Initially wasn’t gonna engage with the Traci Park campaign but the implicitly racist overtones of her campaign and the lies and vitriol coming from her Twitter and other social media advocates was getting to be too much. It was also bothering me that Traci Park’s racism reinforcing sentiments, which were easy to catch from the gate, weren’t being challenged by anyone from Venice or the Westside head up. Not even the wimpy, liberal Venice Beachhead went there. I admit my radar for detecting things that advance (systemic) racism is pretty sensitive so I don’t expect a lot of people to catch all the details. However, spotting the racist implications of her language and policies doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Clear indicators such as her support of deputy gang enabler sheriff Alex Villanueva, LAMC 41.18, and receiving over $1MM from LAPPL a known, overt, white supremacist led organization just to name a quick few.
I often refer to various things and people as white supremacists or white supremacy. Those with no will to understand racism and do better just view it as an empty or hyperbolic insult, or they think it only refers to overt and extreme examples like neo-Nazis or the KKK (racial superiority.) You would think these people after decades of uprisings and rallies would have mustered up some morality to learn about racism and how to divest from it. Since that’s not the case, here goes the definition of white supremacy for our purposes..
…a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people
This is the dimension of the term “white supremacy” that I usually employ. Unfortunately for this piece the overt, racial superiority extremism dimension of the term is also going to have to be used. I’ve never had to use that stress of the definition when talking about Venice politics, so let that point also speak for itself.
Also, let us free the definition of racism from its confines of white folk theory. When we talk about racism we are talking about a system.
“Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices” (dRworks)
We also have to place white supremacy (racism) in its proper local context. We are on occupied Amerindian territories. In Venice we are on Tongva/Kizh territory in the midst of probably what is its fourth wave of European occupation. (Yes generational Americans that includes you.) First via the Spanish colonization of Indigenous land into California, then the Anglo colonization of California, then the Abbot Kinney era of colonization, and now this current wave of colonization known as gentrification.
Not until the 60s did we start to see a substantial de-whitening (read decolonization) of this area via the mass migration of Spanish speaking Native people (Mexicans). This reached its peak in 1990 where Black & Brown people collectively comprised about a 3rd of the Venice population. Since then with designer laws like the gang injunction and the PACE program to name a couple, facilitated by over-policing which targeted the Black & Brown community, our populations have steadily decreased over the past 30 years. These are examples of the white supremacy status quo in action. This is also where the label of “segregationist” toward Venice gentry comes from. It’s applied to the beneficiaries of our displacement and/or those who continue to support actions that reinforce our displacement. Displacement which results in the rapid homogenization, de facto segregation of the Venice neighborhood.
In her campaign verbiage she often mocks the concept of Defund the Police (DTP). A mantra that seeks to divest from the bloated LAPD budget and invest in community resources, you know, the things that actually make communities safe. DTP is based on protecting Black, Brown, and other working class people of low income backgrounds from being fodder for the prison industrial complex. Black and Brown (Indigenous) communities in the United States have been under-resourced and over-criminalized for centuries.
“Reinvesting” within the divest-reinvest model is a long overdue and critical piece to achieving public safety for all communities. It’s also an initiative pushed forth by all key racial justice leaders and organizations. But Traci Park’s campaign and supporters consistently disparage this movement that calls for justice and the mitigation of centuries of abuse against Native and Black nations. Her opposition to divesting from harmful social paradigms is even more disgusting when you consider Venice’s trademark diversity that is rapidly dissipating. Her language and policies here advance and maintain the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people.
That is white supremacy. That is racism.
I’ve always maintained that the bulk of the dislike for Gascon is rooted in racism. It seems that any politician who advocates for “solutions” not centered in the status quo, carceral and punitive excess gets smeared. Of course it’s Black, Brown, and low income communities of various backgrounds that would benefit from an optimized and more humane justice system. Traci Park constantly regurgitates the deceptive ”crime is out of control” narrative even though crime is up nationally across the board, even among cities with “tough on crime” DA’s. Also, Los Angeles is not even in the top 100 violent cities in the U.S. as of the latest FBI crime reports.
But of course, if you repeat disinformation enough it becomes embedded as a perceived truth in the minds of the masses. This is the modus operandi for local white supremacy media machines like the Westside Current, whose natural inclination for classist garbage acts as the media-at-arms for the Traci Park campaign.
Also, no coincidence that Gascon is one of the politicians in Los Angeles who has been among the most supportive of racial justice oriented initiatives pushing for accountability with law enforcement and reforming harmful policies of the criminal justice system that have literally destroyed Black & Brown communities. Gascon “ is with the Blacks” as he says and as Black Lives Matter L.A., the most prominent racial justice organization in the city, also asserts.
Our present criminal justice policies strongly reflect legacies of slavery and anti-Mexican/Indigenous sentiments that have long plagued the social fabric of this country. Transformative change, through initiatives pushed by movements such as Black Lives Matter, among other great organizations, should be acknowledged and integrated. For a white candidate like Traci Park with no history in this once racially diverse westside, who refuses to address accountability for police violence, it doesn’t bode well for IBPOC peoples. To discourage or subvert the transformation of the racist, harmful, and misguided criminal justice policies that built the infrastructure that now incarcerates millions of IBPOC and poor folks, not only for non-violent drug offenses but for many other minor infractions, is to, say it with me: advance and maintain the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people.
That is White supremacy. That is Racism.
First, Google LASD Gangs and then make sure you read this article on the history of deputy gangs as well as the Rand report on ‘Subgroups with the LA Sheriff Department’.
These deputy gangs have terrorized communities of color for decades and are known to operate like street gangs, with initiations and gaing ranking by violence and murders they commit. Sheriff Alex Villanueva is intimately tied with these deputy gangs and has been obstructing justice for Black, Brown, and low income victims and their families.
Traci Park is a staunch supporter of Villanueva. Her disdain for racial justice initiatives and advocates as noted above, along with her support and enabling of such a treacherous leader like Villanueva further highlights her racism reinforcing patterns. To enable historically harmful institutions that enact violence upon Black and Brown youth and families and obstruct accountability— is to reinforce and maintain the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people.
That is White supremacy. That is Racism
Not only is LAMC 41.18 punitive centric law a failed policy, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before it is deemed unconstitutional. It’s not a solution. Unnecessary fines and incarceration only worsen the conditions that lead to homelessness in the first place. I get it that people are frustrated with some of the overwhelming encampments but to stay centered on police, incarceration centric methods will only reinforce the systemic harm against poor and IBPoC communities by the prison industrial complex and exacerbate the problem in the long term. The fact that the prominent, local gentry organizations obstruct shelters and housing initiatives here in Venice that could in turn allow for just enforcement of public space laws, makes this policy even more sinister. Relying on “public safety “ institutions that disproportionately harass IBPoC and feed them to the prison industrial complex and expanding their range and powers goes against every thesis of racial justice. — reinforcing and maintaining the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people at the expense of IBPOC. White Supremacy, Racism.
..and other overt white supremacist, anti-racial justice organizations.
Police and law enforcement lobbyists are one of the biggest reinforcers of a status quo that protects police officers from discipline and prevents transformative change (such as reducing the role, resources, and power of the police). These Police lobbyists fuel and reinforce these racist structures of impunity.
“From the 1960s through the 1980s, police “unions” and their lobbyists rose to prominence. As white flight from cities accelerated and politicians increasingly deployed “tough on crime” rhetoric as a dog whistle for anti-Black racism, police lobbyists were able to gain enormous influence. They leveraged white fears of Black criminality to position officers as “protectors” of safety – and to block any attempt at oversight or positive change to police practices.”
As bad and subversive to racial justice (racist) as police lobbyists already are, a key Traci Park donor is the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL). The head of the LAPPL, Jamie McBride, is a literal neo-nazi. You would think Traci Park receiving mad support & proudly displaying her association with such overt racists and people opposed to racial justice would be a deal breaker for all the “nice moderates” in the area. But no, it’s not.
She has also been getting support from an LA Fire Department IAFF Local 112 that has been putting out deceptive ads ( w blue lives matter flags) that try to compensate for the gross lack of westside Black, Brown and people of color supporting her campaign. They even went as far as to show videos of Oakwood Park (a prominent Black and Brown enclave of Venice) events and pics of events for the First Baptist Church of Venice defense that my organization Defend Venice (formerly Save Venice) organized. These deceptive ads attempt to infer that Traci Park has attended and has relationships with Black and Brown westside communities and prosperity initiatives. She has none whatsoever. The irony of her Fire Dept. endorsements and her self proclaimed inference of being a fire safety champion is that one of her major donors, who she has yet to denounce, is fighting against fire safety in his buildings.
I used to have an almost immaculate perception of the Fire Department since they seemed more service centric and helpful than the LAPD. But after seeing them in mass while covering the Anti-Vax rallies in downtown LA last year I was thoroughly shocked. There were hundreds of LA firefighters with their redline flags in abundance alongside racist Blue Lives Matter flags and Trump 2024 flags. Not to mention to recent LAFD news social media posts like these..
Another staple presence in her campaign supporters’ verbiage, and her white supremacy propaganda machine the Westside Current is their “red scaring”. They consciously bet on the white centered social indoctrination and mythology that dominates the psyche of this country. Proponents of Traci Park denounce their adversaries by associating them with socialism, Marxism, or the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
They exploit these purported connections as a means to label their opponents as “extreme” for straying from the revered American tradition of capitalism. This tactic perpetuates a misguided belief in the inherent superiority of American (white) culture, implying that its values and systems represent the apex of civilization and moral uprightness.
Just a reminder that Martin Luther King Jr. was a democratic socialist who consistently critiqued capitalism’s role in poverty and racism. Also, Marxism was heavily influenced by American Indian social values and organization as per the work of Marx, Engels, and Lewis Henry Morgan. If you know a little bit of history and pay even just a little bit of attention, these people will keep telling on themselves.
We know that capitalism is inextricably tied to white supremacy and the racist structures of this country. Traci Park and her support base’s demonization of concepts like socialism and community advocates who deviate from white supremacy status quo norms just further reaffirms all previous noted racism markers. Their political ideology reinforces and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people.
Critique them however you like but you can’t deny BLM LA’s role as the most prominent racial justice organization in Los Angeles. They denounced Traci Park.
Then what does Traci Park go and do? She dismisses their declaration about her racist actions as a “false narrative” and an attempt by Bonin and Darling to gaslight Venice gentry (“gaslight us”.) Because you know, nothing says “I’m not racist” like showing that “BLM doesn’t like me.” But what do longtime Black leadership in the city know about anti-Black racism anyway right? Emergency press conferences regarding your racism laced track record be damned. In keeping with the 2nd ingredient of polite white supremacy rule, white folks are the ones who get the final call on what is actually racism remember?
This is already more than I wanted to say and I realized I still have a handful more of points I wanted to break down but won’t due to time constraints. But some other quick racism flags to mention— Her endorsements from anti-Black political players in Venice and the Westside like Mike Newhouse, Jim Murez, and Matt Smith. The fact she has no Black or Brown community or organization support should also be noted. The constant use of racist linguistic play in her and Westside Current’s verbiage and from all the posts coming from her anonymous social media army. They each merit their own blog piece.
Mind you all these racism flags coming from the Traci park campaign I listed are aside from her opting to defend the n-word in defense of a city manager against a working class Black man, (which was not racist according to local white gentry because you know, it was within legal doctrine and procedure so it doesn’t really count.)
I understand a lot (not all) of people’s political trauma with Bonin and not wanting more of his shenanigans. I know I don’t want any more of pre-2020 Bonin activities. However, to attack my friend Darling and simply dub him “Bonin 2.0” is something I take personally. The Traci Park campaign goes hard impressing this false equivalency because they know she’s an empty suit and that is the only viable marketing scheme to get some leverage over an authentically skilled candidate.
Those with no record of solidarity with Brown or Black led racial justice initiatives, and even more so those in active support of gentrification and other white supremacy agencies in the Venice community get no pass. And if you’re one of those people trying to play dumb by acting like Traci Park’s defense of the n-word was the only signal of her campaign’s racism, then the joke’s on you.
Even if you genuinely didn’t catch all the racist implications of her policies and her language, that just means you have no will to understand what racism is nor desire to mitigate it. Clearly after decades of marches, rallys, uprisings, books, and programs, especially those of recent, if you have not mustered up any will or morality to understand and divest from racism, how it works, and how to steer better, then you just don’t want to. You know what the fuck you’re doing— and you deserve all the karma that comes with that.
Traci Park is the candidate of the white ruling class, supremacy machine.
Vote for Erin Darling for CD 11