Murals, White Supremists, and Reality



By Richard Eber

Upon arriving at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) March against Hate event in Martinez Sunday afternoon, I was a bit apprehensive about the destruction of lettering of their initials in front of the Contra Costa County Court House.

From the time when a permit was issued to paint the street, its content was described to be a mural.  Inspecting this so called work of art, I found it consisted of a large stencil of the initials BLM colored in a bright shade of yellow.  To me this did not constitute art any more than a stop sign ordering motorists to halt prior to proceeding with caution.

No one in the media ever challenged naming the stenciled lettering a mural.  Apparently this exalted description made its defacing by a Caucasian couple more of a White Supremacy hate crime than it actually might have been.

As it turned out the pair who unlawfully defaced the mural were backers of law enforcement who allegedly commented, “We’re sick of this narrative, that’s what’s wrong. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it’s a lie.”

Others disagreed.  In the mind of the District Attorney, the act of vandalism was a misdemeanor hate crime punishable by up to a year in County Jail.

To others the couples defacing of the BLM emblem described them as Republicans in the support of law enforcement; rather than being referred to being White Supremists.  Such a distinction was not made by the local news media or left leaning political office holders.

Ironically, the participants at a BLM rally in Sacramento last week tore down a statue of Father Junipero Serra, who founded the mission system in California some 400 years ago. These folks weren’t even issued a warning for their act of vandalism. In print and on the internet they were depicted to be heroic cultural warriors.

With this being said the largely middle class crowd in Martinez had a lot to say in defending their community from racism charges and ties to radical KKK like groups. There was a great deal of resentment towards these Nazis types because as many of the 500 marchers attending the march felt their community had been wounded by right wing operatives.

More than anything the locals wanted the world to know Martinez is a good place to live.  BLM was the vehicle they were using to express outrage for being accused of being hate mongers.

Harboring such fears, riot police on hand to deal with violent confrontations, Fortunately, white privilege types could not be found Sunday in Martinez.  Perhaps the hot weather kept these Caucasians at home protecting their pale skin from the brutal heat of the sun.  Either that or militia types were virtually invisible while being used by the left as straw men to further their radical agenda.

There was a lot of frustration going around. Health care, immigration, reform, and Homelessness, were frequent topics brought up that needed to be dealt with now.

With this crowd, Donald Trump was not the only culprit being criticized.  Most Democratic political leaders were equally dished by those attending the BLM event. It was apparent that a White Knight of a different complexion is needed to fix things in Washington D.C. Surprisingly

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) was one of the few political leaders with a positive image.

Not one individual I spoke with had any kind words for Joe Biden except he was preferable to Donald Trump.  Person after person remarked  the former Vice President has unsuccessfully spent almost 50 years in government to make things right,  Perhaps it  is time to give someone else a try.  Given recent history, there was considerable cynicism expressed the Democratic Party has the ability and energy to make fundamental changes necessary to improve society.

Questions and responses by attendees

Are you voting for Joe Biden? 

I will support him but it is with great reluctance.

How would you change law enforcement?

Improve customer service and push for more community policing.  Increase justice reform to make system fair for all; especially for those of color. Reduce the cost of law enforcement by placing more of their duties in the hands of civilians. Deal more closely with mental health issues that lead to criminal activity

Do you want to eliminate the police?

No; but I would like to make it better and more just to all.

What kind of social changes would you like to bring?

Surprisingly, the answers to these questions were affirmative but lacked specifics. Most people want to address racial inequality but were plagued by pronoun solutions.  There was little mention favoring reparations to former slaves.

However, there were more radical types in attendance that advocated more Progressive approaches to social reform. The Socialist Workers Party expressed the opinion that white privilege and capitalism are one in the same. At the same time government at all levels is corrupt and needs to quickly change.  They also feared that White Nationalist groups were preparing to take over control of the central government.

It was admitted that poverty programs going back to the Great Society have largely failed.  This train of thought extended to both Republican and Democratic administrations during the last half century.

At the same time it was felt new mechanisms are needed to lift an  underprivileged Black-Brown population from generational poverty, crime, and despair. Economic prosperity, improved education, and family stability were often mentioned as important factors to turning things around.

There was a deep frustration of a business as the usual status quo. This can be summarized with Republicans blaming big city Democratic elected officials for incompetently administering poverty programs.  At the same time Democrats are charged with paying attention to the needs of the African American community primarily at election time going to local churches or Hillary Clinton attending a rap concert.

In all the current state of political affairs found in Martinez Sunday can’t help but remind me of a similar atmosphere that existed in the 1968 Presidential campaign.  Voters were given the choice between Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and third party candidate George Wallace. These guys lacked popularity to gain support from a major plurality of the population.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden have a large task in front of them to repackage themselves to take away their “none of the above” perception to voters.  It is likely this will be a difficult challenge to both as these men’s negative images are so imbedded in the psyche of their constituents.  

With this being the case the BLM emblem (or mural) along with their White Supremists antagonists, will continue to pay an important roles leading up to November 3rd.  From all appearances, the shelf life of this social movement will be of a short duration. The theme of

“Love is but a song to sing, fear’s the way we die”, can take one just so far in American politics.


Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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5 months ago

Instead of trying to bring people together and open the conversation, throw out the words “white supremacy” “Nazi” etc. This article is filled with a bunch of crap, which does nothing more than promote more hatred.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
5 months ago

Dear conservatives, please spare yourselves wasted time trying to persuade Richard Eber to debate. Key phrases from his bio point to what side of the Constitution he’s on (his op-ed aside):

“studied journalism”

“University of Oregon”

“UCSB” (University of California Santa Barbara)

Still, do read the op-ed. It proves the differences between liberals and leftists (let alone conservatives) are utterly irreconcilable and irrelevant. ‘Debate club conservative’ is a losing position, folks.

5 months ago

You call yourself a journalist. I say you are an left wing propagandist destroying our Freedoms.You are the problem!

Hugh Hall
Hugh Hall
5 months ago

Your grammar and spelling are atrocious.