Dr. Democrat: Racism Is Alive in L.A. and America

doctor democratDear Dr. Democrat:

I’d be interested in your thoughts on how something like this could happen in Los Angeles. I have always said that racism isn’t a place and the South is a scapegoat that allows the rest of the country to feel good about itself with no merit, but lately we (down here) seem not only equalled but bested by everyone else. Portland, for crying out loud? And now LeBron James in L.A.? Huh?

Despairing in Dixie

Dear Dixie:

One of the most famous racists of our era, Andrew Breitbart, lived and died in LeBron’s Brentwood neighborhood. Another famous resident was OJ Simpson.

And, of course, L.A. has a history of racial tension, like the Watts riots in 1965 and the 1992 riots associated with the Rodney King beating and subsequent trial.

Generally speaking, everybody knows there’s racism everywhere. It’s tolerated more in places where there are more racists, which historically includes the states of the Old Confederacy. Those states as a block tend to have enacted more laws recently that target minorities, like voter restrictions and drug testing for people who are on subsistence programs. But there are also racists in states like Iowa, where the percentage of black residents is in the single digits, but where elected officials have enacted some of these same laws.
It’s also happening in the Upper Midwest, especially Michigan and Wisconsin.

Racism is personal until it becomes policy. It can’t be expressed in policy unless a majority of voters will it to be so.

The city of Los Angeles, which includes Brentwood, hasn’t enacted any overtly racist laws in recent memory, which suggests that racists in the city either didn’t vote or there weren’t enough racist voters to win a district, much less a majority of seats.

California’s last overtly racist governor was Pete Wilson, who screwed the pooch by putting Proposition 187 on the ballot, which passed, was shot down in courts and drove his party into the political wilderness, where they still roam. The target of his bile was Latinos, however, not blacks, although I have no doubt he hates them too.

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be racist, but he didn’t enact racist laws, or very many laws of any sort, because he had Democrat majorities in the legislature.

There are some racist-oriented districts at the coast in Orange County and northern San Diego County. The reps there include Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher. Both of these guys are vulnerable in 2018, at least at the moment. In fact, there’s polling that suggests that California’s 53-member congressional delegation could go from 14 Republicans to nine or possibly five. But the minorities there are mostly Asian and Latino.

Out of 33 million Californians, there are undoubtedly millions of racists, but they don’t have political power, except perhaps in some of the sparsely populated inland counties.

The point is, racism will never end, but the best we can hope for is to take political power away from racists, and the only way to do that it is to out-vote racist voters.

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