Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 2, 2021

Try to remember

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

With near perfect timing aligning with the discussions around the massacre in Tulsa and Black Wall Street; of “critical race theory” and the stupidization of our dialogue around history, Rasheed Shabazz reminds us of all in a piece in the SF Chronicle that we don’t know about Alameda’s fraught history around race and race relations. More importantly he reminds us that we cannot keep pretending like Alameda’s crappy history didn’t exist because we have to come to terms with what has happened, acknowledge the hurt caused, in order for the city to move forward.

I want to highlight some of what he wrote but there’s literally so much there, some I know about but a lot that I had never heard before such as:


But these are the most important bits here, a call to action of sorts and a reminder that the arc of Alameda’s moral universe is long — so very long — but we’re starting to see an oh so slight curvature toward some form of justice but it feels so very far away:


  1. Weird how a “historian” wrote an entire article about racism in Alameda, but never mentioned that during the same time period he covered, and although African-Americans make up less than 8% of the population, Al DeWitt, was elected as Alameda’s first African-American City councilman, Marie Gilmore, Alameda’s first African-American Mayor, Larry Spencer was elected as Alameda’s first African-American School Board Trustee, Ardella Dailey was appointed as Alameda’s first African-American Superintendent of Schools or that twice Alameda’s heavily democrat voters overwhelmingly voted for President Obama.

    He didn’t even mention Mia Bonta ousting Ardella Dailey from the presidency of the School Board, although that would have fit his narrative…

    It remains to be seen how the most recent case will work out, but most people in the Bay Area have seen the footage now of a SF homeless man who recently took down and injured a lone SF female cop patrolling by herself due to “budget cuts.” She was saved by citizen bystanders. This should be shown each time anyone thinks that a social worker should respond to street people.

    Comment by Common sense — June 2, 2021 @ 7:35 am

    • This is the Alameda equivalent of “I voted for Obama so I’m not a racist.”

      Comment by Lauren Do — June 2, 2021 @ 8:46 am

    • Minorities make up 45% of the population, so yes they’ve been incredibly underrepresented for a long time. We just got our first non-white police chief ever. Your attempts at Whataboutisms don’t detract from Historian Rasheed Shabazz’s points raised in his well-researched article.

      Comment by Reality — June 2, 2021 @ 8:52 am

    • Damn. Way to be ignorant and find “facts” to back up your predetermined point of view and miss the point. Well done.
      If you can’t realize this city (and country) have been white supremacist and racist apparatus since inception by now, there is no hope. Why don’t you just say you have a black friend or neighbor so therefore there is no racism? That is what you meant, right? And “fuck off” for using quotes around historian, you are a turd.

      Comment by bjsvec — June 2, 2021 @ 10:02 am

  2. The commenter above tried hard. They managed to notice individual electoral victories while ignoring the systems and policies that harm people. It’s common. How many neighbors put up a Biden sign and also support APD no matter what and also support exclusionary zoning?

    Comment by Gaylon — June 2, 2021 @ 8:34 am

  3. individual acts of enlightenment do not overcome systemic racism. And choosing to focus on individual acts of enlightenment instead of the damage the system is doing, is sticking your head in the sand. Also Mr. Shabazz is a widely recognized historian. Your use of quotes to diminish his credibility is also a form of racism.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — June 2, 2021 @ 8:51 am

  4. #1 – The extent folks go to in order to deny the truth.

    In 2018, i wriote the school district’s and City’s Black History Month proclamation which includes all those names, except “Larry Spencer.” (never heard that name, but i know Lawrence Vanhook ran for AUSD). I created the Berresford Bingham Papers at the AAMLO.
    That same year, i wrote the East Bay Express article about the AUSD presidency controversy.

    If i omit or misrepresent or misinterpret facts, let me know. But stop the tokenism, por favor tafadhali.

    Comment by Rasheed — June 2, 2021 @ 4:12 pm

  5. I am surprised at how many were “schocked” at Rasheed’s article. My goodness, he is just verifying the truth of our history. Yes, we have elected many capable people of color in the past two decades, and yes, at the same time, institutional racism has existed in our housing, policing, and general governing. One neither explains, excuses or is antithetical to the other. Mr. Shabazz, a trained historian has laid it all out for us to see and has made us squirm. Some have jumped swiftly into denial; others have exaggerated the facts. It is what it is, and we should deal with it. Not excuse it or find blame, but work as a community to educate, inform, and change in real and practical ways, not talk.

    Comment by Kate Quick — June 3, 2021 @ 10:30 am

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