First published in the Oct. 20 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
I am very proud of our community for hosting the two recent events about our history, race, housing and restrictive covenants.
The suggestions made by Pastor Sears (1. confession and forgiveness; 2. doing justice, making wrongs into rights) are wonderful. I believe that these will lead to healing and positive policy and governance changes.
However, Pastor Sears and Rev. Pringle (or perhaps it is the author of the article) then seem to conflate poverty with people of color — the Black, Brown, Asian, Pacific Islander and Indigenous people subjected to the original Sundown Town rules. (Essentially anyone who is not perceived as being white.)
I strongly caution against this, lest this rhetoric lead to even more unfounded stereotypes, assumptions and poor policy decisions.
By way of example, I (a Black person of means living in the town but experiencing unfathomable inequity and abuse) offered to house my former housekeeper and her two children in my guesthouse (a Latino family). My former housekeeper declined, stating that she would prefer living in a Valley shelter than subject her children to life in La Cañada Flintridge.
Having sent my own children to private schools outside of La Cañada and now very happy that they are safely in major metropolitan cities, I completely understood her concern. And therein lies a problem that needs to be solved.
A further real-life example can be found with the passing of my best friend in town a few years back. She was white and not at all of means. Yet she and her four children were able to rent a home in La Cañada, and her four children (whom I did take into my home) flourished here.
Income level is not the problem in La Cañada. The stated concern at the local town hall meeting — that LCF “will become Compton” if we added low-income houses — further proves this.
Racism and the effects thereof is the problem in LCF. I implore us not to conflate these two.
La Cañada Flintridge