Last updated on 21 Jul 2020
(Photo Credit: Marco Allasio)
We are currently living in one of the largest social justice movements in U.S. history. Every major city in the US, and even in other countries, have had their streets lined for weeks with protesters hoping to see change.
La Cañada has had many of its own protests; for the Black Lives Matter movement and against it. Most of these protests have been hosted by La Cañada Black Lives Matter, who had about 250 people at their first event.
The group was founded by Kamden, Kaz, Erin, Shannon, & Elly, who are LCHS alumni and people who have lived in and around La Cañada their whole lives. They are not an official branch of the Black Lives Matter organization, but their goals are very similar to the movement.
They are currently pushing to cut the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s spending from the city budget.
Kaz said, “The LASD is a corrupt organization with cases of domestic violence, overt racism, & gang activity. Their crime statistics show consistent incompetence & low success rates for both preventing & solving crime. […] We can and should lead the way to a future free from racism & violence at the hands of the police.”
Their push mostly comes from the fact that it is unjust for the Black and POC residents of La Cañada to feel unsafe based on their skin color.
There has been pushback from La Cañada residents who disagree with their goals. There have been counter-protesters who attend the LCBLM protests.
When asked, LCBLM said, “We respect everyone’s right to make their voices heard. It would be hypocritical of us to condemn them for speaking up in the same way we are. Seeing someone come protest against our support of the value of Black lives is honestly disturbing. Arguing against saying that Black lives matter is undeniably racist, and it’s disheartening to see people in LC that are openly & confidently racist. But when I see that, it inspires me to work harder, to make sure our voices are louder than theirs, so the Black & POC people of LC know that there are more people here who love them than there are who hate them.”
LCBLM has consistently spread a message of the need for acceptance in a community with people who are both openly and internally racist.
Local change is easier than we think it is if we all come together. LCBLM’s hope for local changes focuses mostly around the mass education of citizens.
“[…] There’s not a lot of traffic in & out [of LC], and there isn’t much diversity in terms of race or class. This environment doesn’t facilitate a space for people to learn the real history of the US. The one that includes the rampant white supremacy, the real horrors of how Black people are treated in this country, the genocide of the Native American people, & how the foundation upon which this entire country was built is racist at its core.”
Considering the residents of La Cañada include affluent and socially influential people, we can definitely achieve change if we try. We need the people to educate themselves on the awful things BIPOC face daily, so we can create social change.
“La Cañada becoming aware of, and educating itself on, the deep-rooted systemic issues our country relies on would be monumental & exciting change.”