Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another reason I never went back to California

I spent my last two years of high school in the Bay Area, and I went through military language training at Monterey. The politics and social problems of California are great, and they all seem to be victim issues.

I saw this link on the Agitator's blog, and it just reminds me why I've only returned to the Bay Area a handful of times since I left.

Here are the facts: Last week, a young man was shot by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer, apparently after the young man was lieing on his stomach with his hands behind his back. The investigation is underway as to whether or not it was due to a negligent discharge or if it was intentional.

Yesterday, a protest was staged at the station where this all occured. You can't get a speeding ticket in the Bay Area without someone having a protest, but I think this one was pretty legit. Somebody got shot, and there's a controversy as to whether or not it was necessary. It started off peacefully, but eventually degenerated into a mob that went through the streets, breaking windows, knocking around cars, and setting fires.

The area that this all happened in isn't exactly a war zone, but you can see the war zone from there. So the people who live and work in that neighborhood aren't rich people who can just absorb the cost of the damage. So the people of Oakland who feel they have a grievance are taking out their anger, justified or not, out on the very people they live and work with.

The people who were part of the mob didn't seem to care who they hurt. They broke the windows of a Lexus and of a small business. Their attitude was that they were justified in what they did because they're tired of black and Latino people being shot by the police.

I don't get the connection myself. If you're mad at the police and the government,why are you breaking windows and smashing cars of private citizens, especially ones in your own neighborhood?

Why didn't any of these property owners try to defend their stores, homes, and cars? Even if you don't have a gun, a baseball bat or a tire iron is usually enough to get a disorganized mob to move on to something easier to destroy. The people who were interviewed for the story just seemed to want to sit by and cry about it. Another thing about Bay Area people I've never understood. They don't seem to want to stand up for themselves, and love to cry about how the evil government didn't protect them.

And of course, some of the hippies from Berkeley had to come down and help out with their screeching of slogans, waving of banners, and distributing of literature. I had to deal with these loonies a few times when I was at Monterey. They would demonstrate in front of the Presidio and Fort Ord about how we were destroying the world by being in the Army. It was kind of fun to watch them sit and chant and beat drums while the MP's waved people through the main gate during one of the many cold foggy/rainy days we had that year.

I've decided to just write California, at least the Bay Area, off. I still have family and friends there, and I urge them to leave every time I talk to them. No amount of charm, easy living, good food, and beautiful country is worth having to put up with nuts like this.

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