Rochelle Nason 
Member since Sep 22, 2017


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Re: “The Albany Cross Resurrects Memories of the KKK

Different writers focus on different things, and I thought this article was very much on point regarding the issue of the varying meanings of the cross in the public park to various people. The suggested corrections on other matters (e.g. easements and eucalyptus) generally look right to me as well.

One point I would emphasize: Albany is actually a racially and religiously diverse place today, which is one of the things the city has pointed out to the Albany Lions Club in asking them to rethink their position. It is no longer a white enclave, although it is certainly true that Albany has an unusually small African American population for an East Bay 'flatlands' city. We know the size of that population is no accident - the century-ago Klan activity is just one element of a lengthy history of racial exclusion that included deed restriction, redlining, racist real estate sales practices, and communal rejection of potential neighbors.

On the other hand, many formerly excluded groups, in particular people of Asian origin, have gained a very substantial footing here in more recent years. Those of us who value diversity have reason to hope that we can look forward to having more African American neighbors too. To make that happen, our society will have to make progress against economic injustice, and our community will have to make progress against the negative history of race here as well as the social attitudes that sadly still recur - as each generation of young people needs to learn for itself the necessity of mutual respect and understanding.

Posted by Rochelle Nason on 09/22/2017 at 2:30 PM

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