So, I’m not generally a fan of the East Bay Express, I read it because it’s there and well, it’s there and train wreck-y and so sometimes awesome in its OMG factor. Although I am a fan of Luke Tsai and the What The Fork series. The East Bay Express generally manages to have strong food writers (like John Birdsall who went away, but you can follow him on Twitter), but I digress.
Anyway, sometimes they offer stories to the East Bay Citizen who covers a lot of East Bay political news. Apparently he is an Alameda resident and hangs out a lot at Peets or Starbucks on Park Street, I can’t remember which. He is probably the only guy really covering some of the Southern Alameda County and San Leandro political stuff, dabbles in Oakland politics, and dipped his toe into Alameda waters, but Alameda has a lot of coverage so…
But, despite all that I did find the article written about Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to be amusing since it came on the heels of the Oakland Tribune/Inside Bay Area/whatever pointing out that the data she relied on (about the number of robberies in Oakland) was incorrect. The EBX piece didn’t really pull any punches and titled the piece:
Yikes! Given that Oakland is a huge voting demographic and will probably make a huge difference in the next election, that’s definitely not the perception that you want to put forward. Although this could work in her advantage with Alamedans who think that Oakland residents in Alameda is a huge problem and Alameda also has a pretty hefty number of active voters as well.
I know some people may not care what Dan Siegel thinks, but I think his point is well made and goes to the underlying issues of subtle prejudice that — unintentionally — bleed into our every day lives
Oakland civil rights and labor attorney Dan Siegel contended that O’Malley’s comments represent inherent prejudices within the justice system. Siegel has long been a critic of law enforcement and served as an advisor to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan before quitting two years ago in protest over what he argued was her administration’s heavy-handed response to Occupy Oakland demonstrators. He raised a parallel between the In-N-Out controversy and the Trayvon Martin case, arguing that young black kids are often wrongly assumed by other groups to be committing crimes. “If their pants are sagging and [they're] wearing a hoodie, they must be a criminal,” said Siegel. “However, they’re only slightly more likely to be one than a white kid.”
Regarding the insinuation by O’Malley that a burger joint will attract unsavory elements to Alameda, he said, “I can’t say she’s prejudiced, but I’m sorry she feels that way. I don’t think people have a right to be separated from people who live in Alameda, Piedmont, Alamo, Pleasanton, or anywhere else.” Although Siegel acknowledged O’Malley’s hard work over the years in protecting people from domestic violence and human trafficking, among other accomplishments, he said, “her comments reflect people who believe they are not overtly biased regarding color and ethnicity, but cannot escape the stereotypes in our society.”
I think the ironic thing about the whole In N Out attracting crime argument is that, of all the Alameda to Oakland crossings, Oakland Chinatown doesn’t strike me as having as much “crime” as say the Fruitvale neighborhood. According to this weirdo Neighborhood Scout site, the area that the Tube dumps out is in dark blue which is the “safest” rating. The areas that the Park, Fruitvale and High Street bridges dump into on the Oakland side are a lilac color which is in the middle between “safest” and, I guess because they didn’t label it, “less safe”.