On April 23 several dozen community members gathered to demonstrate against recent hate crimes and a long history of racism in east San Diego County. The rally was organized by East County BIPOC and attended by the Racial Justice Coalition, International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, San Diego Black Panther Party, San Diego Direct Action Drumline and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
On April 16, a 16-year-old white boy stabbed a Black girl of the same age in Lakeside, California while the boy and his parents shouted racial slurs at the victim and her family. The boy stabbed her just outside the apartment complex where both the victim and perpetrator’s families live. Black families at that complex reported dealing with racist harassment from other white residents that has not been addressed by the police or property manager.
East County BIPOC announced the rally following a town hall the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department held, in which local residents confronted the cops’ refusal to address rampant racism and hate crimes across east San Diego County. An aunt of the stabbing victim spoke to the Lieutenant Sheriff, pointing out how they did nothing to prevent the attempted murder and are now only reacting to the outcry from the public.
The rally was held near the apartment complex where the hate crime occurred. Along the route of the march some residents expressed support or joined the march giving voice to their own frustration with the state of racism in the area. A few residents driving by shouted racial slurs while one group threw a beer can at the protesters. Despite these acts of racist aggression, the march continued unabated to its destination outside the Lakeside Community Center.
While the police response aimed to shift the responsibility onto residents to report hate crimes to them, organizer Yusef Miller of the Racial Justice Coalition pointed out: “How are we going to report to law enforcement when they are the ones who protect the people who are harming us?”
Organizers of the rally have demanded that the accomplices to the murder also be charged, particularly the guardians of the 16-year-old — who escorted him to the place of the attack and actively encouraged the racist attempted murder.