Alameda County: Oakland

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Photo: Jonathan Clark/Getty Images

The Eastern Approaches to San Francisco embrace the magical city of Oakland. Across the Oakland Bay Bridge from San Francisco lies this most diverse and loving of California cities. There, immigrants from all the world do center and celebrate their myriad lifestyles.

The mayor of that metropolis is Libby Schaff and she welcomes all with open arms. Her traumatic battle with Trump and his racist attacks on the innocent are national news:

Ms. Schaff extolls the safety and diversity of her domain. It is true! Oakland is only about the 30th most violent city in the nation while another California city, Stockton, ranks at 24th.

While St. Louis and Baltimore and Detroit are true celebrants of adverse personal interplay, Oakland has become safer each year since its three centrally located abortion clinics were built.

Family Planning Specialists, Planned Parenthood, FPA Women’s Health all are there to meet the needs of the independent women of Oakland and all are taxpayer funded!

Thanks too, to the introduction of marijuana to California as a legal mellowing agent, the murder rate in Oakland has dropped from a high of 148 per year in 2006 to a paltry 74 in 2018.

You can see the mellowing of civic discourse all commence with the blossoming of marijuana in 2012.

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Yet, the city still contains micro-pits of hate and racism.

As with other diverse locales in this nation, various restaurants and stores have placed bullet proof barriers between their Afro-American customers and the staff.

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Racism Must Stop

In the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, such barriers are in fact illegal. They are reminders of slavery and Southern White Hate.

The law is clear:

(g) Customer access. No establishment required to obtain a Large Establishment license, as provided in subsection (4)(a)(.1), shall erect or maintain a physical barrier that requires the persons serving the food either to open a window or other aperture or to pass the food through a window or other aperture, in order to hand the food to a customer inside the establishment.

It is time that Oakland enacts a similar law. It can be a model for all of America.

A model for such national legislation can be found in the Philadelphia ordinance;

Certainly the purpose of the law is obvious; these many shops in the more diverse areas of Oakland, and Philadelphia, should be owned and operated by the citizens living within those diverse areas and not by people who only come into the area to drain the people of their last dime.

Further, the armored barriers are like those found in the zoo or in California’s San Quentin prison which is not 10 miles away from Oakland’s city center.

Africa Returns

Some of the African Diaspora is returning to its roots on the continent of Africa and to the mother country. Whether it is Baltimore or Oakland, many are seeing “return” as their true hope for their generations to come. Certainly, with racism rampant and Trump in power, and the police killing innocent African American women and children, Africa promises hope.

But Oakland remains a sacred land. Oakland is a land where African-Americans can prosper and spread their culture across California and across this entire land.

Marijuana is the Key

At the heart of Oakland’s success is marijuana. Marijuana has brought riches to the city because it can fill a warehouse; it can be a treasure trove and can now provide the medicaments to that other city on the bay, San Francisco. Yes, San Francisco is just one BART stop or one bridge crossing away.

Many are already aware of the free rides available on BART for Oakland’s youth. This is key to truly profiting from the commerce in marijuana as the bounty is carried from its source in Oakland to the riches to be had in its sale in San Francisco.

Oakland’s local congresswoman Barbara Lee is now the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. No person of color has served in any leadership role before. Ms. Lee is looking to get more people of color involved in cannabis politics “where they can address a systemic racism, and institutional racism and injustice in our criminal justice system.”

The good news is that if the federal laws are changed, then no more people of color can be arrested for marijuana than are whites, and with no whites in Oakland, no one will face charges and the city will become the largest Marijuana producer in the nation.