The Los Angeles-based National Caucus of Black Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers

L.A.’s Black-Latino alliance has always been fragile. Can it survive racist recordings?

Lionel Rivera (pictured) is a veteran community organizer for the Los Angeles-based National Caucus of Black Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. “When I first moved here, it was the only black neighborhood,” he said. Until his arrival, he didn’t even know there was any other black neighborhood.

Lionel Rivera (pictured), a community organizer for the Los Angeles-based National Caucus of Black Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, is a veteran organizer who’s watched the organization struggle. In 1994, he led an effort to prevent a group of anti-gay Black Nationalist Muslims from renting a building in the predominantly black Garfield Park neighborhood to hold their rally. But the group, led by a former Ku Klux Klan member and a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, moved into the building two days before the planned rally.

On May 6, 1994, Rivera and a few hundred people braved the rain to protest the Ku Klux Klan member’s presence and marched to City Hall, where the group claimed victory. “They’d gained our attention by marching in a group where they outnumbered us 3-to-1,” Rivera said. “They didn’t think we’d react, but we showed up and they changed their plans.”

The ensuing months were spent trying to convince the City Council not to evict the group, who was fighting the city for their use of the building. “We were told, ‘Don’t get involved. When the City Council hears enough noise about this, they’ll make nice,’” Rivera said.

The group eventually relented and agreed to allow the group to rent the building out for $40 a month, as long as the landlord agreed not to discriminate against the group.

In fact, the group had agreed to hire the same lawyer who had sued other black groups for rent discrimination for years.

On this day, Rivera was among a group of activists rallying outside the home of a local gay rights group, and he had not brought a camera, but he was there with his cell phone. He recorded their march through the neighborhood, with a meg

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