San Luis Obispo, California, likes to pat itself on the back, like a lot.
The city has been named the “Happiest Place to Live” in the US by many magazines, boasts progressive Mayor Heidi Harmon and her goal of carbon neutrality for the city, and the celebrates companies like Jamba Juice that began at the city’s college, Cal Poly SLO. But for the few people of color who live there, and many who visit the town, there has always been a less-discussed fact that the predominantly white area isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
After the San Luis Obispo Police Department targeted activist Tianna Arata with punitive charges after a Black Lives Matter rally, many of the community’s uglier feelings regarding race have come to the surface.
In this video I discuss more than just racism in SLO, but the actions and politics of local law enforcement like SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell and District Attorney Dan Dow that show they are far from unbiased arbiters of the law on California’s picturesque Central Coast. I also discuss some of the questionable reports from Cal Coast News and Karen Velie that help spur division and rightwing paranoia in the area. I also share some of my personal experience witnessing racism in SLO.
It’s a longer episode, but there’s a lot to discuss!
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Previous Political Payne episode about SLO BLM protests: https://youtu.be/JqthRuWVS3I
https://pasoroblesdailynews.com/deanna-cantrell-accepts-job-as-fairfields-new-police-chief/113620/ https://www.newtimesslo.com/sanluisobispo/the-justice-gap-slo-leads-the-county-in-reported-rapes-yet-few-perpetrators-end-up-in-a-courtroom/Content?oid=4404404 https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-46322875