Kevin Whelan 
Member since Mar 7, 2015


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Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

@Lovica, I agree in part with some of what you wrote. A great deal has changed since 2006 when there was only cartoony MySpace, Friendster and Tribe for social media. These sites held no real power in the media unlike a decade later when Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook comprise major portions of even national and international news coverage. Blogging and You Tube are now major cultural players so a site like Next Door just adds to the constant self promotion and neediness. In 2006 it was the end of the first dot com let down and housing bubble. There was no real Oakland renaissance at that point. I know of two Black personal trainers who would use the residential stairs and parks in the nearly all White hills for training people and dealt with zero issues. This could not happen today without the police arriving. I'm trying to understand why now there is so much racial profiling now all over? Are people just in front of screens too much with nothing better to do? Sadly I think it is those who arrived post end of the 90s and especially the past decade who are just not able to mesh. At least you are though.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 11:12 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Steve Kopf: I think you may want to consider that buskers in the London tube, Punch and Judy theaters at the English seaside, many Paris street artist and performers and musicians all throughout Europe of many different colors operate without paperwork and without adhering to basic ordinances. White people in Europe don't seem to have your severe issues around artists gathering. Lake days and drum nights are keystone parts of East Bay Area culture. You sound like you'd be much happier in Piedmont, Broadway Terrace or the Berkeley Hills. Those are comparatively quiet areas. The issues in the flatlands are that traditions are being destroyed. Churches being profiled for "drug dealing activity" when actually parshioners are actually being fitted for choir robes. This is about keeping long tradtion of Oakland arts alive not "newcomer shaming." Artists -from gospel singers to drummers to dancers to rappers and stand up comedians don't function on 9 to 5, in bed by curfew and please be quiet.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/16/2015 at 10:54 PM

Re: “Racial Profiling Via

I was born and raised in Piedmont in an era where the majority of people were not only openly racist but encouraged their children to be. I now find it stunning via reverse white flight to see Oakland embracing racial profiling in the exact same capacity as Piedmont. Oakland was a "Black city" and Piedmont was White. End off. Any shades of gray in Piedmont including the then sizeable Jewish population and the few Latinos etc disparaged and distanced themselves from Blacks to appear as "White" as possible. There were only a very small group of Black/biracial kids who came, went or who grew up there. Perhaps twenty kids at the most I knew of in my many years there. If a Black kid walked into Piedmont city limits everyone was suddenly mowing their lawns or side eyeing each other.

The phenomenon I watched in horror and which Next Door needs to be mindful of is the new comer kids who arrived in the 5th or 6th grade to get into Piedmont schools. They immediately set upon the Black and/or lower Piedmont kids (who couldn't afford the ostentatious clothing, cars and ski trips) like wolves as a way of bonding with the white kids who'd grown up in Piedmont since birth. One girl who arrived at the end of 6th grade was like a junior member of the Klan auxiliary. Racial slurs, comments about lower Piedmonters and class warfare venom just emanated from her like poison (this is a 12 year old we're talking about) until she made the mistake of asking a Caucasian girl with curly hair if she was " half N word." The girl punched her out cold. Last I heard this person was (surprise) a real estate agent in another mostly White area and most likely keeping red lining alive and well. Incidents like this were not unusual in Piedmont.

Next door racial profilers would do well to look at the lesson of this girl. You're new comers too. You're raising your families where you didn't grow up. You don't build community by bonding with others over racial profiling and if you spit venom and throw shade in this era you won't get away with it on social media. The world is much smaller now. Ideally you are grateful to be part of an affluent area and uplift your community for everyone while remembering your not from Oakland if you didn't grow up here. Also remember that continually racially profiling is an excuse not to look at your own racism. This extends beyond Whites to Hispanics, Latinos , Jews and anyone including Blacks.

It took time and difficult work to understand my own racial prejudices even after being raised in one of the only Piedmont familes that had Black friends and who had a parent who worked in West Oakland. Vigilance in many ways is constant though living in other cities proved to be the remedy. Comparatively and yes perennially the Bay Area really is a racist and segregated place despite how beautiful it is. We all have to be aware of our own racism or Oakland will become a time bomb.

Posted by Kevin Whelan on 10/13/2015 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong to Open Broken Guitars in Oakland

BIlle Joe Armstrong IS NOT FROM PIEDMONT he grew up in Rodeo He only moved to Piedmont a few years back. He maintains ties to Rodeo with donations and fundraisers.

27 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Whelan on 03/07/2015 at 5:33 PM

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