Sunday, September 27, 2009

LA Confidential: The Most Segregated City in the Country

I grew up on the bottom of the hill, looking at the false lights of tinsel-town, aka Hollywood. So when I read about the report of a missing, young African-American woman, Matrice Richardson, who was arrested by Malibu Police Department for failure to pay a restaurant bill (although a relative agreed to pay by phone), I was not surprised at all.

Los Angeles IS the most segregated metropolitan in the country. This is not my opinion, but is fact. Wave Newspaper reported that the diversity-spill is only a superficial claim often made by political jackasses and ignorant celebrities who only goes as far as the Hollywood Circles they break their necks to be a part of. In an article by the Wave (a community-based LA paper):

Two recent USC studies have found that Los Angeles continues to be plagued with racially isolated neighborhoods — with infinitesimally small integration in historically white communities, especially the Westside of Los Angeles, which are statistically the safest and have the highest performing public schools. (07 February 2006, by Tony Castro)

The hush-hush thing that those Hollywood types and the California tourism board are afraid for others to find out: people of color are grossly disenfranchised in funky-ass L.A.

Of course there are those who disagree with my analysis, but those people are usually the ones who live in a fantasy LA, or have migrated to Los Angeles and live in places like North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Ventura County, and all points around the scrotum sacs of the dirty the Hollywood Hills; including Bel Aire, West Hollywood, Brentwood (hi OJ) and the little pockets around the Mile High section. These people will never tell you that Los Angeles today is only about 4 percent black, and most of them live nowhere near the areas I mentioned.

These people would never, ever set foot into areas such as: Athens Hills, Crenshaw District (east of Baldwin Hills), Watts, Compton, Inglewood, Lynwood, South Los Angeles and the other smaller pockets that black people live. Why? Because they are scared that the locals such as, Gheri Curl Pookie and Gangster Jose, will gun them down. Ironically, there are such disproportionately high numbers of shootings by police officers, the probability of them getting hemmed up for a DWB would statistically happen a lot faster. More than likely, as soon as they drive into the area they fear the locals would get'em.

I remember when I was in high school in the 90s I went to some trailer park type-of-city with the other members of the student council. We were told that we were visiting our sister school. To this day, I don’t remember exactly where, but it was located about an hour and half’s drive away. I didn’t know we had one, and after that meeting, I would never forget our sister school because a group of cars filled with white boys followed our bus out of that dump throwing bottles and screaming “Nigger.”

I always liked Ice Cube’s simple analysis of Los Angeles, it is not all “surf and sun,” especially for the black and brown. And with the dismal numbers of black folk, it is becoming a nightmare.

Here is my Top Facts of Racist L.A. that I think you should know:

1. Los Angeles was founded in 1781 by Afro-Spaniards. The group of founders were blacks and mulattoes from Mexico who were mixed with African, Spanish, and Native people.

2. Los Angeles’ police department and sheriff’s office has a vibrant history of members also being members of Aryan Nation organizations and Klu Klux Klan

3. Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the country, mostly consisting of people of color, women and children. African-Americans have the highest rate of homelessness in Los Angeles.

4. Most black Angelenos have direct roots from the American South.

5. Before the Great Migration to Los Angeles during WWI, the population of blacks was less than 25,000. The local whites thought that to be a safe and manageable number, that allowed the few blacks to own homes and live “sensible” lives unlike the Southern hostilities, but still be kept in their place.

6. Los Angeles has the second highest foster care youth population in the country, mostly black children; 80 percent of teens who are emancipated from the foster care system end up in jail, dead, or homeless.

7. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department major recruiting area is in the Midwest; places where whites have not even interacted, let alone, seen black or brown faces.

8. According to Dartmouth Geography professor, Richard Wright, Los Angeles is more so segregated by where people live, rather than where they work.

9. Current-day Watts used to be the headquarters of Los Angeles-based Klu Klux Klan.

10. Until around 1950s, a black person could not be in certain areas of Los Angeles after dark without a written pass indicating that they worked in the area.

11. African Americans, according to 2000 census data, make up only 1.93 percent of the population of Bel Air; 1.77 percent of Beverly Hills; 2.48 percent of Brentwood; 3.09 percent of West Hollywood; 1 percent of the Pacific Palisades; and do not even register a hundredth of a percent in Westwood. (taken from Wave Newspaper Article)

12. Lennox Sheriff’s have a notorious reputation for harassing, shooting, beating, killing, and framing black males.

13. Allentown, a small, black, thriving agricultural community just outside of Los Angeles was disenfranchised when local whites poisoned the well waters.

14. Blacks did not have access to most of the coastline and were designated to one section of the beach called the Inkwell, located in today’s Santa Monica.

15. Black owners of beachfront property were forced out through harassment and eventually, physical persecution by the 1950s.

16. Compton used to be fertile farmland and dairy farmland. It evolved to an area where affluent blacks resided until the late 70s when segregation eased in some areas and blacks began to move west. The 80s crack explosion, and the closing of the Firestone plant (Watts and Compton) wreaked havoc on the economy in the area.

17. African-Americans have the lowest median income in L.A. County at about $32,000 compared to $34,000 for Latinos and 54,000 for Whites.

18. 44 percent of African-American high school students in L.A. County fail to graduate within four years.

19. From 1920-1955, black performers were not allowed into major white hotels in Los Angeles. They stayed on the East side, and often performed in Jazz clubs and Juke Joints on the famous Central Avenue.

20. The Dunbar Hotel, formerly known as Hotel Somerville, was the prestigious hotel frequented by African-American performers. The hotel was built by prominent black Angelenos Jade and Vada Somerville. Today there are NO black-owned hotels in Los Angeles, or in much of the US.

African American Communities in Los Angeles County
Ten Largest Black Percent Black Communities Population of Total
1 Los Angeles
(City) 401,986 10.9%
2 Long Beach 66,836 14.5%
3 Inglewood 52,260 46.4%
4 Compton 37,263 39.3%
5 Hawthorne 27,208 32.3%
6 Carson 22,485 25.1%
7 Pasadena 18,711 14.0%
8 Lancaster 18,548 15.6%
9 Westmont (Athens-unincorporated) 18,095 57.2%
10 Palmdale 16,447 14.1%

Estimated Population of all of Los Angeles County: 9,862,049 residents.

This Youtube video is a snippet of this guy named Billy Broham who reports on what is going on around Los Angeles. He had a DVD out some years ago that reported the grassroots truth about police brutality and other real ish. I had the opportunity to speak to him and this brother works with at-risk male youth. So he is very for real with his work. I hope he comes out with something else.

2 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Reggie said...

Unfortunately it's the American way. If you look at communities around the country, you'll see pretty much the same thing.

We all have choice; and yet, many people have the same mentality of the average school lunchroom.

augusta said...

dang, i didn't know it was like that in l.a

i thought chicago had it bad...