Letters to the Editor: ‘Wonderful wine and horrible right-wing bias’ in California’s Central Coast

Paso Robles resident Michael Rivera sits at a picnic table in the town square.
Paso Robles resident Michael Rivera, seen sitting his city’s town square, has expressed his misgivings with ethnic studies to the school board.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I applaud reporter Tyrone Beason’s profile of Paso Robles, the community I left following 10 years of living with wonderful wine and horrible right-wing bias. From my very middle-class home, I witnessed firsthand the sad myopia Beason describes.

The very nice white couple on one side listened intently each day to Rush Limbaugh. The widowed white lady on the other side called me in tears when two young Black men approached her door. They were clad in white shirts, slacks and neckties and were politely selling cleaning supplies in support of their school, but she was convinced they came to rob her and was disbelieving when I told her a Black family lived just around the corner.

On trips to the grocery store or Walmart, or as students poured forth in the afternoon from school, we’d see a number of Black and brown faces. Yet downtown on the square, it was as Beason describes: very middle class and white.


I have no doubt the privileged white school board members in Paso Robles who voted to ban critical race theory want to keep real U.S. history from the classrooms. Paso Robles is all too emblematic of a stubborn racist portion of our country.

Diane Brandt, San Marcos


To the editor: As a retired assistant professor in the USC School of Social Work and a new full-time resident of Morro Bay, a coastal town adjacent to Paso Robles, I have been struck by the lack of visible diversity in this area.

It’s a shame and a travesty that white people are so afraid of the truth about whose labor, ingenuity and presence have contributed to this wonderful Central Coast habitat.

I was dismayed recently when I had to go to an emergency room in San Luis Obispo and found the entire staff that afternoon to be all white, as far as I could tell. This is not the California I grew up in.

Segregation is and has been a part of California history, and it is time to wake up to this reality as it continues to play out on the California Central Coast. Let’s start dismantling the means of injustice through accurate, fact-based teaching at all levels of education.


Linda Poverny, Morro Bay