I grew up in one of the whitest cities in southern California: Manhattan Beach. The demographic consists of new families with young children, recently retired couples, and recently married couples ready to start families. Everyone in this bubble is cut off from the outside world, not having to worry about high rates of crime or any other dangerous circumstances. So whenever an unusual disturbance occurs, it’s a big deal. You can imagine this demographics’ shock when they heard about the crime described in the article below:
In summary, the house of a black family living in Manhattan Beach, which is rare, was firebombed with a burning tire thrown at the door by unknown suspects. Since the family had lived in MB for eleven years, and hadn’t ever been attacked in this way until now, they could find no other reason, except for their race, to be the cause of the crime. On the Friday night following the incident, hundreds of MB residents held a vigil with candles in the downtown Metlox plaza and surrounded the family with support. Just by scanning over the photo provided by article, most of the people in this crowd were white. The vigil organizer and friend of the black family said: “What was done to your home was unacceptable. You are a beloved, impressive and strong family. You’re admired. You belong.” A councilwoman said: “When something like this happens, it jars us. ... It’s shocking,” she said. “Does this stuff still happen? Yes. In Manhattan Beach? Yes. But the best part is: here’s how we handle it. We’re all standing together today saying, ‘This is not OK.’ ”
A neighbor started a fundraiser, and raised $22,000 in one day. This money is going to be used as a reward for any information leading to the criminals and for a private investigator. But why would they use the money in this way when it could be used to fix the $200,000 house damage from the firebomb? The family has to live in a hotel until the house is repaired, so why not fix the house, the most crucial issue, first before seeking out the criminals? If the white community is so supportive of this black family, why aren’t they using their logic and helping them recover first?
I am proud to call Manhattan Beach my hometown because of the community’s touching reaction, but my one question is this: When you, the residents of Manhattan Beach, hear about or witness a crime against the black race anywhere else in the world, how do you react then? I haven’t read any articles in the news about vigils in MB held for the black teenager involved in the Ferguson case, or for any other injustice for that matter. It’s wonderful that the white community of Manhattan Beach is showing its stance against hate crimes in the bubble. But imagine how much the world would change if all white people reacted this way towards racial injustice.