Civil Rights Suit Ends 55-Year-Old ‘Vestige’ of Palo Alto’s ‘History of Racial Discrimination’ – Park Now Open to All

The Vanguard Staff

PALO ALTO – A residents-only restriction for Palo Alto’s Foothills Park—alleged to be a “vestige of a well-documented history of racial discrimination”—is now open to the general public, ending Palo Alto’s “55-year history of keeping the public land exclusive to city residents.”

That statement was released Wednesday by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and co-counsel Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of San Jose/Silicon Valley (NAACP) and 10 residents of Palo Alto and neighboring communities.

Under the terms of the settlement to a civil rights lawsuit, the city agreed to remove the residents-only restriction and accept a permanent court order opening the park to all people, regardless of where they live, achieving “the original goal of the litigation, which sought a court order directing the city to repeal its exclusionary ordinance,” said plaintiffs.

The agreement was finalized after an attempt by opponents to challenge the city council’s Nov. 16 vote to open up the park to the general public failed to gather enough signatures—the deadline was Wednesday—to put a referendum on the ballot.

Plaintiff LaDoris Cordell, a retired Superior Court judge and former member of the Palo Alto City Council, said, “I am heartened that five members of our city council did the right thing by courageously voting to accept the settlement agreement that will finally open Foothills Park.

“The fact that there weren’t 2,500 Palo Altans willing to sign a referendum petition is great news. It means that, as we come to the close of a very dark year, our community has chosen inclusion over exclusion. I am thrilled to know that the park’s entry restrictions are now a thing of the past,” she added.

“The people of Santa Clara County can breathe more freely now, knowing that the public land of Foothills Park is at last open to all,” said Rev. Jethroe Moore II, President of the NAACP of San Jose/Silicon Valley.

“I look forward to seeing youth groups from East Palo Alto and the surrounding communities freely enjoying the beauty of the park—youth groups that have not had an equal opportunity to experience nature preserves and to understand what they are. This is an example of what happens when people in a community move toward change for the betterment of all,” he said.

“We are delighted that we could arrive at a constructive settlement with the city that recognizes the fundamental rights of all persons—not just the most privileged—to freedom speech and enjoyment of public land,” said William Freeman, Senior Counsel at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.


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78 Comments

  1. Keith Olsen

    I golf a lot and often travel to different city owned public courses that have higher rates for out of towners.  Am I being racially discriminated against?

  2. Ron Glick

    You might be being discriminated against if you play on a golf course in a community where you are a minority and where that rate differential was put in place when you were a minority in the demographics of that community.

    A bigger question for us in Davis is what this foretells about the fate of WDAAC’s local buyers program.

      1. David Greenwald

        It makes sense if you understand the law and the notion of disparate impact… Courts have ruled that a policy may be considered discriminatory if it has a disproportionate “adverse impact” against any group based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability …

        1. Keith Olsen

          The policy was based on where one lives, not on any of the things you’ve listed.  Everyone, regardless of their race were subject to the same rules if you didn’t live in Palo Alto.

        2. Eric Gelber

          Everyone, regardless of their race were subject to the same rules if you didn’t live in Palo Alto.

          You’re still not getting it. Disparate impact discrimination means a law or policy that is neutral on its face (applies to everyone) has an adverse discriminatory effect on a protected group—in this case, Black residents of neighboring E. Palo Alto.

        3. Alan Miller

          There’s an example of a private business (golf course) that is discriminating by the rates they charge by residency?  I’m not doubting, but hadn’t heard.  Private vs. Civic is my point.

        4. Keith Olsen

          There’s an example of a private business (golf course) that is discriminating by the rates they charge by residency?  I’m not doubting, but hadn’t heard.  Private vs. Civic is my point.

          Alan, I’m referring to public, civic owned golf courses that charge higher rates for out of towners, not private golf courses.  It’s quite common.  In fact when I worked at a city owned San Mateo golf course, local residents had to buy a special ID card showing they were a San Mateo resident in order not to pay out of town rates.

        5. Bill Marshall

          So, David…

          Are you saying that is OK to charge out of town fees, unless the out-of-towner is a POC?

          Courts have ruled that a policy may be considered discriminatory if it has a disproportionate “adverse impact” against any group based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability …

          Residency is clearly not one of the criteria… so, to meet that posit of yours, non-residents can be charged an enhanced fee, for using locally funded facilities, unless they fit the ‘protected’ criteria [and then, same rate as residents, or a ‘discounted rate’ (form of reparation)?]

          Or are you saying all users public facilities should be charged the same, whether they fund it thru their taxes, or not?  This would definitely apply to Davis… resident or non-resident differentials… benefits without paying for the true ‘cost’…

          Pick your poison…

          1. David Greenwald

            “Are you saying that is OK to charge out of town fees, unless the out-of-towner is a POC?”

            No.

      2. Tia Will

        Ron’s comment makes perfect sense. The effect of current regulations may depend heavily on the initial intent when they were adopted. For example, it is one thing if the intent of the original provision was to charge nonresidents more because they were not already paying in local taxes and so the fee was to make up the difference. It is something entirely different if the original intent was to exclude people of minority races.

        1. Keith Olsen

           It is something entirely different if the original intent was to exclude people of minority races.

          But how does one know, or ever can prove, that was the original intent?

        2. Eric Gelber

          But how does one know, or ever can prove, that was the original intent?

          Exactly. People rarely come out and admit discriminatory intent, as was the case with Jim Crow laws. That’s why civil rights laws also address situations of discriminatory impact, regardless of intent.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Ron G… as I recall, Keith O grew up on the Peninsula, as did I… you do not understand the context, as perhaps I do…

      Do the math… the regulation went in place in 1965… civil rights movement, and there was “blow-back”… East Palo Alto was an unincorporated area, known as being poor, and primarily Black, other minorities… Palo Alto was ‘wonderbread’…  all white, except on the edges… the other “edge” was what was then known as ‘east Menlo Park’… ‘brown’/black… heavily Hispanic (Latinx was not a term used in 1965) and Black.

      Keith’s attribution to the racism, no matter why, is frankly (no, I’m not him) the point of the article, the lawsuit, etc., and is “spot on”… his analogy to golf was a clue… a “country club mentality” (excluding ‘undesireables’… people not of our ‘class’) was pervasive in Palo Alto in the 60’s… I lived a few miles north, in San Mateo, and growing up I recall the perception was it was a city where the “snobs” lived… first time I went to Palo Alto was when I went to college, and met folk from there… very “upper class”… when I visited my friend, met his parents, one of  the first questions I was asked was, ‘oh, where are you from?’… when I answered, they responded, ‘oh, that’s nice’… ’nuff said…

       

      1. Keith Olsen

        I lived a few miles north, in San Mateo,

        I used to work at the San Mateo Muni golf course at Coyote Point, as it was called back then.  They also had out of town rates, was that racist too?

        1. Bill Marshall

          No… that was that he course had strong (a lot, as ‘green fees’ didn’t pay for its operation and maintenance) SM taxpayer subsidized funding… in effect the different rates were “in-lieu” fees…

          Keith O, remember I not only grew up in SM but worked as a temp employee (summers) for the City of SM… learned a lot about government operations…

        2. Bill Marshall

          No, Keith, I well knew that the SM GC was a real muni… I sorta’ remember that it may not always had been so, and same for a movement right after prop 13 to either close it or have a private party buy it… unsure how that was all resolved…

          But, PA folk had a “country club” mentality re: residence, parks, etc.

      2. Ron Glick

        It must have been tough for you guys watching the apricot trees turn into Apple or that Fairchild morph into Intel.

        I have a friend who lives in Davis and is an alum of Mountain View High. Total no growth guy.

        That region like Orange County and San Diego saw tremendous growth and the displacement of orchards by suburban housing. Of course you might have been part of that displacement, but, we often don’t see in ourselves the impacts we had on those who came before us, that others, who came after, have on us.

        I grew up in LA during a time of infill and densification. My experience was seeing single family homes displaced by apartment buildings and neighborhood commercial properties redeveloped as high rises. It too was alienating. Likely why I prefer going out to going up.

        1. Tia Will

          Agree with Ron. Our individual backgrounds definitely shape our views. I have lived rurally, in suburbs and in urban settings. One thing has always remained the same. Those who have more money get to call the shots. In my case, the most meaningful changes, and those that shaped my view as a “slow growther” with a philosophy of meeting needs first before luxuries, was watching the strawberry fields in Orange County across from my development of rows of middle-class identical houses disappear into strip malls, gas stations, and more nondescript housing. With them went not only open space, agricultural production, but also the livelihoods of thousands of field workers.

          There was essentially no planning at all beyond what was financially best for the developers. This has left me with a lifelong aversion to simply “letting the developers” get on with it since that is their area of expertise.

           

        2. Ron Oertel

          One pretty cool thing about the peninsula is the “Mid-Peninsula Open Space District”, which has preserved thousands of acres of land along Skyline in recent decades.

          I believe this park connect may connect to one of those parks.

          https://www.openspace.org/

          But yeah, there is a definite loss when orchards are turned into business parks and housing, in more than one way. More so, for those who witness it as its occurring.

          That’s why many communities subsequently restricted that from occurring as easily, going forward. Marin, Sonoma, Napa counties, etc.

      3. Alan Miller

        (Latinx was not a term used in 1965)

        ’twas barely known in 2019

        a “country club mentality” (excluding ‘undesireables’… people not of our ‘class’) was pervasive in Palo Alto in the 60’s… I lived a few miles north, in San Mateo, and growing up I recall the perception was it was a city where the “snobs” lived…

        I grew up in Palo Alto in the 1960’s.  Thanks for the sweeping insult to my home town.  Not that there may not be some truth in it – but sure not what I observed.  I just despise sweeping generalizations of any kind.  Funny, those of us in ‘south’ Palo Alto considered the people in the ‘rich houses’ around College Terrace and Crescent Park – the ones whose kids went to Paly High – to be the snobs.  But there I go stating that we ‘lower-middle class’ south Palo Altans were making sweeping generalizations, 1/2 a century ago 😐  What is that saying – a rich person is anyone who makes $25,000 a year more than you do.

        I’ll give you my perspective.  Yes it was majority white.  But there were black and whatever the term is now people, and I never heard any open discrimination – and that’s all through school, and kids can be some of the cruelest creatures (see Animal Farm).  My first grade teacher was black and was well loved by students and parents and owned a house bigger than ours.  I don’t recall ever hearing the N-word (and back then that included not from the black people, very unlike today).   The civil rights movements was everywhere, and I only recall support.  I was very aware even at a young age because my sister was an activist and my parents attended the Unitarian Church which was highly involved in civil rights issues.

        The neighbors on both sides of us were Republicans, and I never heard them speak anything against the movement or say anything racist.  One of them adopted a black child, who grew up to marry a white woman, and no one batted an eye – and bi-racial marriage was only marginally becoming acceptable by that time.   I’m not saying there wasn’t racism, or that towns that overall are more wealthy don’t overall have more white people due to overall wealth disparities – clearly that’s the case.  I’m just saying in all my time there I never saw overt racism, and witnessed mass support for the civil rights movement.

        Now the street I grew up on is majority Chinese.  Two of those families were there when I was growing up and are still there.  I’m not sure how that fits into anything.  Just is.

        1. Eric Gelber

          But there were black and whatever the term is now people, and I never heard any open discrimination – and that’s all through school, . . .

          Perhaps if you had been an adult or a Black (or “whatever”) family trying to buy a house, your experience may have been different:

          http://www.paloaltohistory.org/discrimination-in-palo-alto.php

          I don’t recall ever hearing the N-word …

          Perhaps if you had been Black, your experience may have been different.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Perhaps if you had been Black, your experience may have been different.

          From what I’ve witnessed, more common among black communities, themselves.  But with a different connotation.

          Not once in my lifetime have I observed a white person using that term in the presence of black people (and very few “other” times, as well). They’d get their ass kicked.

          Perhaps if one is white (attending public schools with significant black populations), one might have also experienced racism in the form of both verbal and physical attacks, as well.

          But, apparently the latter is not a politically-acceptable topic, for some reason.  (Mostly among “enlightened” white people.) All part of the big lie that enlightened white people dish out. (And frankly, they know it.)

        3. Eric Gelber

          Not once in my lifetime have I observed a white person using that term in the presence of black people (and very few “other” times, as well).

          Perhaps if you were Black, your experience may have been different.

          Perhaps if one is white (attending public schools with significant black populations), one might have also experienced racism in the form of both verbal and physical attacks, as well. 

          But, apparently the latter is not a politically-acceptable topic, for some reason.  (Mostly among “enlightened” white people.) 

          Racial discrimination is unacceptable regardless of who does it. But what’s not acceptable is equating the history and continuing impact of race discrimination against and dehumanization of Blacks in this Country to incidents of racial animus against white people.

           

        4. Ron Oertel

          But what’s not acceptable is equating the history and continuing impact of race discrimination against and dehumanization of Blacks in this Country to incidents of racial animus against white people.

          This is where we strongly disagree, and I doubt that any further discussion is going to change that.

          As to the larger point that you’re making (e.g., the underlying reasons that primarily black communities, for example) are lagging economically (and experience very high crime rates from within those communities), I don’t disagree. Black people are victimized within those communities at a high rate, but those attacks are (by definition) not racially-based.

          I’m glad that the park is open to all, but I doubt that it’s going to become much more racially-integrated, as a result.

        5. Ron Oertel

          The other day, I was watching a news report regarding a violent crime incident in what appeared to be a primarily black community, within Sacramento.

          As I recall, one middle-aged black man said something along the lines of, “this is an ongoing problem that we’re going to have to fix, ourselves”.  (Not verbatim.)  I couldn’t agree more, as I think it’s going to (continue) to be a long wait for “others” to fix it.

          Though as society becomes more integrated, maybe it will become less of an issue.  (So far, not really though.)  And truth be told, black communities are the ones most impacted by that – and not “all people of color”.

          Nor is there necessarily “harmony” between “all people of color”.

          There is such a thing as “black flight”, in addition to “white flight” – for the same reasons. No one wants to remain in high crime areas (except criminals, of course).

          By the way, is East Palo Alto a high-crime community? (I haven’t looked.) If so, fear of that spreading into Palo Alto might be part of the reason that this park was off-limits, until now.

          1. David Greenwald

            One of the more interesting discussions (a podcast I did earlier this fall) was with a law professor and we talked about the fact that when the court struck down redlining it opened up housing for middle class blacks to leave the cities which led to a higher concentration of poverty and crime in those areas and the loss of a stabilizing force. Very interesting study.

        6. Bill Marshall

           Not that there may not be some truth in it – but sure not what I observed.  I just despise sweeping generalizations of any kind.

          Moi aussi… my bad… but, I suspect you’ll admit there are ‘kernels of truth’ in all generalizations… but still, I was out of line… was basing it on my remembrance of what I peripherally encountered… not good…

          In San Mateo, our neighborhood was pretty much all ‘blue collar’, all white, but on the ‘lower middle class’ scale… the JHS I went to was ~ 1/3 white (a very few lived in Hillsborough), 1/3 Black, 1/3 Asian (~1/2 Chinese/Korean descent, 1/2 Japanese descent).

        7. Eric Gelber

          By the way, is East Palo Alto a high-crime community? (I haven’t looked.) If so, fear of that spreading into Palo Alto might be part of the reason that this park was off-limits, until now.

          If that could be shown to be the reason, we’d likely be moving into the realm of intentional discrimination—i.e., singling out a predominantly Black community as the rationale for excluding non-residents. (Kind of like trying to retroactively disenfranchise voters in urban (largely non-white) areas in the recent election.)

        8. Ron Oertel

          I don’t disagree, Eric.

          Of course, that may not be any part of the reason, either.

          In that same light, is “white flight” (or even “black flight”) intentional discrimination? (The desire to get-away from crime-ridden, problematic areas and schools – regardless of which “color” is predominantly causing problems?)

          Would that also be true if it was a poor, crime-ridden white community that people were trying to get away from? (Not sure, but I think there are areas like that in other parts of the country, as well.)

        9. Alan Miller

          Perhaps if you had been . . .

          I just shared all that to see how my predictions of how people would react matched how they would react.  You have not disappointed.

        10. Eric Gelber

          In that same light, is “white flight” (or even “black flight”) intentional discrimination? (The desire to get-away from crime-ridden, problematic areas and schools – regardless of which “color” is predominantly causing problems?)

          No. There are no laws prohibiting people from moving into or out of their home for any reason. If they refused to sell their current home to someone because of race, etc., on the other hand, that would be a different matter.

        11. Ron Oertel

          That was not meant to be a “literal” question, but I see some (possible) similarities in regard to the issue described in this article.

          Of course, if “white” people (for example) then move to another “white” enclave, would this type of issue then continue to arise?

          Eventually, maybe they’ll all end up in places like Utah or Montana. (Just kidding, sort of.) Well, except for the “enlightened” ones.

        12. Eric Gelber

          I just shared all that to see how my predictions of how people would react matched how they would react.

          Perhaps you shouldn’t be wasting your time posting comments for which there are obvious responses. And perhaps I shouldn’t be wasting my time taking you seriously.

        13. Ron Oertel

           I just shared all that to see how my predictions of how people would react matched how they would react.

          Isn’t that the basis of most of the Vanguard’s articles, themselves? 

          Most of us then responding as Pavlov’s dog would? 😉

          Not sure, but I think that says more about “us” than the Vanguard itself.

        14. Alan Miller

          Perhaps if you had been Black, your experience may have been different.

          Perhaps if I’d been a WASP rather than Jewish, my experience may have been different.

  3. Ron Oertel

    “Perhaps if you were black, your experience might have been different”.

    Maybe so, but there appears to be very few black people commenting on here.  Mostly, white people speaking on behalf of black people, I suspect.  😉

      1. Ron Oertel

        Is that right?  Well, few commenting on here it seems. (Yes – Bill is correct, though I did not know that regarding the writers.)

        Of course, personal experiences are (by definition) anecdotal.  And I suspect that most of your writers share the same political outlook, for the most part.

        That is an interesting comment you made regarding a study (at 12:17 p.m., above).

         

  4. Ron Oertel

    Interesting fact: In Thailand, they actually charge more (to visit historical sites) for non-citizens, compared to citizens.  They take one look at your skin color, to make that determination.  😉

    1. Ron Oertel

      (Even within the same group, by the way. And if you stand out like a “sore white thumb”, it’s pretty easy for them to do so.)

      Of course, that’s supposedly based upon citizenship, rather than skin color.

    2. Alan Miller

      There is also the ‘community price’ concept – that is the price an ethnic food restaurant in a neighborhood dominantly of that ethnicity charged their neighbors – as opposed to the posted price that the white people pay.  I’m not saying that is everywhere, but I don’t know but I’ve been told . . .

      1. Bill Marshall

        Yeah… have heard similar… one of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” thingys…

        Orwell nailed it… “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”… Orwell was fascinated by American history… and society…

  5. Bill Marshall

    By the way, is East Palo Alto a high-crime community? (I haven’t looked.) 

    Telling… why raise the ? if one hadn’t ‘looked’…

    We’re talking 1965 (focus of article)… in ’65, EPA was a bit ‘rough’, but largely unpoliced except by SM County sheriffs… they were unincorporated… most crimes attributed to folk in EPA actually occurred outside EPA.

    To put it in terms you might be able (?) to understand… you’ve said you grew up in Marin… were folk from ‘The Canal’, Marin City, welcome in your neighborhood?  Marin was far more rascist in the 60’s than Palo Alto… vestiges remain…

    Marin City, California – Wikipedia

    1. Ron Oertel

      I never said that I grew up in Marin.

      In reference to the question regarding East Palo Alto, I understand that it’s primarily a black community.  And (no matter how you slice it), most black communities have significantly higher crime rates (at least the ones I’m familiar with).

      I suspect that Marin City and The Canal district also have higher crime rates than surrounding areas, but not sure. From what I understand, Marin city is primarily black, but the Canal district is primarily Hispanic.

      But being in Marin, I wouldn’t be surprised if both Marin City and the Canal district have lower crime rates than other comparable areas – outside of Marin.

      We can probably discuss a whole bunch of communities with predominantly black populations (and examine the crime rates), if you doubt that.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Of course, part of the lie that “enlightened people” put out is that crime rates have no relationship to crimes, and are explained by police bias.  With police being the ones predominantly committing the crimes.

        The truth is that no one (even the enlightened people) believes that.

        There is a massive amount of dishonesty, regarding this entire issue. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t also tragic (and ultimately – harmful). To some degree, this dishonesty is due to what another commenter termed as “virtue signaling”.

        1. David Greenwald

          “Of course, part of the lie that “enlightened people” put out is that crime rates have no relationship to crimes, and are explained by police bias. ”

          That’s new to me

        2. Alan Miller

          part of the lie that “enlightened people” put out is that crime rates have no relationship to crimes

          “Enlightened people” also tell us there is no relationship between crime and so-called homeless people.

        3. Ron Oertel

          That, too.

          They also think that offering voluntary treatment will be a “complete solution” to those already-impaired (and unable to make rational decisions, as noted in the film I referenced).

          The enlightened people live in a fantasy world, to some degree. An idealized concept which doesn’t reflect reality.

        4. Ron Oertel

          I deleted the part of my comment which referenced “virtue signaling”.

          I, on the other hand, am starting to think of myself as having a “dark heart” (or perhaps a total lack thereof, like the Tin Man). Makes things easier, that way. 😉

          Then again, wasn’t the Tin Man the kindest of them all? The only one lacking what he sought was the Lion. (But what kind of jerk wouldn’t tell Dorothy to just click those heels together, earlier in the film?)

        5. Alan Miller

          But what kind of jerk wouldn’t tell Dorothy to just click those heels together, earlier in the film?

          Well, “believing the science” is big on here, so let’s review the cast of characters:

          • Cowardly Lion?

          • Tin Man?

          • Scarecrow?

          • Sadistic Swordfish?

          Hmmmm . . . It’s close . . . but . . .

        6. Ron Oertel

          From what I recall, the only person who had that information (all-along) was the “whitest” character of all:

          “Karen, the supposedly-good witch of the North”.

          Just like a white person, to withhold that information.

    2. Alan Miller

      Marin was far more rascist in the 60’s than Palo Alto…

      If I click on that Wikipedia link, will it give me the “amount that Marin County is racist” number?

  6. Eric Gelber

    In response to questions here about non-resident fee differentials for use of publicly funded facilities, I’m certain there has been case law on this. Obviously, if higher fees were charged based on race, or only to residents of a predominantly Black community, like E. Palo Alto, that would be unlawful.  But otherwise, non-resident fees (like higher out-of-state tuition) would be lawful if reasonable and justified by a legitimate state or municipal interest.

    Charging a higher fee for non-residents wouldn’t affect a fundamental right. Instead, such a classification would likely be found to be reasonably related to a legitimate government interest—e.g., cost equalization between between those who have contributed to the city’s revenues through taxes, etc., and those who haven’t. This would be very different from an outright exclusion that disparately impacts a protected group.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Not disagreeing with what you wrote, but don’t non-resident tuition costs impact Asians, more than other groups?  (With neither one being California residents?)

      Is the law regarding a “protected group” limited to Americans? In other words, disparate, discriminatory results are “o.k.”, as long as they’re not Americans?

  7. Ron Oertel

    harging a higher fee for non-residents wouldn’t affect a fundamental right. Instead, such a classification would likely be found to be reasonably related to a legitimate government interest—e.g., cost equalization between between those who have contributed to the city’s revenues through taxes, etc., and those who haven’t.

    I understand this is exactly what was claimed (based upon fact) regarding the park in question.

  8. Ron Glick

    “In that same light, is “white flight” (or even “black flight”) intentional discrimination? (The desire to get-away from crime-ridden, problematic areas and schools – regardless of which “color” is predominantly causing problems?)”

    Yes, I think white flight is racism in action. The rationalizations you profess as examples are, in my experience, often more stereotype and hype than reality.

    I remember when my aunt and uncle moved from Cheviot Hills to Tarzana to keep my cousins from going to school with black kids. I think they saw “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and freaked out. I loved my uncle but he was no Spencer Tracy. My uncle who was a well off small business man gave up his membership to the Cheviot Hills Country Club where we were often his guests. So, it wasn’t about crime or problematic areas as you suggest. It was about sheltering his daughters from a world he was uncomfortable with.

    I grew up with lots of racism. It was subtle around us kids but it was there. I remember when Rumsford Fair Housing was on the ballot in the early 60’s and heard lots of talk about not wanting blacks living next door.

    I think I was lucky to have grown up during the Civil Rights Movement because it helped me break away from the inculcations of my family during my youth.

    1. Ron Oertel

      I think they saw “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and freaked out.

      I don’t think I’ve seen that movie (other than clips) but my guess is that it had an anti-racism message.  The opposite of something that would cause concern for viewers.

      Yes, I think white flight is racism in action. The rationalizations you profess as examples are, in my experience, often more stereotype and hype than reality.

      It may be racism (depending upon how that’s defined), but we can examine crime rates, if you’d like.  I’m guessing that in the local region, Stockton isn’t one of the safest areas.  Pretty sure that parts of Sacramento would “qualify”, as well.

      If you want to look beyond that, I might suggest Richmond and Oakland.

      San Francisco used to have higher percentages of black people, but some of those neighborhoods were destroyed as part of redevelopment agencies. (Not all.) There’s a film titled, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” that I’d like to see.)

      Regardless, this wouldn’t also explain “black flight”.

      It’s not skin color itself which causes crime. But there’s no question that areas with high concentrations of black people experience more of it, unless you think that crime rates are the result of rogue cops. (Again, part of the outright lie that’s been put forth, recently.)

      1. Alan Miller

        Stockton isn’t one of the safest areas.

        Parts of it, Stockton has some decent features, despite it’s reputation (loomed large by Sons of Anarchy).  I was driving through a rather scary part of Stockton one night and I ran over a large nail and blew out a tire.  I drove about 3 miles on the rim before I stopped.  Great for the rim.

        1. Keith Olsen

          I’ve was stuck at the Stockton train depot for a few hours and didn’t dare wander out of the station as I’ve seen the area from the windows of the trains and buses I have ridden.  I was hungry and ended up eating out of the vending machines.  No way I was leaving that station.

           

           

  9. Alan Miller

    “I look forward to seeing youth groups from East Palo Alto and the surrounding communities freely enjoying the beauty of the park—youth groups that have not had an equal opportunity to experience nature preserves and to understand what they are.”

    This comment isn’t genuine.  Youth groups from East Palo Alto have been taking field trips to Foothills Park for years if not decades.  Youth groups often travel on school days when the park sees the fewest visitors, so this worked out for all.  I believe there were programs for overnight camping too, but I’m not as sure on that.

    For the record, as a former Palo Altan, I’m in favor of opening the park.  I found the ACLU suit vacuous, but it didn’t need substance, it just needed to embarrass the council so they’d be motivated to make it go away.  The park seriously doubles as a nature preserve, so what I am not in favor of is increasing the total number of visitors.  If that means some days Palo Altans can’t visit because the park is full – fine.

      1. Alan Miller

        Exactly.  As one resident commented on a Palo Alto blog:

        It is unfortunate (and to some extent unbelievable) that Palo Alto residents primarily concerned with PACC transparency issues & Foothills Park ecological impacts are now being branded with a ‘white supremacist tag’ courtesy of the ‘current political happenings’ taking place both regionally & nationally.

        Meanwhile, LaDoris Cordell (a former judge who previously served on the Palo Alto City Council) said the restrictions at Foothills Park “are an expression of racism past and present.  They see the browning of America, and they’re concerned. They don’t want to see things change.  It’s so racist to me, and so elitist. So privileged and so full of white supremacist thinking.”

        “They” ?

        I’m sure glad I was never in that guy’s courtroom.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I see about as much wrong with that, as I do with the comment attributed to David’s “hero”:

          The attorney with Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, added that Boudin got facts about the case wrong when he characterized the 911 caller as a,”racially-biased Karen”. They said the caller was a Black woman. 

          https://www.ktvu.com/news/sf-d-a-boudin-charges-sfpd-officer-for-mans-fishermans-wharf-beating

          By the way, why isn’t Boudin prosecuting the “Karen”? (I believe that they’ve made that type of thing illegal in San Francisco, now.)

        2. Eric Gelber

          “They” ?

          Yeah. Like when commenters on the Vanguard make generalizations about undefined “enlightened people.”

          I’m sure glad I was never in that guy’s courtroom.

          Telling presumption. LaDoris Cordell is a woman.

        3. Ron Oertel

          But regardless of what one thinks of that terminology, isn’t being white one of the basic requirements for being a “Karen”?

          Eric – nothing to worry about, as there is no one who is (actually) enlightened on here. That would include me. 😉

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