The Face of Racism

By Kevin Hall

Brandau mug

A pustule occasionally erupts on Fresno’s complacent face of institutionalized racism. At the Jan. 25 city council meeting it was council member Steve Brandau’s turn. Again. He apparently thought he was cast to play the role of council member Oliver Baines’s anger translator, a la Keegan-Michael Key’s Luther, but Brandau wasn’t joking when he used the pejorative “poverty pimps.”

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Tectonic Forces Converge: Walls of Institutional Racism Sway at City Hall

By Kevin Hall

2. Residents of 'Reverse' Triangle
 Residents of the ‘Reverse Triangle’ in South-Central Fresno before filing their lawsuit challenging the city’s refusal to conduct environmental review of a proposed 2-million-square-foot warehouse complex.  (Photo by Augie G. Blancas, Fresno Building Healthy Communities.

FRESNO – A recent unanimous vote by the Fresno City Council threatens to knock the city’s developer-controlled politics right off their very old foundations. The legislative temblor struck in late January when the opposing plates of profit and public health converged, cracking open a deep fissure in the city’s current land use decision-making practices. At its core are environmentally racist practices at odds with state law and the city’s own policies.

Continue reading Tectonic Forces Converge: Walls of Institutional Racism Sway at City Hall