wegener said Guardado had an illegal weapon. When asked if Guardado pointed the gun at deputies, Wegener said "that remains to be seen." The owner of one of the businesses at the address, Street Dynamic Autobody, told KPCC/LAist that deputies broke his surveillance cameras after the shooting and did not have a search warrant to take the video footage.


Photo Of The Day

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Skysis Parks and Treyvon Reed represent at the Juneteenth celebration in Leimert Park. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

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