News

'What are you going to do after today?' Black residents speak to hundreds at Juneteenth rally

Many urge education, voting as critical to lasting reform

Jamal Harrison was so full of rage he couldn't stand.

Kobi Johnsson said he felt like he couldn't breathe as a Black student in Palo Alto schools.

Michael Harrison described the indignity of getting pulled over by the police again and again in Palo Alto, his hometown.

Elijah Steiner read a poem punctuated by the rhythm of one sentence repeated over and over: "With every step forward, a breath."

Eight Black community members spoke in raw, honest detail to a crowd of hundreds of masked people gathered at King Plaza on Friday to mark Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas learned they were free, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

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From teenagers to adults, the speakers illustrated generations of subtle and overt racism on the streets of Palo Alto and in the city's public schools. Several expressed apprehension about the protests sweeping the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, fearing that despite the national outrage over racial inequality and police brutality, it won't result in lasting change.

"Do not let a day like today be your only method or action when it comes to truly fighting for our country. We are in true crisis," said Brian Chancellor, who graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1987. "My challenge to you is to do more. What are you going to do after today, and tomorrow, and the next day with your money and with your opportunity?"

Johnsson and Makayla Miller, who both graduated from Paly earlier this month, described a school system in which they felt like they had to prove themselves because of the color of their skin. Johnsson said many of his Black friends ended up leaving the Palo Alto school district due to mistreatment.

"Parents choose to move here, to Palo Alto because of the schools. ... and yet they watch as their kids are told both directly and indirectly that they aren't smart enough for higher level classes, (that) they can't challenge themselves — they shouldn't challenge themselves," Johnsson said. "They came to Palo Alto because of the schools and they end up leaving the district because of the schools.

"Because in these schools," he said, "Black students can't breathe. I can't breathe."

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Miller, president of Paly's Black Scholars United, said the club was both a blessing and a curse. It helped her find her place on campus and taught her she "was capable of doing so much more than the bare minimum." But it also highlighted prejudice and discrimination at Paly, she said.

"For too long I thought this was the norm," Miller said. "I always thought that being Black in a school full of white was the problem but it's deeper than that. It's the disproportionate amount of privilege that allows for those with it to follow the straight path that was paved for them by those without it."

Several speakers emphasized education as key to reform, including teaching the significance of holidays like Juneteenth and other events related to the history of slavery in America.

"We need to demand that education works for us," Johnsson said. "We need to breathe. I need to breathe."

A school can change its flags — or its name, like Palo Alto Unified did after Johnsson, then a 13-year-old seventh grader, wrote a book report about David Starr Jordan's advocacy of eugenics — "but if you don't change the curriculum, if you don't change the teachers and the books, it's the same," Michael Harrison said.

Harrison, a lifelong Palo Alto resident who graduated from Paly in 1991, read from a report he wrote as an Addison Elementary School fifth grader titled "My Heritage in Slavery." He recalled the first time he was called a racial slur as a young boy. He described not being let into a party in high school because of his race — and the anguish of returning to the same house years later as an adult with his son trick-or-treating on Halloween. He recalled being pulled over by a police officer after leaving Greene Middle School, where he coached basketball.

"I've been pulled out of my car literally because I fit the description of a hit and run (suspect) — put up against a tree, hands behind my head as people stared. What people don't understand ... it's not the brutality," he said. "It's the indignity that you suffer."

He and his brother Jamal said they had mixed feelings about speaking at the rally, which was organized by a group of Palo Alto community members. The groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement feels "trendy" and "hollow," they said.

Palo Alto resident Michael Harrison recounts a time when he was pulled over by a police officer on Middlefield Road years ago during a Juneteenth rally in Palo Alto on June 19. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

"I cannot say that I'm hopeful because history has shown me something different," Michael Harrison said.

Several speakers urged the crowd to take concrete action to address police violence, including registering to vote and writing to their state senators to end qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits. An impromptu speaker recommended people watch "13th," the 2016 documentary that traces the history of racial inequality in the United States from slavery to mass incarceration, and "When They See Us," a fictional TV series about the five Black teenagers falsely accused of and imprisoned for rape in 1989.

Lettie McGuire said her family was one of the few Black families in Palo Alto when they first moved to the city decades ago. She felt like an outsider then and still does, she said. She encouraged white attendees to scrutinize the diversity of their own workplaces and to hire more Black people.

"That is the answer — to have diverse neighborhoods, to make Palo Alto a diverse neighborhood," she said. "My answer is: Hire a Black person today. I'm talking about hiring someone and paying them the money that you are making so they can buy a house in Palo Alto."

Letitia Burton, a retired Paly teacher, sang "We Are" by Ysaye Barnwell, an African American musician. Elijah Steiner, also a Paly Class of 2020 graduate, read the poem his cousin compiled from family members' experiences with racism. The Rev. Debra Murray of First United Methodist Church delivered a prayer interwoven with calls to action: to vote and to advocate for the "8 Can't Wait" police reform campaign.

After the speeches, Miller, Gunn High School graduate Cleo Goodwin and a group of other young Black women and men led the crowd of protesters in a march through downtown Palo Alto. The crowd was so large that separate chants were happening simultaneously in different segments, with police officers blocking traffic as they poured down city streets.

People held signs above their heads that read, "Racism is a pandemic," and "Who gets to breathe?" One man carried a large photograph of a kneeling Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

Early Friday morning, activists used washable paint chalk to paint "BLM" in massive letters across Hamilton Avenue directly in front of City Hall. Later, the Raging Grannies, Vigil for Democracy and students from Nueva School filled in the outlined letters with messages: "Justice Now," "George Floyd" and "White Silence is Violence."

The Palo Alto City Council plans to follow in the footsteps of cities including Washington, D.C. and San Francisco and paint "Black Lives Matter" on a city street near City Hall. The city's Public Art Program put out a call this weekend for up to 16 artists, each of whom will be commissioned to paint an individual letter of the mural in their own style. The program is encouraging Black artists and artists of color in particular to apply as well as artists and muralists from Palo Alto and Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. To submit an application, click here.

The ground of King Plaza was also covered in chalk art by Friday evening, including the full text of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery "except as punishment for a crime."

In an interview following the protest, Michael Harrison said he's still wary that the current moment will produce true reform — though he's heartened to see activism led by young people locally and across the country.

Friday was the first time he had celebrated Juneteenth. But "celebrated" wasn't the right word, he said.

"I reflect on it as a point in history," he said, "because we're still not actually free."

Watch full videos of speeches from the rally here.

Voices of the protesters

The Palo Alto Weekly posed a question to participants at the Juneteenth rally: What's motivating you to protest today? In a slideshow, here are 19 demonstrators' answers:

— Quotes and portraits collected by Weekly Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee

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'What are you going to do after today?' Black residents speak to hundreds at Juneteenth rally

Many urge education, voting as critical to lasting reform

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 11:00 pm

Jamal Harrison was so full of rage he couldn't stand.

Kobi Johnsson said he felt like he couldn't breathe as a Black student in Palo Alto schools.

Michael Harrison described the indignity of getting pulled over by the police again and again in Palo Alto, his hometown.

Elijah Steiner read a poem punctuated by the rhythm of one sentence repeated over and over: "With every step forward, a breath."

Eight Black community members spoke in raw, honest detail to a crowd of hundreds of masked people gathered at King Plaza on Friday to mark Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Texas learned they were free, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

From teenagers to adults, the speakers illustrated generations of subtle and overt racism on the streets of Palo Alto and in the city's public schools. Several expressed apprehension about the protests sweeping the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, fearing that despite the national outrage over racial inequality and police brutality, it won't result in lasting change.

"Do not let a day like today be your only method or action when it comes to truly fighting for our country. We are in true crisis," said Brian Chancellor, who graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1987. "My challenge to you is to do more. What are you going to do after today, and tomorrow, and the next day with your money and with your opportunity?"

Johnsson and Makayla Miller, who both graduated from Paly earlier this month, described a school system in which they felt like they had to prove themselves because of the color of their skin. Johnsson said many of his Black friends ended up leaving the Palo Alto school district due to mistreatment.

"Parents choose to move here, to Palo Alto because of the schools. ... and yet they watch as their kids are told both directly and indirectly that they aren't smart enough for higher level classes, (that) they can't challenge themselves — they shouldn't challenge themselves," Johnsson said. "They came to Palo Alto because of the schools and they end up leaving the district because of the schools.

"Because in these schools," he said, "Black students can't breathe. I can't breathe."

Miller, president of Paly's Black Scholars United, said the club was both a blessing and a curse. It helped her find her place on campus and taught her she "was capable of doing so much more than the bare minimum." But it also highlighted prejudice and discrimination at Paly, she said.

"For too long I thought this was the norm," Miller said. "I always thought that being Black in a school full of white was the problem but it's deeper than that. It's the disproportionate amount of privilege that allows for those with it to follow the straight path that was paved for them by those without it."

Several speakers emphasized education as key to reform, including teaching the significance of holidays like Juneteenth and other events related to the history of slavery in America.

"We need to demand that education works for us," Johnsson said. "We need to breathe. I need to breathe."

A school can change its flags — or its name, like Palo Alto Unified did after Johnsson, then a 13-year-old seventh grader, wrote a book report about David Starr Jordan's advocacy of eugenics — "but if you don't change the curriculum, if you don't change the teachers and the books, it's the same," Michael Harrison said.

Harrison, a lifelong Palo Alto resident who graduated from Paly in 1991, read from a report he wrote as an Addison Elementary School fifth grader titled "My Heritage in Slavery." He recalled the first time he was called a racial slur as a young boy. He described not being let into a party in high school because of his race — and the anguish of returning to the same house years later as an adult with his son trick-or-treating on Halloween. He recalled being pulled over by a police officer after leaving Greene Middle School, where he coached basketball.

"I've been pulled out of my car literally because I fit the description of a hit and run (suspect) — put up against a tree, hands behind my head as people stared. What people don't understand ... it's not the brutality," he said. "It's the indignity that you suffer."

He and his brother Jamal said they had mixed feelings about speaking at the rally, which was organized by a group of Palo Alto community members. The groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement feels "trendy" and "hollow," they said.

"I cannot say that I'm hopeful because history has shown me something different," Michael Harrison said.

Several speakers urged the crowd to take concrete action to address police violence, including registering to vote and writing to their state senators to end qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits. An impromptu speaker recommended people watch "13th," the 2016 documentary that traces the history of racial inequality in the United States from slavery to mass incarceration, and "When They See Us," a fictional TV series about the five Black teenagers falsely accused of and imprisoned for rape in 1989.

Lettie McGuire said her family was one of the few Black families in Palo Alto when they first moved to the city decades ago. She felt like an outsider then and still does, she said. She encouraged white attendees to scrutinize the diversity of their own workplaces and to hire more Black people.

"That is the answer — to have diverse neighborhoods, to make Palo Alto a diverse neighborhood," she said. "My answer is: Hire a Black person today. I'm talking about hiring someone and paying them the money that you are making so they can buy a house in Palo Alto."

Letitia Burton, a retired Paly teacher, sang "We Are" by Ysaye Barnwell, an African American musician. Elijah Steiner, also a Paly Class of 2020 graduate, read the poem his cousin compiled from family members' experiences with racism. The Rev. Debra Murray of First United Methodist Church delivered a prayer interwoven with calls to action: to vote and to advocate for the "8 Can't Wait" police reform campaign.

After the speeches, Miller, Gunn High School graduate Cleo Goodwin and a group of other young Black women and men led the crowd of protesters in a march through downtown Palo Alto. The crowd was so large that separate chants were happening simultaneously in different segments, with police officers blocking traffic as they poured down city streets.

People held signs above their heads that read, "Racism is a pandemic," and "Who gets to breathe?" One man carried a large photograph of a kneeling Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

Early Friday morning, activists used washable paint chalk to paint "BLM" in massive letters across Hamilton Avenue directly in front of City Hall. Later, the Raging Grannies, Vigil for Democracy and students from Nueva School filled in the outlined letters with messages: "Justice Now," "George Floyd" and "White Silence is Violence."

The Palo Alto City Council plans to follow in the footsteps of cities including Washington, D.C. and San Francisco and paint "Black Lives Matter" on a city street near City Hall. The city's Public Art Program put out a call this weekend for up to 16 artists, each of whom will be commissioned to paint an individual letter of the mural in their own style. The program is encouraging Black artists and artists of color in particular to apply as well as artists and muralists from Palo Alto and Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. To submit an application, click here.

The ground of King Plaza was also covered in chalk art by Friday evening, including the full text of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery "except as punishment for a crime."

In an interview following the protest, Michael Harrison said he's still wary that the current moment will produce true reform — though he's heartened to see activism led by young people locally and across the country.

Friday was the first time he had celebrated Juneteenth. But "celebrated" wasn't the right word, he said.

"I reflect on it as a point in history," he said, "because we're still not actually free."

Watch full videos of speeches from the rally here.

The Palo Alto Weekly posed a question to participants at the Juneteenth rally: What's motivating you to protest today? In a slideshow, here are 19 demonstrators' answers:

— Quotes and portraits collected by Weekly Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee

Comments

the real
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:43 am
the real, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:43 am
6 people like this

"I did something good. I made it famous. I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, it’s an important time. But nobody had heard of it. Very few people have heard of it. Actually, a young African-American Secret Service agent knew what it was. I had political people who had no idea. Did you ever hear of Juneteenth before?" - Donald Trump, 6/18/2020


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:52 am
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:52 am
29 people like this

Thank you to the speakers and organizers for taking the time to speak publicly and lead. Your stories were impactful and I commit to supporting you and fighting for you for as long as it takes. I'm sorry that it has taken this long to open my eyes. It was there the whole time.

The virtual town hall on race and policing this Thursday, open for all to attend: Web Link


Lindsay Joye
Ventura
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:25 am
Lindsay Joye, Ventura
on Jun 20, 2020 at 9:25 am
23 people like this

I concur with the recommendation to watch the "13th" film.
It should be mandatory viewing for our students, police, politicians, everyone!
It is available on Netflix.

And with a Palo Alto library card number, you can view relevant films on Kanopy, such as "I am Not Your Negro" by James Baldwin, and "White Like Me". Web Link


Anon
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:22 am
Anon, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:22 am
48 people like this

I don't understand the opinion on schools and education.

Would it solve the problem if Harvard mails a blank diploma to every black high school graduate? He or she can just fill the date and call it done?

All this talk about how Blacks and minorities need an easy curriculum is not helping at all. What it does is perpetuate the impression in society that certain group of students are not up to par even if they graduate from Harvard or Yale. In other words their diplomas are heavily discounted.

This is unfair to many Black and Latino students who really can meet the demanding curriculum and compete fair and square with other students. They suffer the stigma throughout their lives, because of the incessant demand to water down requirements for Black and Latino students.

Black and Latino students can absolutely compete academically. Google "Success Academy New York". Tens of thousands of such students have done extremely well in that charter school system. Education is not appeasement. We should think why public schools have not been able to accomplish such results.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:33 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:33 am
19 people like this

Success Academy New York, a public charter school

17000 students. 53% Black, 30% Latino. 78% from low-income family. Ranked top 1% in math and 1% in English in State of New York.

Web Link


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:17 am
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:17 am
20 people like this

@Anon, I'm not sure that you took the right point away on the statements of education. Of course Black students can and do thrive academically. No one was suggesting to lower the bar. They are correctly stating that schools do not properly educate students on race relations and the full history of the country, the wrong points are often emphasized and the right points are never explored in depth. They are also correctly stating that the palo alto school system is getting their support wrong - treating Black students as if they can't succeed, and failing to support students who are being lost in a system of systemic racism.

That was my takeaway but please correct me if I missed another statement.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 12:18 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 12:18 pm
56 people like this

"Systemic racism" is a myth. That ended several decades ago and Black people have been thriving.
If we make new laws now that treat White people and Black people differently, providing free money and advantages to individuals of one skin color over another, THEN we will literally have systemic racism again.
The hypocrisy is earth shattering.
The media puts out innocuous articles like this one that provide cover for the truly anti-American movement that "BLM" has become. You allowed them to tear down a statue of Ulysess Grant who fought against the Confederacy FFS.
The sooner we end the extreme virtue signaling and hysteria, which in many cases is just an attempt at appeasement rather than an expression of altruism, the sooner we may yet have a chance to stop the country from going up in flames.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 20, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 20, 2020 at 12:28 pm
42 people like this

The problem in this town. Right here. ☝


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm
33 people like this

"Anon" you have willfully misunderstood the words spoken at the rally to suit your own agenda - to undermine efforts to promote a just and equitable education in PAUSD by falsely characterizing it as a "dumbing down". We see you and are so not impressed.

Perhaps you could take a moment and actually sit and listen to the incredible students, some recent, some from years past, and just reflect before you speak.

You say the following (it pains me to even copy and paste this BUT sometimes we have to air the ugliness in order to address it):
"Would it solve the problem if Harvard mails a blank diploma to every black high school graduate? He or she can just fill the date and call it done?
All this talk about how Blacks and minorities need an easy curriculum is not helping at all. What it does is perpetuate the impression in society that certain group of students are not up to par even if they graduate from Harvard or Yale. In other words their diplomas are heavily discounted."

It is actually YOU who are perpetuating an impression that Black and Brown students who attend elite schools are somehow not deserving. You should be ashamed of yourself. I certainly am ashamed that comments like this are to be found here.

Your comments and mindset are disheartening. I am thankful that many, hopefully most going by turnout at yesterday's rally and the earlier BLM rally, do not share your views.


A nice guy
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm
A nice guy, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm
38 people like this

It should be considered OK to disagree.


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm
26 people like this

@A nice guy
Respectfully, it is not ok to disagree when it comes down to matters of life or death (or a version of life that is not worth living), which is what this conversation goes back to.


White resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 5:30 pm
White resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 5:30 pm
39 people like this

Dear Resident in Midtown,

I don’t hear many black people saying that they are so glad systemic racism is a thing of the past, and that they now feel they are thriving. Police officers systematically target and kill Black people in this country, even in cities that pride themselves on their progressive politics and “color blindness”. In this moment, Black people aren’t asking to implement a set of racist laws, they are asking to fundamentally reform and rebuild the institutions that are literally killing them. That seems pretty reasonable to me. As Kimberly Jones said, we’re lucky that all Black people want is equality, and not revenge.


Jennifer
another community
on Jun 20, 2020 at 6:23 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 20, 2020 at 6:23 pm
36 people like this

An African American president was voted into office twice. If someone wants to succeed you have to have the right mindset. There's no such thing as "color blindness." We all see color. You can't let color cloud your judgment. There's a difference.


White Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm
White Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm
35 people like this

Rayshard Brooks. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin. Philando Castile. Eric Garner. Jordan Davis. Freddie Gray. Dontre Hamilton. Michael Brown. Sandra Bland.

It’s not just about electing a Black president. It’s about dismantling the stand your ground laws and policing systems that are killing Black people in this country every day.


Jennifer
another community
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm
53 people like this

Quit resisting arrest. Problem solved.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:58 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:58 pm
24 people like this

@White Resident, your statement gives people the impression that police kills mostly blacks, and, as you said, kills blacks systemically.

So far in 2020 there are 172 WHITE people shot dead by police, versus 88 black people. Does it mean police also systemically kills white people too?

Where are the names of the 172 white people? Do you remember? Of course not. They are anonymous. They don't matter.

Any killing is bad, very bad. [Portion removed.]


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:23 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:23 pm
13 people like this

My opinion on the education issue is objective. I clearly stated that there are places where they can do very well academically. However I'm concerned that many of the recent "talks" may be ways to set up the "narrative", the "optics", the "platform", so that further demands, which eventually will hurt rather than help these students, will be made. This is common practice in political movements. We've seen similar demands being made in UCLA, US San Diego, Univ. Washington, Emory University, etc. Of course it'd be great if there is no such plan towards PAUSD.

The funny thing is, the Democrat mayor De Blasio was dead set against Success Academy. Even here in California Democrats are generally against charter school, such as the charter schools in Oakland, while Republicans support it.


sara w.
Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:13 am
sara w., Downtown North
on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:13 am
31 people like this

@anon - I'm not sure what area the 172 vs 88 deaths apply to, but demographically, the white population is ~79% vs ~7.5% in CA (or 77% vs 13% nationally). So 172 vs 88 indeed indicates systemic issues.

The statistic above is but one data point. Black people live this type of disproportionality everyday with respect to health, criminal justice, education, housing, you name it. It is a tax on the health of Black people they can never escape. It literally shortens our lifespan. It even has a scientific name - "weathering".

Also, rather than speculate or project motives and effects of the students' statements expressing their lived experiences, please listen. Recognize that privilege and entitlement fosters racism in our schools, and students are simply asking that the district educate all students equitably, without bias. That's all.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:28 am
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:28 am
38 people like this

@Jennifer -
are you under the impression that these black citizens died because they resisted arrest? Have you been with us over the past several years? Tamir Rice was a 12 year old, standing in a park, playing with a toy gun, in an open carry state. He was shot dead by police 1.5 seconds after they rolled up on him.
Philando Castile was pulled over by police and was asked to show his license. He made the deadly mistake of telling them that he had a permit to carry and was, in fact carrying. They shot him as he reached for the paperwork to prove it. He also died.
Ahmaud Arbery was a young man out for a run in his neighborhood. A former officer and his son decided that he was the one who had committed a local robbery and attacked him, and shot him dead.
John Crawford was a young man shopping at his local Walmart in Ohio. Because it's Ohio they sell guns there. He had picked one up (presumably not loaded) and was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone while he continued doing his shopping. Someone called the police on him and they showed up and shot him dead while he had NO idea what was going on. He was shopping and then he was dead.
George Floyd was in handcuffs on the ground and a police officer put his knee to Floyd's neck for 8 min and 46 sec as he first begged to be able to breathe and then died in that position.

By the way, resisting arrest does not carry a punishment of death. And the police are not the judge or jury.

Why is it so hard for people in this city (and every American city) to listen to the lived experiences of our Black neighbors and consider them as real? I realize its uncomfortable. But is your comfort really worth more than the lives of those around you? Those begging for us to listen?


White Resident
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:07 am
White Resident, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:07 am
39 people like this

For those of you saying that racism is not present, that systemic racism is a thing of the past, I want you to ask yourself this question. If you had to choose, today, whether to be treated for the rest of your life as a Black person or a White person, which would you choose? Ask it on behalf of your children. Would you prefer that your child live as a Black person or a White person in the world? Pretty sure that NONE of you would choose to be treated as a Black person. Think about that. You *know* it's harder to be Black in America, that your life would be harder in America if you were Black. Yes, even in Palo Alto. Especially in Palo Alto where we like to think it's not true. Become anti-racist and help change that.


Cleo
Gunn High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:18 am
Cleo, Gunn High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:18 am
38 people like this

@Jennifer [Portion removed.] Breonna Taylor was in her home. Mike brown had his hands in the air. Oscar grant was ALREADY HANDCUFFED. If you can’t detain someone without it leading to death you don’t need to be a police officer. It’s that simple. Putting someone in a choke hold or shooting them multiple time has never been and never will be protocol to handle resisting arrest. [Portion removed.]


disappointed resident
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:38 am
disappointed resident, Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:38 am
36 people like this

Some of the comments posted here are disturbing, and based on the number of "likes" they are receiving, the degree of white privilege/entitlement in Palo Alto is much worse than I thought. These residents either did not attend the rally or prefer to keep their heads in the sand. No special treatment is being requested, just equal. Is that too much to ask?


Jennifer
another community
on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm
45 people like this

I believe that people of all races that die in police custody are resisting arrest. If you cooperate with police (whether you're a criminal or being stopped for a traffic stop, etc.) things will go smoothly if you have the right attitude. The first thing a police officer looks for is your attitude. If you have an attitude problem whether you're white, pink, green or orange -- things won't go well. Quit making everything a racial issue. This happens to suspects of ALL races, and defending thugs is pathetic. I don't defend bad cops either, and there are good and bad people in every profession. This is reality.


Mara Wallace
Professorville
on Jun 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm
Mara Wallace, Professorville
on Jun 21, 2020 at 2:01 pm
40 people like this

I have never posted here - always seemed an utter waste of time. And I marvel at those who post anonymously. But here is my first, fully attributed, post:

It is quite literally beyond my ability to comprehend that there are *still* people who believe that there is no systemic racism in this country. The facts are clear, myriad, and ubiquitous. It's unconscionable to deny it.

I am so grateful to the speakers who offered us their personal stories on Juneteenth. I cannot imagine how exhausting it must be to tell your story time and again - only to have your reality denied. Thank you for not giving up on us. I know I'm not alone in committing to listen harder, work harder, and do more to fix this broken system. I will do my best every day to be an anti-racist and to use whatever power I have for good.


disappointed resident
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 2:35 pm
disappointed resident, Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 2:35 pm
22 people like this

[Post removed.]


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 3:54 pm
22 people like this

@sara w., you know that the number of whites killed by police that I referred to is obviously non-hispanic whites, yet your claim of 79% whites in california and 77% whites nationally include hispanic and non-hispanic whites. White Americans in this context is far less percentage of overall population. Your intention to mislead is noted.

Having said that there is a scientific principle we should follow: Correlation Does Not Mean Causation.

In the old days people believe lice repels disease, because people who have lots of lice tend to be healthier. We now know this is nonsense.

Higher rate of violent confrontation is due to multiple reasons, such as higher rate of overall police activities needed to maintain law and order. Case in point is Baltimore. In the years after police retreated due to Freddy Gray incident proportionally far more blacks were killed in that city.

In California blacks represent 11% of government employees while only 6% of population. NBA, NFL, etc., are obviously over-represented by blacks. Proportional representation by ethnic or race groups in any occupation or social strata is only the result of other internal factors, and in general should not be mandated.

Education is the key to social mobility. Sadly in this area Democrats would rather keep all blacks in current poor state of education than allow at least some of these kids to advance themselves by the use of charter schools.




Cleo
Gunn High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm
Cleo , Gunn High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm
25 people like this

@jennifer again. [Portion removed.] When blacks are dying at at higher rates from police more than any other race IT IS A RACE ISSUE. And again Breonna Taylor was in her home not resisting. Oscar grant was already in handcuffs lying face down not resisting. Philando Castile was not resisting. Eric Garner was not resisting. Trayvon Martin was defending himself. Aiyana Stanley Jones A CHILD was not resisting. Mike Brown has his hands in the air and wasn’t even facing the police he wasn’t resisting. Dylan Roof shout up a church and was taken to Burger King. A naked white man was on video running after police nothing happened. Let’s not talk about all the covid protestors who had ar-15s and military style weapons and nothing happened. [Portion removed.]


George
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm
George, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm
33 people like this

Systemic black on black violence routinely logs deaths in the thousands in some urban areas in America. Why no marches for those victims? Why no marches for white shootings (a larger number) by police? Why no marches for victims of black violence? Black crime? Black abandonment? Why do we routinely pretend that none of that exists?
Name one person killed in Black-on-black shootings in Milwaukee this past week. What should happen to their killers? Who should riot to settle that score?
A cop killed a man during an arrest. Everyone saw the video. He and the other officers were very quickly charged and will be tried. Their will be justice.
What more? How much more?



Emma
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Emma, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm
26 people like this

To the racists leaving disgusting comments here, you are the past. Either educate yourselves or be quiet. The powerful Black youth who spoke at the rally are the future! Also, this is a reminder that attending a rally is only the first step to becoming a true anti-racist. VOTE! LEARN! LISTEN! ACT!


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 21, 2020 at 9:14 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 21, 2020 at 9:14 pm
27 people like this

LoL Emma wth is a "true anti-racist"? The word racist has been fetishized to the extent that its lost all meaning and is now used constantly as a pejorative. Careful because calling everyone a racist covers for the true ones.
So what is a "true anti-racist"?
Someone who caves to lawlessness and sacrilegious destruction of longstanding American monuments and symbols? The same America that through its Constitution the first nation to declare "all men are created equal" won the day in court and won equality for Blacks that we are enjoying to this day? Someone who hates their own race and prostrates themselves in front of you as a form of "reparations" ? Who then gets back to driving their Tesla while listening to NPR?

You don't cure historical racism with modern anti-white racism.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:06 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:06 pm
25 people like this

Future? A future without Shakespeare because he is too white. A future without Issac Newton because he is white too. A future without Einstein (he made some horrible remarks on race).

A future that is the end of Western Civilization.

A future that the Chinese, Indians and Asians will finally dominate the world again.


Duveneck neighbor
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:25 pm
Duveneck neighbor, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2020 at 10:25 pm
31 people like this

Anon from Evergreen Park, Jennifer from another community, George from Old Palo Alto, Resident from Midtown:

You four have all missed the point. You've all committed numerous logical fallacies: you've employed non sequitur arguments; you've used cherry-picking; you've drawn false dichotomies; and, you've suggested false equivalences. None of you have, so far, constructed a logical argument against the testimonies given in this Juneteenth rally.

Palo Alto exhibits systemic racism. Period. Full stop.

The City Council, the City Manager, the Chief of Police, the police union, police officers, and the district attorneys have, over decades, created an entrenched system. The system fails, however, because while its end product SHOULD be justice, its end product is something else. A 'low crime rate' is mistaken for justice; this is a false equivalency.

We the people have become lazy. We've let the leadership off the hook. We've mistaken safety for justice.

We let the City Manager claim the BLM rally earlier in June had only 2,000 attendees, whereas the number was closer to 10,000; we don't hold our public officials accountable for facts, and for truth-telling.

We the people have allowed our police to develop tactics, tools, technology, and training, which do not result in justice. We have allowed qualified immunity law, and personnel privacy law, to be use as shields, to hide facts and the truth when police and policing fail to deliver justice. We have allowed police and city management and council to delay, detract, distract, dissuade, disparage and otherwise deny truth, in favor of a status quo which sustains systemic racism. The matter of Mr Alvarez from 17 February 2018 is case in huge point. (If you don't know the details, then search for Gennady Sheyner's reporting on it, in this paper.)

For Anon of Evergreen Park, this is not the time or place for the distraction of public vs public charter vs private schools. Please do not employ the logical fallacy embedded in such a suggestion.

For Resident of Midtown, you have employed a false characterization/dichotomy. No one is suggesting replacing historical racism with anti-white racism. Go shill that canard in some other, more gullible place.

For George from Old Palo Alto, our job is to start with this community. We don't have black on black violence, we have systemic racism leading to violence and injustice. Creating a false dichotomy is not logically valid.

For Jennifer of Another Community, your comments are factually untrue. You should review the video of the Alvarez arrest, mentioned above, as a start. In it you will find: police attempted to stop Mr Alvarez without cause; they entered his property even when asked to leave; they threatened violence; they entered his home without a warrant, and without meeting the exigency thresholds for allowing warrantless entry; they injured Mr Alvarez unnecessarily, using far excessive force; they filed a false report, and withheld evidence, including body camera evidence; through their union and Chief and City Manager, they hid behind personnel privacy law, to keep the matter from public view; they settled with Mr Alvarez for roughly half a million dollars, but made him sign an NDA, thereby keeping the matter opaque; the officers were never punished, and the DA filed no criminal charges against them; the City and Chief delayed the investigation by the independent auditor, almost long enough for the County DA to be unable to file charges, due to expiration under the statute of limitations. All this came to light, only because Mr Alvarez had an undeniable video recording of the officers' actions on 18 Feb 2018. All this provides evidence -- not of a random, and excusable, single act by one or two momentarily 'bad' officers, but -- of a reproduced pattern of behaviors embedded deep within our City's fundamental structures.

Safety is not justice. The end product of law enforcement is justice. We cannot forget this fact.


Ella Mernyk
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:27 pm
Ella Mernyk , Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2020 at 11:27 pm
20 people like this

Thank you to the organizers and speakers & thank you for taking the time and energy to engage with a primarily white community.

Having gone through the school system here, I wholeheartedly agree that PAUSD needs to step up and address the inequality they uphold. Not only do they need to de-colonize the curriculum, but there needs to be immediate action in the form of assemblies (when covid allows/online) to address racial inequality head on. There’s also a dire need for free or affordable tutoring for regular curriculum, SAT/ACTs, and college applications. Students are expected to figure it out on their own or throw money at someone to help them which is simply not possible for so many Black & brown kids.

Also, WHY are there literal lotteries for kids in the Ravenswood School district to get slots at schools in wealthier districts like PAUSD when Palo Alto has plenty of funding to better other communities? PALY does NOT have to look like Stanford while volunteers are repainting schools in East Palo Alto.

There are so many issues that need to be addressed and I am with you all the way. Black lives matter always and forever.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 22, 2020 at 8:30 am
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 22, 2020 at 8:30 am
23 people like this

@Resident (of Midtown) -
When the entire system is racist, then you are either actively dismantling it or you are supporting the status quo. You are either racist or anti-racist. There is no in between. When you are silent, or support "the same", that is perpetuating a racist system. I take it you didn't attend the rally or listen to your neighbors as they shared their Palo Alto experiences, both past and current. It was moving and honest and difficult to hear. This is their lived reality in our town. I ask you to please listen and consider what this town and its residents have done to our fellow citizens. Listen to the current students and parents of current students as they tell you what it is still like today. We need to do better. Please consider listening and learning and getting a bit uncomfortable. We will all be better for it.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:19 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:19 am
20 people like this

@Duveneck neighbor, you are the one that doing cherry-picking.

You use one or two instances of police confrontation, which in my view fully compliant with the law even though violent, to void the excellent behavior of PAPD over so many decades. You ignore statistics. You ignore data. You ignore facts.

People like you trick the populace with sensationalization.

You want to "fit in" the movement no matter what it takes, including smearing the hard-earned reputation of PAPD.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:31 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:31 am
18 people like this

They have toppled the statues of Jefferson and Grant. Berkeley has renamed schools away from Washington. New York Natural History Museum will remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt. I bet FDR will be the next. Einstein will be removed from all textbooks too.

A couple of days ago I heard on radio a commentator said GI Bill is racist, because the recipients are overwhelmingly white (and men). Can you believe that??? Those heroes who risked their lives to fight against Hitler and saved the world did not deserve the GI Bill?

What is going on?

This is cultural pogrom.


VigilForDemocracy
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:14 am
VigilForDemocracy, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:14 am
20 people like this

We painted the giant temporary BLM mural in front of City Hall, and filled it with messages of love, support and loss for rally-goers on Juneteenth. We are proud there will soon be a permanent BLACK LIVES MATTER mural by black artists who will be paid a stipend (instead of expecting free labor as many towns do). It’ll be the first on the Peninsula, and a daily reminder of our city’s commitment to racial justice.

This is a long struggle, and Palo Alto has non-black allies who will not give up till our black community members feel safe, valued and loved, every single day. No exceptions.

Find us using #VigilforDemocracy on social media.


George
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:27 am
George, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:27 am
29 people like this

'Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering.'

The above introduces a study by two Berkeley economists published by the Brookings Institute.
It's important that the current wave of public alarm not mislead people - especially not young people who may have little real experience of inner city history and issues. It's a very complicated concern that doesn't easily reduce to silly charges of 'racism'.

Since the 1960s efforts at all levels by governments, private organizations, and corporations have been made by many caring, well intentioned, and informed people to improve black lives. Hundreds of billions have gone towards this issue. Police departments and public agencies nationwide, many led by blacks, have worked at this. These efforts should not be discounted. Yet, they are.

65% of black children are borne out of wedlock, most of whom grow up without a second parent. If BLM were really concerned, that would be a good starting point.

BLM implies that they don't.
If BLM wanted change, they would go after drugs in inner cities. They would demand an end to gang violence. They would demand black fathers take responsibility. They would demand black achievement. They would foster black enterprise. They would demand more than speeches. Obama did almost nothing for black Americans except to revive charges of racism.

Black achievement is over-shadowed by black violence. Too many see young black males as threatening not because of prejudice but because too many are really dangerous and because too many are responsible for too much crime. There are many places where police are right to be very cautious about blacks.

BLM will do nothing if it doesn't ignite a call for black achievement. Blacks own all of their own choices and most of their own success.

Every group in America has problems but most groups progress. America has a great history of raising people up. America remains the most multicultural and most diverse nation on the planet.

The attempt to rally the young and the misinformed to yet another round of social reform on behalf of black under-achievement is the worst possible aid to the black community. Calls to defund the police are just crazy. The people who most need them are the poor.

All Americans are people - not black, brown, yellow, etc. Only racists traffic in color. Only racists exploits people's skin color. If blacks are to achieve comfort in our society we must stop labeling them as separate and apart. They must behave (those who don't) and focus on personal achievements and strengthening their own communities. We have to expect the best from everyone.


Paly Student
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:53 am
Paly Student, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:53 am
41 people like this

Can't breathe because of discrimination at Paly? Absolute nonsense. Don't make things up for publicity. We both know that kind of thing doesn't happen here at our school, whose reputation you are destroying for your personal gain.
Just like the scam BLM, creating a mountain from a molehill. What did they do besides stirring up anger and violence?
People these days can say "Black Lives Matter" and be called a social justice hero, but if they say "All Lives Matter", they'll be accused of having every phobia in the dictionary. That's the real racism.


Embarrassed Paly student
Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:46 pm
Embarrassed Paly student, Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:46 pm
23 people like this

The problem at Paly for black and brown students. Right there


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm
16 people like this

@Jennifer
You say: "An African American president was voted into office twice. If someone wants to succeed you have to have the right mindset."

Interesting that our current President and First Lady spent years running a racist "Birther" conspiracy campaign against the President Obama. So apparently, even with all the credentials, even with "the right mindset", Black Americans continue to face discrimination, both overt (see Trump everyday) and covert.

One Black President is not evidence that racism is over in America. That racism is still very much with us is made clear by the many comments by yourself and others in this thread.


Mara Wallace
Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Mara Wallace, Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm
30 people like this

"Paly student", it pains me to read this. (And it pains me anew to see so many "likes".) Do you think that among the thousands of students' experiences at Paly, there are some about which you don't know or into which you don't have insight? I'm not sure how you can be so certain that racism doesn't exist at Paly, but I encourage you to lead with a question. It's impossible for any one of us to truly know how it feels to live in another person's skin and the best way we have to learn is to listen.

It would be great if you - and everyone who posts - would share their names so that we can all be part of the conversation. I would suggest that if what you are writing is something you will not put your name behind, perhaps you want to reconsider the post. Perhaps you want to rethink the very ideas.

It's really hard to admit that racism is present in Palo Alto. I joke a lot about living in a "bubble" - many of us do. But if racism exists so clearly even in our bubble, just think of how pronounced and prevalent and dangerous it is elsewhere. This moment is a gift to all who hope and try to be part of positive change, to be on the right side of history. Let's not waste it.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 1:37 pm
23 people like this

@Anon:
"A couple of days ago I heard on radio a commentator said GI Bill is racist, because the recipients are overwhelmingly white (and men). Can you believe that??? Those heroes who risked their lives to fight against Hitler and saved the world did not deserve the GI Bill?"

Thank you for drawing attention to the GI Bill. It was indeed racist in design and implementation, excluding 1.2 million Black veterans who also served their country and fought the Nazis in WWII, in segregated ranks. What a travesty!
I highly recommend reading and learning about yet another ugly facet of our racist history rather than having a knee jerk reaction to a comment. This article is a good place to start:
Web Link



"While the GI Bill’s language did not specifically exclude African-American veterans from its benefits, it was structured in a way that ultimately shut doors for the 1.2 million black veterans who had bravely served their country during World War II, in segregated ranks."


DTN Paul
Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm
DTN Paul, Downtown North
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm
22 people like this

For those who question whether there is such a thing as systemic racism, I would invite you to consider the vast disparities. Between white and blacks highlighted in this article:

The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts Web Link

These differences persist 170 years after slavery and 50 years after the civil rights movement. What causes it? Unless you think it is attributable to intrinsic differences in races (by definition, that makes you a racist), then it is systemic.


Vicky Lam
Barron Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Vicky Lam, Barron Park
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:48 pm
18 people like this

@Mara Wallace

Stereotype may be everywhere. Discrimination, on the other hand, is a crime. There is no way PAUSD could hide it from students and families. Not everything related to the color of skin is about racism.

Another sad truth is, if the "Paly student" disclose his/her name here, he/she might be excluded from the liberal environment we live in now. Many people don't dare to speak against certain things blm brought up for the fear of being labeled racists.


George
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm
George, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 3:59 pm
8 people like this

Fascinating post by Mara Wallace, community organizer. Paly student should be applauded for sharing their observations, not patronized and corrected. Apparently many agree with her.
Perhaps you could be more specific about what you call racism. I have to agree that the whole BLM scam has always seemed a bit synthetic. That no other group is allowed to infringe on the franchise rather harsh. But how would you define 'racism' as in '.... But if racism exists so clearly even in our bubble, just think of how pronounced and prevalent and dangerous it is elsewhere'. That's from your post. What are you referring to exactly in Palo Alto that we don't see because we are in a bubble


Barbara and Bryn Ostby
Community Center
on Jun 22, 2020 at 4:08 pm
Barbara and Bryn Ostby, Community Center
on Jun 22, 2020 at 4:08 pm
25 people like this

We greatly admire the courage of those who spoke at City Hall on Juneteenth. They took risks to speak out and share their experiences regarding the racism they’ve experienced in our city. We were so saddened to learn about the pervasiveness of their experiences over the years and continuing now. In all of us there is a subtle or not so subtle need to feel “better than”. This is a time to look hard at ourselves about the degree to which we, too, carry our own biases and racist views. There are a number of books we can read and movies we can watch to educate ourselves. As a world, and as a Palo Alto community, we must do better.
Regarding the anonymous responses that question the veracity of the speakers and the existence of racism in our city: why would we question the credibility of someone sharing a humiliating experience that takes courage and is painful to share? We should honor the courage to speak out. We believe anonymous letters should not be printed.


Martha Dogood
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Martha Dogood, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm
23 people like this

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!! Chapter I:

BLM is a radical leftwing neo-Marxist organization cloaked as an “anti-racist” movement. It’s quite astounding to see how many supposedly educated people in Palo Alto don’t understand they are being played, their minds manipulated by propaganda, and not even sophisticated propaganda. Most smart Americans with a high school education or more, of any and all ancestries, see this.

The title of the article asks “What have you done?” since the radical leftwing BLM agitators showed up in Palo Alto.

The first thing I did was send more money to Candace Owen’s BLEXIT organization, and to the Woodson Center and their 1776 Project. These are two great organizations that are founded and led by great AMERICANS of African ancestry.

If anyone wants to do something constructive to counter the aggressive and vicious BLM group, you should contribute to BLEXIT and the The Woodson Center. Even $10 donations help a lot! At least learn about them as they point to the best solutions of any challenges our fellow Americans who are distressed and happen to be of African ancestry face.

Candace is one smart lady and represents the best FUTURE for Americans of African ancestry. They are smart, hard working, entrepreneurs, successful, drug free, HAPPY people! Web Link

[Portion removed.]

Learn About the Woodson Center: The Woodson Center’s mission is to transform lives, schools, and troubled neighborhoods, from the inside out. Web Link

BLM is simply a Trojan horse strategy to bring about “transformation” to America (=communism/socialism = not good). [Portion removed.]

BLM, along with their allies, are part of a global Trojan horse strategy to take down western liberal democracies, and destroy the Western Culture in the process.
Web Link

They will fail. How and why they will fail: I’ll leave that to chapter II!

In the meanwhile, the third thing I’m doing: requesting all my fellow Americans of African ancestry please come home to the political party you helped FOUND - The GOP, the party of Lincoln, who freed the slaves. Learn why the Republican Party has the best solutions to lift all distressed people out of poverty. Visit the BLEXIT website to become liberated!


Sebastian
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm
Sebastian, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm
22 people like this

@anon regarding your statement in which you stated that this year there has been 172 white individuals killed by the police vs 88 black people killed by the police... I’m going to refer to numbers from last years death tolls between whites and blacks at the hands of the police. Last year there were 370 white people killed by the police while there were 235 black people killed by the police last year. [Portion removed.] Also anon there is some math involved here. There are 191 million white people in the United States while on the other hand, there are 42 million black people in the United States. If we divide the numbers 191/42 we will get 4.55 meaning that there are 4.55 white people for every black person in the United States. Now we take the number of white individuals killed by the cops last year which again is 370 and divide that by 4.55. What we get is 82. 82 is the number of blacks that should be killed if everything was proportionate. However, as you know, there were 235 blacks killed by the police last year. Take 235 and divide that by 82 and you get 2.87. Black people were killed by police at a rate of 2.87x MORE than they should have been. There are 3x as many blacks killed per year than white people by cops per capita. There you go, now you have seen the numbers [portion removed], you see what you were saying was wrong, you see why this movement is so important, what us blacks are fighting for [portion removed.]


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:48 pm
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 22, 2020 at 9:48 pm
20 people like this

[Portion removed.]

I recently moved here I agree with the other poster - the display of blatant racism in these comments really highlights how important it is for us all to stand up and be anti-racist in this seemingly well educated and idylic town.


Mara Wallace
Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm
Mara Wallace, Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm
12 people like this

Alas, I'm reminded why I generally don't post in these forums.

"Paly Student", I certainly did not mean to be condescending, but I did mean to encourage taking a stab at considering the others' points of view. If you - or anyone on this thread - would like to have an actual conversation, I welcome it.

Otherwise, I'm done. I wish you all a good night.


Duveneck neighbor
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 22, 2020 at 10:50 pm
Duveneck neighbor, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 22, 2020 at 10:50 pm
13 people like this

@Martha Dogood,

You really have no idea what the relationship is between the Republican Party of today, and the Republican Party of 1860. It's sad to see so little knowledge and understanding of facts.

If you will, please sometime read Churchill's book, The History of the English-Speaking Peoples. The main conclusion to be drawn, is that there has been, throughout the last 1000 years of political history, a dialectical tension between two opposing sides. The names changes, the points of conflict change. But there are always two.

Lincoln's party of 1860 ended slavery, at least in principle and in law. But in point of practical fact, the extreme retribution exercised by that party in that time (against Lincoln's wishes and intent before he was murdered), helped to create the legacy of peonage, the system of antagonism by southern Whites against Blacks, ultimately the emergence of Jim Crow, of first full-blown segregation, and later separate-but-equal. The names of the political parties, against the reality of that context, are of no matter or consequence. There has always been on this continent, since the arrival of the first settlers in St Augustine, Jamestown, and Plymouth, and in New Mexico, the subjugation of Reds and Blacks and Browns by European Whites. Later, Yellow peoples were added to the subjugated group; the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII, are only two of the most blatant manifestations of White-favoring, systematic racism. That status quo remains implicit today. The laws have continued to change, the situations have continued to improve; but we are not done. Far from it.

I challenge anyone here to refute the fact that the aspirations for equality and liberty and freedom expressed in the Declaration, and the aspirations for We the People -- all of us, not just Whites, and not just the Wealthy -- expressed in the Preamble of the Constitution... have not been fulfilled. Not one of you arguing otherwise here (Anon of Evergreen Park/Midtown, Martha Dogood and George of Old Palo Alto, Jennifer of another community) have offered evidence to the contrary. Not one of you have even remotely proven that the multiple testimonies of the speakers at the two rallies -- attended by in aggregate over 10,000 people -- in Palo Alto this month have lied or misspoken or been mistaken. Not one of you has offered anything other than invective, unsupported by fact or evidence. As an example, re-read Ms Dogood's wild statements regarding BLM; one would almost think we have returned to the era of Eugene McCarthy.

I read up on Blexit. It's worth the time to read about it, I will give Ms Dogood that. Its founder was subjected to acts of systemic racism, for which she and her family received a monetary award following a civil suit. How Ms Owens came to believe in Trump-style 'conservatism' (it's not politically conservative; ask George Will, or Bill Kristol, or Paul Gigot) remains, however, a mystery to me.

As for the Woodson Center, again it's worth some time to learn about it.

Faced with clear evidence presented by OIR Group regarding the systematic problems of policing in Palo Alto -- far, far beyond one or two cases, contrary to the suggestion by Anon -- relative to all people of color, you have only empty words to offer; not one fact. You all appear to confuse safety with justice, myth for knowledge, belief for fact. And that confusion is central to our national problems.

We will continue to have this debate. We will embrace ever more people to the cause and realization of justice for all. We are not going away. We will not become lazy, deterred, or distracted. We will learn, we will grow, we will use fact-based persuasion, not fear-based coercion. We are determined. We believe in democracy. We believe in America. We believe in its aspirations, and we believe they can be realized.


Dear Sebastian
Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:08 pm
Dear Sebastian, Professorville
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:08 pm
8 people like this

[Post removed.]


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:26 pm
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:26 pm
10 people like this

Back off of Sebastian. Your writing style is weird and Sebastian's points were valid.


Area Mom Against Polite Racists
Community Center
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:03 am
Area Mom Against Polite Racists, Community Center
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:03 am
14 people like this

Sebastian rails against injustice and gets tone policed ... and graded (what a very Palo Alto response to the expression of pain). Meanwhile, @PalyStudent accuses courageous peers of being liars and *crickets* (plus look at the growing "likes" on that post and you too may feel like releasing more than a few expletives).
Sebastian is going to change the world. [Portion removed.]









DTN Paul
Downtown North
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:41 am
DTN Paul, Downtown North
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:41 am
8 people like this

Black Live Matter is an idea before it is an organization. The strawman BLM organization some like to beat up, the "terrorist", "Marxist" group, is a distraction.

I would ask those who object to BLM the organization (real or imagined) to instead consider the words: to you, do black lives actually matter?





Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:02 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:02 am
17 people like this

The claim that there were 1.2 million blacks soldiers fighting during WW2 does not make sense at all. The entire black population is around 12 million during that time. In terms of the accusation that GI Bill discriminated against black all what I see on web is just that, accusation, no concrete laws or rules that said so. It is not the GI Bill, but the Jim Crow practices in many states at that time, that discriminated against blacks in regards to the implementation of many laws and rules.

I don't deny that in periods of history various ethnic groups were discriminated against, the Irishes, Italians, Chinese, Blacks, etc. However that is not the reason to conduct cultural destruction. History is what it is. The current movement to cancel history, to "de-colonize", is just wrong.

Jimmy Kimmel did a comedic blackface in 1996 and now he is under siege. There is a movement now demanding renaming Yale because this Yale guy may have something to do with slave trade. What is next? I'm sure with enough effort people can dig up some hearsay about Harvard, Stanford, and so on, an demand renaming of these institutions. After all they did it for Jordan Middle School.

How about Washington State, or Washington DC? Wasn't he a slave owner?

Maybe all of us should return to whatever native continent our ancestors came from and return this country to the Native Indians?

What about God? How could he just kill all the first borns of the Egyptians? These babies were innocent. Isn't that horrible? And prophet Muhammad? He had five wives, including a 10-year old. How could that not be "cancelled"?

Father's day weekend more than 100 people were shot in Chicago, mostly black, including 14 killed. One of the killed is a 3-year old black boy. Where is BLM? How come I don't see anyone protesting?

I remember once read a sad news that last year there was a black mother in Chicago. She is fed up with the crime in her neighborhood that killed her son. So she and another black lady started to take turns sitting at the corner of the streets all-day where her son was killed, in the hope to deter gang violence. Initially the gang activities moved away. But after while they grew inpatient and she was shot dead right there. Killer was never found.

Any BLM activists angry about that? Any prominent Democrat politicians or MSM commentators protested? I don't think so.







Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:23 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:23 am
Like this comment

Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park

>> The claim that there were 1.2 million blacks soldiers fighting during WW2 does not make sense at all.

I've never seen an exact tally, but, the correct number could be 1.2 Million. According to this article in Military Times, it was "about" 1 Million. Web Link

Most of those serving did so in the continental US, because of various racial concerns. For example, in the emergency of the Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander (in Europe), still had to be careful how he managed the insertion of desperately needed troops who happened to be black. (Eisenhower went to become a strong proponent of Civil Rights during his Presidency-- at least, if you weren't LGBT.)

According to the Wikipedia article, which doesn't seem to give a total, there were documented 125,000 who served *overseas*: Web Link despite the barriers.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:39 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 10:39 am
6 people like this

@Anon, if the claim is that about 10% of black population participated in the war effort one can also conclude that at least 10% of the entire population participated in the war effort. Is the the GI Bill intended to cover 10% of the population? I'm not an expert but doubt that would be the case. [Portion removed; GI Bill benefits were not restricted to those who served overseas.] As I said in my post there were plenty of Jim Crow practices at that time that prevented the full implementation of various laws and benefits to blacks. It is not that GI Bill itself is specifically designed to discriminate against the blacks.



Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:47 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:47 am
11 people like this

@Duveneck neighbor, while we all agree in principle what the society should look like, it is important to assess if a particular political movement will help to achieve such objective.

A social movement is positive if eventually it makes the entire society more productive, that is, if, in the end, more people are motivated to learn more, work harder and contribute to the society.

On the other hand, if a social movement discourages people to learn, work and contribute, encourages people to demand and wait for government hand-outs, it is negative to the society. And if a society keeps going in that direction it will not survive for long.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:56 am
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:56 am
17 people like this

Anon (evergreen park) -

I'm sorry that you read a post discussing the fact that Black veterans were denied the benefits of the GI Bill and your response was that the estimated number of veterans must be inaccurate. Hardly the point of the post or the most significant part of it.
You may find the history channel to be "fake news" but I think it's a pretty objective, reliable news source so you can learn more about this here:
Web Link

You are right that it was the laws in place that prevented Black veterans from taking advantage of the GI Bill. Not sure why that lessens the impact of an entire generation of white veterans benefitting in life changing ways from the GI Bill while the majority of Black veterans were unable to build that wealth and make a new life for themselves.

I'm sorry you are unaware of the hard work many of us have been doing to stem the tide of gun violence in all corners of America for years. The data you share is not a surprise to many in the BLM movement, the racial justice movement, and the gun safety movement. It is one of the reasons all of these groups have long advocated for federal gun safety laws. Gun sales are largely restricted in Illinois. But they are quite loose in Indiana, which is not far away. No matter what measures Illinois institutes, without federal alignment, it is useless. And Black and Brown bodies continue to be killed at disproportionate rates in our major cities.

Again, because there was a rally last Friday to bring attention to the systemic problems in our own community, that does not preclude citizens from also caring about gun violence and working to reduce it.

I beg you to please educate yourself and LISTEN to the Black residents who are telling you about their day to day experiences here. It takes bravery to speak up when you are in the minority and you know the majority doesn't want to hear about your negative experiences. They did it to help US understand and in the hopes of making things better for the next generation. Don't miss the opportunity to do just that, please.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm
21 people like this

Anon (evergreen park) -

You are basically dictating how people are allowed to demand equality. For over 400 years they have been trying to be treated with humanity and respect. Time after time Black Americans have given their lives for this fight. They have been met with resistance at every single step of the way. Sometimes it was lynchings, sometimes fire hoses, sometimes riots and fires to destroy the wealth they had amassed.
There is exhaustion and frustration and trauma as we see Black body after Black body being brutalized in myriad ways.

But you think they aren't doing it right? It's not so palatable to you so they shouldn't get those rights? As they have done it peacefully and quietly and respectfully they have been ignored. Maybe they are just tired? Have you considered that? When we aren't living up to our promise to America, we don't get to dictate HOW people demand we do better. Just do better.


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm
26 people like this

The GI Bill did not discriminate in any way based on race. Anyone can read the statute.

It's impossible to have a fruitful discussion when one side keeps inventing facts and name calling when the other side points out falsehoods. There's a strange movement across our society that seems to elevate "narrative" over truth.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm
16 people like this

@ Family Friendly,

As stated in the last email, the GI Bill did not explicitly exclude Black veterans. But Black veterans were unable to take advantage of most of the provisions because of other laws - de facto and de jure - which were in place at the time. Sure, a Black veteran could get a mortagage loan, but if no one would sell him a home, what good did it do?
A veteran could secure money for college, but if most colleges would not allow "too many" Blacks to attend, what good did it do?
The laws in place at the time precluded Black veterans from taking advantage of the generous GI Bill in the way that white veterans did.

It's not a narrative. It's a fact.
Read your history.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 2:45 pm
15 people like this

@Peers Parent, I'm not just questioning the numbers, although exaggeration and sensationalization are the two tools commonly used by the media. More importantly, as I said earlier,

Correlation Does Not Mean Causation

A farmer does not blame a bad harvest on the crop. The blame is most likely on the weather. What you called "facts" is the result of other issues existed in the society at that time, not the GI Bill.

However when people ran out of narratives, optics or platforms there is an urge to invent new ones. They look into history like a drunkard looking for a lamp post, not for illumination but for support.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm
12 people like this

Posted by Family Friendly, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> The GI Bill did not discriminate in any way based on race. Anyone can read the statute.

>> It's impossible to have a fruitful discussion when one side keeps inventing facts

Go back and read the post by "Michelle Higgins" above and the history channel article she cited. The article stated specifically:

"While the GI Bill’s language did not specifically exclude African-American veterans from its benefits, it was structured in a way that ultimately shut doors for the 1.2 million black veterans who had bravely served their country during World War II, in segregated ranks."

Read the article which explains what they meant. It never stated explicitly that African-American GI's were shut out. It took politicians a lot of effort to finely craft the law, and federal, state, and local regulations, customs, etc., to get the desired effect. There were examples right here in this area (of SCC and SMC) of various combinations of builders, subdivision covenants, homeowners associations, etc, which funneled black veterans specifically into what they hoped was a new black ghetto -- "East Palo Alto." Over the wishes of the existing (in 1954) white majority in EPA. Web Link At one time, various spots in the area were known as "North Palo Alto", "Ravenswood", Runnymede (sp?), etc., but, some directionally-challenged person started, at some point, referring to "East Palo Alto". Menlo Park eventually annexed the parts it wanted, and, San Mateo County ceded the airport property to SCC/Palo Alto in 1963, Web Link eventually surrounding the eventually incorporated EPA on all four sides.

It appears that some people are arguing against the idea that there was systematic racism in the area?!?! Read the TechCrunch link I cited above.


Cleo
Gunn High School
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:20 pm
Cleo , Gunn High School
on Jun 23, 2020 at 11:20 pm
15 people like this

@paly student. [Portion removed.] Several black student at Palo and Gunn can contest to being victimized and having to deal with the ignorance racism causes. Just because you go to school with a hand full of black kids does not mean in any way shape or form that play is not a racist school. Palo Alto is rooted with racism and there are parents and teachers at these schools who are stuck in their ways. Do not ever try and say that what someone else has been through does not exist.

And by the way, the black live matter movement is more than just a phrase. It is a legitimate organization that uses the money it receives from donations to build its platform and donate to other causes that support the black community. This organization was created by three black women after the death of Trayvon martin but didn’t get noticed until the death of mike brown. People take advantage of the black lives matter movement and it’s mission statement to follow through with their own agenda WHICH the founders of black lives matter have denounced and spoke out against a thousand and two times.. for you people to say that there is no racism in this city or this country goes to show the privilege you have that you have the ability to blatantly ignore what’s right in front of your face.

And to speak on the deaths in Chicago, the black live matter movement and organization speak for ALL BLACK LIVES. And if y’all did a quick google search [portion removed] you’d find out that the blm movement donated to programs in predominantly black communities to try and fix the crime issue. When white cities celebrated themselves from black people, left us with nothing to work with, and decided to over patrol our cities with police guess what’s going to happen crime rates will be through the rough which is another issue that white people created to diminish the black community. These comments are a outrageous y’all don’t even see your own racism. Y’all are so afraid to have your close minded thoughts challenged you’d rather blame racism on the oppressed instead of the oppressors who you bring it from. How convenient.

And another thing. If you go to a cancer fundraiser you don’t go running trough saying all illnesses matter or if it’s your birthday I’m pretty sure you’d be upset if someone said well other birthdays matter to you wanna know why BECAUSE THE FOCUS IS NOT ON EVERYONE AT THE MOMENT. It’s the exact same concept with all lives matter. It was created to take attention away from the root of the issue. Don’t be mad that you don’t have a movement. Be grateful you don’t need one


Rebecca White
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:02 am
Rebecca White, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:02 am
14 people like this

[Post removed; copyright violation. Use links to original material.]


Rebecca White
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:17 am
Rebecca White, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:17 am
10 people like this

[Post removed.]





Resident
Midtown
on Jun 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm
12 people like this

[Post removed.]


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:01 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:01 am
12 people like this

"If you go to a cancer fundraiser you don’t go running trough saying all illnesses matter or if it’s your birthday..."

This is true. However you don't defame someone fund-raising for AIDS along side. You don't call them cold-hearted despicable people. You don't try to get those people fired from their jobs.

The way to overcome discrimination, prejudice, and cynicism of any kind is to work hard and prove oneself better than others, as Kobe Bryant said "Have you ever seen what Los Angeles looks alike 4am in the morning?" Victimhood mentality does not work. One needs to get over that. Cuba Gooding Jr. played this journey well in Jerry Maguire.

BLM leaders already acknowledged they are Marxists. How is Marxism going to make lives any better for blacks is IMO questionable. Robert Mugabe is a Marxist. See what he has done in Zimbabwe.



Jennifer
another community
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:14 am
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:14 am
17 people like this

The key to overcoming oppression is education, and I'm saddened by people who don't understand this.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm
8 people like this

@Anon of Evergreen Park: "The way to overcome discrimination, prejudice, and cynicism of any kind is to work hard and prove oneself better than others"

Actually, what you are describing is discrimination. You should not have to prove your humanity in order to be treated with respect. You should not need to be "better than" to be treated as an equal. You should not be met with cynicism unless you prove otherwise by being an exception to a person's built-in conscious or unconscious bias.
This is exactly what the PAUSD graduates were reflecting on in their speeches at the rally.



Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:12 pm
4 people like this

Posted by Anon,a resident of Evergreen Park

>> The way to overcome discrimination, prejudice, and cynicism of any kind is to work hard and prove oneself better than others, as Kobe Bryant said

Not to pick nits, but, you know, 1/2 of people will always be below the median, whatever you are measuring them by. One player per decade is a "Kobe Bryant." 1/2 of people will never be able to prove themselves "better than others". Does that mean it is OK to not accept their common humanity? Race is a big topic today, but, it could be height. Maybe you don't accept the humanity of people shorter than average. Maybe you want to discriminate against people whose BMI is higher than the median. Whatever your measure is, I don't agree that people who don't measure up don't deserve full rights:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

>> BLM leaders already acknowledged they are Marxists. How is Marxism going to make lives any better for blacks is IMO questionable.

Marxism has proven to be horrible whenever it has been institutionalized in power. However, BLM has succeeded thus far because it doesn't accept police brutality, and, many people are fed up and don't accept things as they are today. These discussions show time and again that "BLM opponents" very often rationalize police brutality in various ways, and, we see it right here in these threads. By rationalizing excessive use of force by the police in violation of the 14th Amendment, "BLM opponents" are actually promoting BLM. See the problem?

So, what is your alternative to BLM? Who is organizing non-BLM protests against discrimination and police brutality? Because, BLM is standing up now.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm
8 people like this

@Michelle Higgins, @Anon,

What you are implying is that black people (or any people) should just sit their butts on the coach watching TV all day, complaining all day, smash a few Targets to grab whatever needed (as long as it is worth less than $950), demanding a diploma from a (to-be-renamed) Harvard without doing much work, and still earn respect from the society.

Good luck with that.

Unfortunately liberals have been indoctrinating our children, not just black kids, with such ideology for a long time.

People will always counter various actual or perceived unfairness. Life is tough. But you must also believe that everyone has its own potential to be good at doing something. This is the attitude for life. Not victimhood. To imply that I think every black kid should be a Kobe Bryant or otherwise a failure is absurd.

As for BLM "success", that is your opinion. I for one don't think it is a success at all. Crime, especially crime in black neighborhoods, will go up once police withdraw. This happens in Baltimore and Chicago. More blacks will be killed due to police inactivity.





Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:18 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:18 pm
5 people like this

@Jennifer

"The key to overcoming oppression is education, and I'm saddened by people who don't understand this."

Wow, are you under the impression that highly-educated Black Americans are somehow harassed, discriminated against, and stereotyped less than less educated ones?

Ask Black professors, Black lawyers, Black engineers.

Listen to Black Americans and see if they think busting their butts in school to find success somehow freed them from oppression.

Until we all start listening to the lived experiences of others, there is no way we're going to understand. So far this entire comment string has been people talking about discrimination against Black people. The Black people are consistently sharing their experiences. The white people are continuing to explain why those experiences are invalid and not worth listening to and valuing.

That is racism.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm
5 people like this

Posted by Anon, a resident of Evergreen Park

>> What you are implying is that black people (or any people) should just sit their butts on the coach watching TV all day

I said nothing of the kind. Where do you get this stuff?

>> People will always counter various actual or perceived unfairness. Life is tough.

Under the 14th Amendment:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

And yet, among the consequences of "not trying hard enough", "life is tough", etc., Breonna Taylor was killed by police in these circumstances: Web Link

Read it again: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

>> As for BLM "success", that is your opinion. I for one don't think it is a success at all. Crime, especially crime in black neighborhoods, will go up once police withdraw. This happens in Baltimore and Chicago. More blacks will be killed due to police inactivity.

In your opinion, people have to accept police procedures that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor, or, police withdraw completely. So, just so you understand, you are asserting that the rule of law is not possible at all. Well, I'm sure that you are not surprised that I don't accept your either/or.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:29 pm
9 people like this

@Anon "What you are implying is that black people (or any people) should just sit their butts on the coach watching TV all day, complaining all day, smash a few Targets to grab whatever needed (as long as it is worth less than $950), demanding a diploma from a (to-be-renamed) Harvard without doing much work, and still earn respect from the society."

I'm actually kind of stunned at how blatantly disgusting your comment is. It speaks for itself and is not worthy of further comment or engagement.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:53 pm
12 people like this

@Michelle Higgins, my words that you quoted are a bit harsh. For that I do apologize.

However my central theme remains the same. The best way for one to overcome life's difficulties is to realize one's potential by working hard and doing better than others in the fields that one can do best. To tell young people that because of this or that you can't, or you are not expected to, succeed is not right.

@Anon, policing is difficult in this country because of so many guns in the hands of populace. A police is in higher life-threatening danger in this country than in any other developed country. Is there room for improvement? Yes of course, as demonstrated by some of the recent police brutality cases. Will it be achieved by "defund" or "abolish" that BLM advocates? I don't think so.


Jennifer
another community
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm
23 people like this

Yes, I believe that highly-educated African Americans face less discrimination than less educated blacks. They rise above it. You have to rise above any type of discrimination whether it's racial, gender, socioeconomic, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

You have no idea what race I am. The far-left and their obsession with race and race baiting saddens me as well. We're all members of the HUMAN race.


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 1:07 am
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 1:07 am
7 people like this

@Jennifer yes we are all members of the human race, and yes a person can devote their lives striving to overcome the discrimination they face and wholehartedly succeed, but can't you accept that we're fighting to help remove some of that deeply entrenched discrimination so there's no *additional* barrier that they need to overcome to succeed?

Why should those in minority groups be required to work x times as hard to reach the same point as the social majority group? If we're all one human race, why don't you want to lift up your neighbor if you can?


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 5:10 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 5:10 am
16 people like this

@mvw
[Portion removed.]

Because if the "systemic racism" is as real as you claim it is, then essentially every White person is guilty -- just for being White, even if their ancestry had nothing to do with slaveowners? .Literally just hated for being White.
The idea of modern "systemic racism" is all based on academic theory and subjective critical social justice which has brainwashed so many young people.
I'm so tired of the simplistic obsession with skin color. BLM is as racist a movement as any.


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:01 am
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:01 am
3 people like this

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.] I hope you come to realize that it's not about guilt, it's about the power that you have now to make a difference to improve equality.


Jennifer
another community
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:30 am
Jennifer, another community
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:30 am
20 people like this

People need to take responsibility for their own lives, and lift themselves up. This is 2020. Assuming people of any skin color need "extra help" is condescending and offensive. BLM is a far-left, radical [portion removed] group. Any message of equality is lost with looting, rioting and tearing down of statues.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:53 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 9:53 am
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Reality Check
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:09 am
Reality Check, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:09 am
16 people like this

Every physician swears an oath: "First, do no harm."

All of our attempts to heal the violence, criminality, and illegitimacy in the black community over the last hundred years have only exacerbated their problems. [Portion removed.]


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm
5 people like this

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community

>> You have no idea what race I am. The far-left and their obsession with race and race baiting saddens me as well. We're all members of the HUMAN race.

What saddens me is that so many people, including people in this thread, still can't live with the 14th Amendment. Repetitive, sorry, but:

"nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

What we have seen, time and time again, are deliberate actions by law enforcement that deprive people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. How do you "rise above" discrimination if you have been shot dead?

Law enforcement needs real, effective, high-quality management, and oversight via independent auditors. Good cops have everything to gain from that. Bad cops need to find another line of work.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:29 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:29 pm
6 people like this

@Reality Check: "Every physician swears an oath: "First, do no harm."
All of our attempts to heal the violence, criminality, and illegitimacy in the black community over the last hundred years have only exacerbated their problems. [Portion removed.]"

@RealityCheck ... so perhaps the police should get on board with the "first do no harm" and stop profiling and killing Black people (all the while seeming to have endless patience and de-escalation skills when dealing with heavily armed mass shooters and white protesters storming statehouses).

I think you are confused about the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is not to fix "their problems" but to fix ours so that America can live up to its promise. America has never truly addressed the original sins of genocide and slavery, and systemic racism and resulting inequality and grave injustice is the outcome of that failure.

Black Lives Matter is a profoundly patriotic movement.


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:47 pm
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:47 pm
7 people like this

@Jennifer, we all need extra help sometimes, life is hard. If we can agree to listen to each other and lend a hand when asked it might get a little easier.

One way we are being asked to help in this particular moment is to push to reform the police system to better serve our communities. This includes moving money from their inflated budgets back into schools and more compassionate first responding systems. Another way we are being asked to help is to listen to and believe Black people when they say there is an issue, and then take action where we can.

I agree with Michelle's sentiment above. BLM is a patriotic movement - only when black lives matter can all of our lives actually matter, and we will all be better off for it.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:34 pm
5 people like this

@Resident (of midtown)

"Because if the "systemic racism" is as real as you claim it is, then essentially every White person is guilty -- just for being White, even if their ancestry had nothing to do with slaveowners? .Literally just hated for being White."

This is where the term White Fragility came from. Listen to yourself? Are you feeling guilty yourself? Are you afraid you'll be labeled as racist?
Yes, we are racist. The system is racist and we are a part of the system and benefit from the system. We are part of the problem.
It doesn't mean we have been aware of it. It doesn't mean we need to be blamed for it.
What it means is now that we see it here in front of us, it is an opportunity for us to help Americans who may not look like us benefit from the same promises and protections this country claims to make for all.

So it's go time. If you see it, do something about it. If you don't see it, I implore you to listen to the people who are BEGGING you to listen. [Portion removed.]


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm
10 people like this

"Black Lives Matter is a profoundly patriotic movement. "

Because defacing national monuments and tearing down statues of former presidents is oh so "patriotic"



You people are too much.


mvw
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:45 pm
mvw, Midtown
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:45 pm
5 people like this

What bugs you so much about tearing down the statues? They aren't people, they don't have feelings! They are monuments to a past that wasn't all that rosy, and they belong in a museum not in central places that should be reserved for celebrations of ideals that we can all support.


Peers Parent
Southgate
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm
Peers Parent, Southgate
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm
3 people like this

You think the Black Lives Matter movement is about "defacing national monuments and tearing down statues of former presidents"?
Really?
You just told us you haven't been listening. Read the article. Go to
Web Link
and LISTEN to what these residents are saying. Palo Alto residents. Your neighbors. Our students. They are begging for us to listen.

If you can watch this one hour video and your conclusion is that the movement is about defacing national monuments, you are either not honest or not compassionate. I'll leave it at that.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm
6 people like this

@Resident:
There is nothing less patriotic than a confederate statue. I’m sure we can agree on that!
Germany does not have any statues commemorating Hitler/Nazis. What they do have are memorials to remember and reflect and a commitment to ensure every German child is educated on the true history of the Holocaust so history will not be repeated.
I highly recommend you read this for a better understanding of what these monuments represent and why concern about their removal is misplaced.
Web Link


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:35 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:35 am
12 people like this

"There is nothing less patriotic than a confederate statue. I’m sure we can agree on that!"

I don't agree with that. Violently defacing or toppling of legal statues that do not belong to you is a violation of free speech and private property rights, the two pillars of our constitution. Free speech is protected. Property rights are protected. It is not patriotic to break these basic principles of our constitution.

Secondly they don't want to just get rid of confederate statues. They toppled Jefferson, Scott Keys, Columbus, and others. They want to blow up Mount Rushmore.

And implying the confederate side is the same evil as Nazis is a gross and offensive exaggeration. Nazis made the society and the world much worse than what was before they came to power. The confederate side just wanted to preserve how the society was at that time. Not better, but not worse either. I'm certainly not advocating for slavery at all. But there is a big difference between the desire to keep living the way it had been and the desire to invade and destroy.

Frankly I don't recall I ever saw the statues they toppled in San Francisco and elsewhere. I never paid attention. Even if I saw one most of the time I could care less to figure out who he or she is. The fact that these people paid so much attention to these things is an indication of what is wrong with this movement. They lack self confidence. They want to be treated like a baby. They cannot face real challenges.

Think about it. The people who had the most right to topple, or even forbid, confederate statues are the union soldiers and union states. They won the horrendous war. They lost so many lives, sons, fathers, daughters and mothers. They had every right to be angry. But they are strong people with compassion. They know that confederate statues or not, truth will always come out, and is on their side.


musical
Palo Verde
on Jun 27, 2020 at 8:19 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on Jun 27, 2020 at 8:19 pm
3 people like this

^ We've toppled “Foreign Friends” at Waverley and Embarcadero, “Digital DNA” on Lytton Plaza, and "Go Mama" on Cal Ave. Any other statuary art in Palo Alto we want to get rid of, this could be the opportune time.


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:27 pm
7 people like this

I suppose the rioters will want to burn down El Palo Alto. After all, it commemorates the achievement of a bunch of Spaniards.


Michelle Higgins
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 28, 2020 at 2:50 am
Michelle Higgins, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 28, 2020 at 2:50 am
6 people like this

@Anon from Evergreen Park: "And implying the confederate side is the same evil as Nazis is a gross and offensive exaggeration. Nazis made the society and the world much worse than what was before they came to power. The confederate side just wanted to preserve how the society was at that time."

You are really telling on yourself here. Nazis and Confederates are absolutely equivalent.

I'll leave these links here for those interested in learning more about the discussion of the parallels between the way Germany has chosen to deal with their past compared to the US. Fascinating and thought provoking reading.
Germany has no Nazi memorials Web Link
Web Link


Rebecca White
Greenmeadow
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:37 am
Rebecca White, Greenmeadow
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:37 am
3 people like this

[Portion removed.] The southern states designed the slavery system to foster their own productivity. It behooved white men with plantations to create a massive ad campaign designed to separate people by color and origin rather than by intelligence, contribution and collective humanity. The white plantation owners and power brokers of the South did this to cement fear and uncertainty in their communities IN ORDER TO create a cycle of oppression that built their entire economy. They were fighting to preserve their way of life? You betcha they did. They built it, they fought and died for it--and they lost the Civil War. The self-congratulation implicit in these confederate statues is not earned. They lost their lives and their pride in fighting for the wrong principles. Which they designed themselves.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:44 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:44 am
5 people like this

[Portion removed.] I am not inclined to read anything from the overplayed New York Times, The Atlantic, or the Washington Post.
They have proven themselves to be hackneyed, vicious propagandists that are becoming more radical each day.

Would you go and read anything on this website:
Web Link

I dare you read an article on there, Michelle. Believe it or not, there are fundamentally different viewpoints and opinions on these matters.


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:46 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:46 am
5 people like this

I'll add, ironically, they have their own analyses comparing the behavior of radical Leftist mobs to Nazis.
Personally, I prefer to be wary of Godwin's Law.


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