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Nadra Kareem Nittle

Racism Drives Black Family Out of Orange County

By November 24, 2012

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Rock Throwing. Racial Slurs. Slashed Tires.

These are just a few ways that residents of Yorba Linda, Calif., taunted a black family that moved to the 65,000-population, Orange County suburb last year. In the O.C. blacks don't exceed more than 2 percent of the population, the Los Angeles Times reported. Yet, they make up most of the hate crime victims. When someone in October fired acid pellets into the garage of the black Yorba Linda family, damaging their vehicles, the family finally decided to move.

The family relocated not only because of these acts but also because their six-year-old son found himself an outcast at school. Classmates told the boy that they couldn't befriend him because he's black. Moreover, the family's college-aged son reported passersby telling him to "go back home" when he rode his bicycle home from work.

These episodes sound like something out of Iggie's House, Judy Blume's 1970 novel about a black family who faces discrimination after moving to a white neighborhood. It's terribly sad that black families continue to endure such treatment more than 40 years after the publication of that book. And let's not forget all of those black families in predominantly white communities who daily endure racial micro-aggressions, meaning they're not ducking rocks or acid pellets but get followed around in stores, pulled over by police who think they don't belong in the neighborhood or simply treated as invisible. What makes this case doubly unfortunate is that the mother and the father in this family both work in law enforcement. They're the kind of neighbors many people in conservative Orange County would've loved living beside, as they've taken oaths to protect and serve. Accordingly, they likely would've been vigilant residents who looked out for everyone in the neighborhood. This Yorba Linda community lost this opportunity all because the new family on the block was black.




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