Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 19, 2010

Racial Tensions Explode in CA

by TomStrong

Racial clashes have sprung up in Northern California, and without the expected suspects:

At least four high-profile attacks involving blacks and Asians have occurred since January in San Francisco and Oakland, including the beating death of Tian Sheng Yu, 59, last month. Two 18-year-old men have been charged with the murder.

Rongshi Chen, 64, was assaulted last fall in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley by a pair of men Chen could only identify as “young and black”. They kicked his ribs, broke his collarbone and made off with $200, credit cards and Chen’s identification. No one caught the attackers.

When I lived in Berkeley a while back, I moved in to a sublet where my roommates were predominantly Asian. Growing up a good liberal in Seattle, I didn’t have any stereotypes and was very open to them. In return, I got treated like a second-class citizen with all of them giving me stares and ignoring me. The landlord even refused to take my rent money and wouldn’t answer my requests to see my mail. He evicted me with a bunch of made-up claims, saying that I had failed to pay rent and literally threatening me with violence if I didn’t leave.

Once I got out of that scary situation, I told the police. They said they’d keep tabs on it but said I didn’t have enough for an arrest or anything like that.

I think stories like  mine and the one above go to show that racism is a recurring facet of human society, not caused by whites in the south, reclusive Asians or angry blacks but what I believe is our shared tribal nature with primates.

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  • AznManye

    And why do you think your Asian roommates and landlord treated you like that? Racism is formed by experiences in our lives. If we don’t attempt to make a change, even with just one person of another race, racist stereotypes will continue. Your unfortunate story only sounds like you are making an excuse for the recent attacks.

  • Controlphreak

    I agree that racism is a natural aspect of human nature, but is also exacerbated by socioeconomic and conditions and by racial political practices. I’m not talking about old segregation policies of the 1950s which were blatantly racist, but also by modern political practices that are still obsessed with race only using an avenue that is not blatantly segregation-based.

  • Michael

    Az. That is certainly not what I was saying. I brought up my story because they both occurred in the bay area.

  • AznManye

    I feel you Michael. To be honest, these latest incidents weren’t completely race driven. In the case of Tian Sheng Yu, the two suspects of the murder committed crimes against elderly African Americans as well. And something very important that hardly gets brought up is that the victims themselves never claim the incidents to be race driven, but rather they just want the violence to end. The local media and “protesters” love to bring race into everything though…

  • Michael O. Powell

    That’s a really interesting point, Azn. Random acts of violence unfortunately occur quite often in the Bay Area (I once heard a bunch of rumors in SF of a shooting between two parents in the parking lot of a private Christian high school). Putting the race label might just be a way of making sense of them?

  • AznManye

    Using the race label is just a possible reasoning for the crimes. However, more importantly, no one wants to look for a solution and then act on it. Too much talk and no action these days.

    I am not denying that racism exists in society, but the easy part has always been finding the possible reasoning (racism), but then there is no progress to “end” it. If that even is possible… I can dream though…

  • Mike

    Stopping racism would literally be like stopping anger.

  • AznManye

    Haha. I’m down for a happy world myself.

  • Michael O. Powell

    It’s up to you, Azn. You can create a happy world in your own mind. Hahaha =)

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