In her Left of Center column of Feb. 26, Jean Ardell responded to my letter to the Editor. She describes incidents where Dr. Rebecca Lindsey confronted Racism. Lindsey is a Black resident of Laguna and holder of a degree in Interracial Studies.
One incident occurred near the Montage when an elderly, white man told Lindsey to leave the sidewalk and walk along Coast Highway instead. A bizarre, despicable remark, out of the Jim Crow South, made by a very prejudiced man; but not a racist event. Acts of racism occur when a powerful race (or perhaps religion or nationality) in a country or area, that considers itself superior to another, exerts its power through laws or the police, for instance, to mistreat the weaker race. Prejudice alone is not racism. There are people everywhere who are prejudiced against others whether Jew, Muslim, Hispanic, Black, white or the newly invented class, “privileged old white men”.
Pete Petersen, a Black man and next-door neighbor at the time, and I were partners in a Soul Food restaurant in south L.A. Sometimes when I ran errands for the business, Black men referred to my color and told me in strong language to get lost. They were prejudiced against me; but they were not acting in concert with others to coerce me.
When I first glanced at Ardell’s description of Lindsey walking on Nyes Place and saw the words “patrol car”, “officer” and “why was she in the neighborhood”. I expected the rest of the story would be about Lindsey’s filing of a complaint alleging the officer’s racism, a hearing that was held, etc. Perhaps, that will be the rest of the story. For the time being, it appears, a phone message to the Laguna Beach Police or to 911 of unknown content is supposedly racist. The phone call may have been made by a person who is prejudiced against Black people. We don’t know; but the call is not an event of racism.
Ardell suggests at the start of her column that I’m one of those who says of Black Lives Matter, “Enough”. She’s right. Space does not permit my critique of the tactics and misinformation used by BLM. The “seed” that gave momentum to BLM, the Trayvon Martin tragedy, is illustrative. It’s a bad seed; but still is trumpeted as a horrible, racist event. In brief, as Alan Dershowitz, a famous liberal Democrat and Harvard law professor emeritus, had warned, there was no evidence even close to sufficient for the indictment of George Zimmerman for the second degree murder of Martin. Zimmerman was, of course, acquitted on all counts. University of Missouri, Kansas City law professor Douglas Linder’s dispassionate account of the trial and its prelude is instructive. It can be found online, under a general heading “Famous Trials”.
Douglas Warren, Laguna Beach
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