The horrifying ordeal endured by the African American family in Yorba Linda that was forced to move to safety because of the abuse heaped on them by unknown assailants brought back painful memories.
My family moved to L.A. in 1970, and we lived next door to people who never knew us— but did know we were Jewish and hated us for that. They used to scream over the fence that we should have died at Auschwitz. They threw rocks at our home, smashed bottles against our windows and finally poisoned our dog. The police advised us to get a gun, but we moved.
This was a watershed experience for our family. We decided to fight racism and bigotry as best we could. Over the years we've hosted many foreign exchange students, opening our home to people from throughout the world. From that horrible experience, we've created something beautiful: a group of diverse people who call us their American family.
A black family in Yorba Linda is driven from their home by racist acts, including slashed tires and taunts shouted by passing motorists. And where's the community outrage?
The mayor and the police department are in "no comment" mode. The article doesn't quote any neighbors who support the family. If not for the work done by the Orange County Human Relations Commission, we'd probably have never heard about it.
Racism isn't unheard-of in other places. But this is systematic, persistent ugliness, like the Deep South of distant memory.
I was happy when my daughter and son-in-law chose to live in Yorba Linda. It seemed like a nice place. Now I'm afraid their children will grow up tainted by exposure to a racist community.