San Anselmo Council Fails to Hold White Town Accountable in George Floyd Statement

San Anselmo finally came out with a statement about the George Floyd murder and surge in Black Lives Matter call for action: This would have been the time for the Town of San Anselmo to own and acknowledge and commit to change. But it failed miserably. When you are a town in America that has less than 1% people of color, at a time like this -it not only smacks of white supremacy, it is white supremacy at play! Given what is occurring across this country, since the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of former police officers, we are called upon now to open our eyes and actually speak to the related elephant in room that impacts this town: Not only did it take 18 days for the Town Council led by Mayor Ford Greene, and council members Alexis Fineman, Steve Burdo, Brian Colbert, and John Wright, to publish a statement, but they composed and published a flimsy inept one, failing to take responsibility and offer of change, with a zero accountability look at this town and its history. They have not spoken to ANTIRACISM!

Here is the Statement: 

Council adopts formal statement in response to the death of George Floyd

At the June 9, 2020 meeting, Council adopted the following statement in response to the death of George Floyd:

The killing of George Floyd by law enforcement in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the latest offense perpetrated against African Americans. It reflects the legacy of the deeply troubling history of racism in our country, the United States of America.  (HERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHANCE TO REFLECT OF SAN ANSELMO)

That history continues into the current-day structure of our systems. For too many African Americans, our system denies equality with respect to individual and group rights, status, and the opportunities to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, and it perpetuates myriad other injustices. (AGAIN)

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the rights of all citizens to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and to petition the government for the redress of grievances. The current mass, peaceful protests clearly exercise those rights.

The San Anselmo Town Council recognizes and respects as legitimate, important and necessary the mass protests across the country catalyzed by the killing of George Floyd. The police killing of Mr. Floyd, in addition to the ever-growing compilation of similarly horrifying incidents including Breonna Taylor, Eric, Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and countless others, present blatant examples of violent police attacks upon, and oppression of, persons of color, particularly of African Americans, that should shock the conscience of all Americans.

Public frustration regarding the continued heinous and racist abuses of authority exemplified by this killing has led to some burning and looting in cities across the nation. Some say that the extreme injustices that are a legacy of our racist history justify such a destructive response. From organized lynching to racist attacks by police and others, these injustices have led to the killing of people. But we are unconvinced that further destruction of property and lives can lead us closer to the promise of a country that is free and equal for all. ((BUT NOT SAN ANSELMO – THIS IS sanctomious, judgmental and unnecessary to comment on- serving no purpose here at all!!! ) 

The San Anselmo Town Council above all recognizes the injustices laid bare in recent months. Therefore we support the movement currently known as “Black Lives Matter” and officially join in the national protest of the killing of George Floyd. We urge all citizens of San Anselmo to continue to work to be honest about and rectify our country’s history of racial injustice.

PROTESTS IN MARIN FAIRFAX AND SAN ANSELMO

Taking no responsibility:

Given that this town has been termed (whether jokingly or not) as a “White Only Town” – by virtue of its demographics, in my opinion denotes time for THIS Town Council to take responsibility and offer up change or some positive programming to change the dynamic / and or perception. It seems to me that they merely foster the perception that we are a liberal county? Are we? Are we truly progressive? Does San Anselmo speak and vote out of one corner of its mouth and then behave out go the other corner of its mouth?

Upon immigrating to the United states I spent my first ten years in Los Angeles. In 1995, my ex-partner and I moved to West Marin County. When I came to America I was under the misapprehension that because America had passed the Civil Rights Act in the sixties, racism was over.  Marin County, unlike Los Angeles, brought me face to face with racism in America. I was shocked. Especially after serving as VP on the Board of  Fair Housing of Marin (FHANC) and bearing witness to landlord testing. Tenant testers of color and white would be sent to apply for the same rental. The same property rental would be given to the white applicant and the black or Hispanic applicant would be told, sometimes through voice/accent profiling and through color profiling,  that the rental was no longer vacant, only to be given two the white applicant thereafter.  And then once a Marin Human rights Commissioner, bearing witness to racial profiling of the Sheriff’s department and the local San Anselmo Police. The Bay Area looked like Johannesburg versus Soweto. The modeling of that which helmed South Africa’s Apartheid legislation, The Group Areas Act, was at play and right here in Marin! And San Anselmo happens to be the Lower Houghton of Johannesburg circa 1980! Look it up!

At the 2010 census San Anselmo had a population of 12,336. … The racial makeup of San Anselmo was 11,134 (90.3%) White, 106 (0.9%) African American, 40 (0.3%) Native American, 437 (3.5%) Asian, 26 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 164 (1.3%) from other races, and 429 (3.5%) from two or more races. And in 2017 – San Anselmo is 89.5 percent white, according to recently compiled data from 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, making it the least diverse town in the Bay Area and the whitest city in California. In 7 years – yields less than 1% increase in African American residents in the town?

AND yet the Town in the face of the biggest ever call for change, a monumental call to action by Black Lives Matters – chooses an entire paragraph to talk about destruction in OTHER people’s towns rather than calling into question and commenting on taking responsibility for our own TOWN? I must say I was heartened by the protests here in Marin and that so many people turned out for the Car Caravan. However I must wonder then are we properly represented – do we just not care enough – is it all a show- a male ourselves feel better show? I wonder if the white folks of San Anselmo are interested in diversity in our town – and will they continue to  hide behind these so called liberal leaders,  those we vote to seat in leadership roles? Surely now we are called to vote with awareness – especially now! We are ALL responsible for the failed diversity in our town. We are all responsible for this boiler plate emotionless ineffectual inept statement from our town! What next?

Lest we forget racial profiling. We all know that policing here is not what it should be – and that its not all about demographics and also about racial profiling.  This would have been an opportunity to call out the racial profiling that we all know goes on here. I have friends from Oakland and the City who will not drive ‘while black’ in certain areas of Marin, always choosing to have a white friend in the vehicle when coming here. This is real!

When I noticed through a Newsletter the extent of the dilatory uncaring attitude, noting that they were ‘considering a statement’ for their June 09 meeting, some 16 days later, I sent the Town Council members an email. I never got a response.  When taken to task on social media, via Facebook, council member Fineman noted that the town had not been able to convene a meeting under the Brown Act requiring 48 hours notice. really?

 

To understand systemic racism in Marin I recommend work of Richard Rothstein: “THE COLOR OF LAW: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America”
at AMAZON. – Richard Rothstein is an American historian and academic. His research focuses on the history of segregation in the United States with regards to education and housing.To be involved in change CONTACT:
Fair Housing Advocates of Norther California: http://www.fairhousingnorcal.org
or African Human Rights Coalition: www.AfricanHRC.org 

RELATED MARIN:

Marin’s Sheriff Doyle Should Resign as SCOTUS Rules Against Trump Challenge of California Sanctuary Law

The Supreme Court today rejected the Trump administration’s challenge to California’s sanctuary law, which restricts state and local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents. Over the dissents of Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the court denied review of a lower-court ruling that concluded the 2018 state law does not interfere illegally with federal immigration policy. In noting this momentous decision and how it reflects on the hardship Marin County endured at the hands of Sheriff Robert Doyle, it is time for him to resign. Given the current Black Lives Matter calls for anti-racism, Marin should no longer stand for hypocrisy. READ MORE HERE

 

MELANIE NATHAN
commissionermnathan@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter – @MelanieNathan1
Instagram: Commissionermelnathan
My websites: www.AfricanHRC.org
Speaker: www.melnathan.com


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