Councilman Ara Najarian didn’t mince words when it came time for his input at this week’s City Council discussion on the local history of racism.
“Glendale was a cruel place, I have to tell you,” he said. “Looking back, there was incredible disrespect and abuse of certain citizens and people of color that, I’m afraid to say, continues to this day.”
The council had just been briefed on a compendium of research by city staff that took them as far back as 1920, when the U.S. Census reported that Black people represented a mere 0.16% of Glendale’s population — and virtually all were likely live-in domestic workers, the research indicated. Since then, the percentage of Black residents in the city has increased tenfold, rising to 1.6%, a stark contrast with the figure for all of Los Angeles County — 9%. Continue reading “Report Details City’s Prior Methodology of Prejudice”
In the wake of the massive outcry after the murder of George Floyd, I have been invited by a number of news outlets in the United States and Canada to comment on issues of racism in America. Most of the reporters want to know how I feel about things racial today in contrast to how I felt about these same issues when I was in Little Rock those many years ago.
My usual response has been to point out that it would probably be more meaningful to inquire about my thoughts instead of my feelings. Then, without waiting for a revised question, I proceed to speak openly, about my thoughts.
I think that very little sustained attention has been paid to the legally mandated actions designed to block the forward progress of Black people in this country. Historically we have had to contend with covenants preventing Black people from acquiring formal education in the nation’s public and private schools, laws preventing Black home ownership, restrictive covenants barring Black residents from neighborhoods identified as Whites-only spaces, laws limiting employment, health care, recreational and financial opportunities for Black people. Continue reading “Little Rock Nine Alumnus on Notion of ‘We the People’”
Protests demanding police reform continued this week in La Cañada Flintridge in connection with the death of George Floyd, a black man who perished recently in Minneapolis while — as shown in a video — a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Like many protesters across the nation, a group that assembled Sunday at the Town Center called for justice, racial equality and an end to police brutality. The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station estimated that between 400 and 600 protesters gathered at the event. Meanwhile, about 200 protesters — many of them students — also gathered for a demonstration on Monday. Continue reading “Protesters Continue Demands for Justice, Racial Equality”
It’s been a dark and emotionally draining week. It has been much longer than a week for people of color; a few centuries, perhaps.
It goes without saying that this is a brutal time for our nation. How often are we under two emergency orders simultaneously?
Last week’s death of George Floyd was horrifying. We’ve all seen the video multiple times: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. As a TV reporter astutely pointed out, the video appears to show the officer shifting his weight after a few minutes to seemingly apply even more pressure while already in a dominating position. And as we saw, in the final three minutes the 46-year-old Floyd lay motionless.
Pastor Albert Tate from Fellowship Church used the terms “execution” and “evil” in describing the death during the streaming of his Sunday sermon. It was the first time that I’d heard those two words mentioned in this context.
And Tate is not alone in looking for words that fit the enormity and gravity of what we saw. People from all walks of life, regardless of their skin color, are outraged by the senseless death of George Floyd.
Many of the protests that I watched on television featured ethnic diversity. In fact, the news showed a protest march in Santa Ana on Sunday that seemed to be mostly Latino. This is obviously not simply a black issue; this is a human rights issue. Continue reading “‘Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere’”
La Crescenta and Montrose residents made it known this week that they stand with countless others throughout the state, nation and world in calling out the police conduct linked to the deaths of George Floyd and other men and women believed to be targeted for being black.
Some marchers said that the sheer ubiquity of the current movements — which are ongoing in every state of the union and throughout the world — may represent a sea change in public opinion on law enforcement conduct, particularly toward minorities who are overrepresented in myriad criminal justice system statistics.
“This feels super different,” said La Crescenta resident Kate Hindman, who attended the Montrose protest on Wednesday. “I’ve gone to protests in the past, and I’d be so fired up that I basically just wanted to be seen. [The public responses now] are fueling the idea that if we keep going, we’re going to see actual, tangible changes instead of just the abstract ideas of ‘We’re protesting and this is why.’” Continue reading “Local Protesters Join Others Throughout Nation”