Black Lives Matter in Martinez: Confronting racism

The woman who committed vandalism by painting over part of a Black Lives Matter mural on July 4th, with assistance from her accomplice, a man who shouted “racism is a leftist lie,” displayed despicable racist behavior.

Their actions violated the norms and values of the community of Martinez, and are an affront to the upstanding citizens of Martinez.

Organizers of the beautiful bright yellow mural project had received a permit from the City of Martinez.

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton properly charged the vandal and her accomplice with hate crime and other charges.

Organizers of the BLM mural had also applied for a permit to do a permanent mural in Martinez, and that permit should be approved.

In San Francisco, a woman and man accused a Filipino American man of defacing private property and called police on the man, even though the Black Lives Matter chalk art he drew was on a wall at his own residence in the upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood.

The white woman even lied to the Filipino American man, claiming that she knew the person who lived at the stately looking Victorian house.  In fact, however, the Filipino American man has resided at that house for 18 years.

In New York City, a woman called police on Christian Cooper, a Harvard educated African American man who was bird watching in Central Park’s grove reserved for bird watching.

She falsely claimed in her 911 call that she was “being threatened by an African American man.”  She was finally charged on July 6 with filing a false police report by District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.

These acts of hatred and racism against African Americans and people of color remind us of the historically deep racism which plagues our nation and society.  This racism is a cancer which needs to be excised.

This racism is evidenced in the killing and murder of George Floyd by police, the killing of other African Americans by police, police brutality against African Americans, and acts of violence and brutality against protesters calling for Black Lives Matter who demonstrated in front of the White House and many cities throughout the U.S. following the killing and murder of George Floyd.

This hatred and racism is rooted in a long history of racism in the United States.

Those who display this hatred and racism not only reveal their own ignorance of the role of racism in American history, but also show that they regard African Americans as “less than human,” and as “invisible.”

We will not eliminate racism overnight.  But we must work hard to excise this cancer.

A good place to begin would be the adoption of police reforms in how police conduct themselves with African Americans and the African American community, and the adoption and implementation of legislation recently passed by the House which addresses issues of police use of excess force and brutality.

We must also address issues of economic inequality in our  country.

In the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have occurred since the killing and murder of George Floyd, we recognize that African Americans are still not fully free in our nation

I am a Vietnamese American.

I am an Asian American.

African Americans are my fellow human beings.

African Americans are my brethren and sisters.

African Americans are my fellow Americans.

Black Lives Matter to each and all of us.

Anh Lê
San Francisco


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