Letters for the week of November 25-December 1 

Readers sound off on affordable housing in Oakland, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus' departure, and Grand Fare's closure

Page 3 of 3

This neighbor enlisted other neighbors with her lies and told them to attack our family, our businesses, and anything they could based on the information she was giving them. But our children suffered the most. How do you explain to a child why adults are being bullies? Moreover, how can these people live with themselves? Our neighbors went to great lengths, even to the point of nearly breaking the law, to try and make us move. Those neighbors who harassed us are now under investigation for related issues, but the neighborhood has noticeably suffered. Attacking your neighbors only tears communities apart, it doesn't make them stronger. And it makes shamers look stupid. Put that message on your board.

John Tam, Oakland

Berkeley Nextdoor Is for Racists

I recently resigned my Berkeley Nextdoor registration because the site "leads" are conservative and racist, and they censor comments simply because they disagree with the comments.

Recently, I read a post on Nextdoor about a homeless friend of mine. This guy is very well known in downtown Berkeley and, for real, gets along well with the Berkeley Police Department. He does the landscaping for police headquarters!! But the censors allowed someone to accuse this sweet, harmless but apparently mentally ill person of being a heroin addict (he is not a heroin addict), accused him of violence (he is as gentle as a lamb and actually fears being assaulted himself), and of being a thief who "steals" garbage. Substitute the n-word for homeless and you will see how grossly unacceptable it is to write about a recognizable human being and accuse that person of being a heroin addict, violent, and a criminal. But on Nextdoor, they let that comment stay up and they censored people who defended their homeless friend. It is not okay to grossly malign a homeless person, as if they don't count as a human or as a citizen with civil rights.

Nextdoor chooses strange community "leads" who have total power to censor opinions, and they seem to censor them when they simply disagree with an opinion.

I wish the Express would do a story about the racist "suspicions" that are steadily posted on Nextdoor. If you go by Nextdoor in Berkeley, all crime is done by Black people.

Another time I got censored — some Nextdoor regular was frequently posting about what he believes, with no legal proof, is a gang of stolen bike thieves or an open stolen bike market. He sees a few Black males in Civic Center Park and bingo, he characterizes it as an open stolen bike market. So I wrote to point out, since I am a law school grad (but not licensed in California), that the guy had no evidentiary foundation for accusing a few guys hanging out with bikes as criminals — and I got censored/erased.

As far as I can tell, conservatism, bigotry, and racism are the baseline for Berkeley Nextdoor.

Tree Fitzpatrick, Berkeley


Miscellaneous Letter

Lighten Up

Geez, you guys are becoming as bad as the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle in that if it isn't bad news about Oakland, it isn't news about Oakland. What with crime, terrorism, rising rents, police brutality, evil Kaiser, coal, etc., etc., I don't want to bury my head in the sand but just once in while, [I want to find] one of your advertisers, movies, restaurants, and bars without wading through doom and gloom. Really, there are good things in Oakland, after all.

Clive Scullion, Oakland

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