Column: Representation matters. But a Mayor Karen Bass means more for Black women in L.A.
We should not forget that the city was founded by African Americans. But over time, we tend to forget that too. We tend to forget how important representation was to the shaping of the city. We forget how much the founding of this nation was predicated on the idea that all people are created equal, regardless of whether they were slaves or free. We forget that black Americans were and are key, but not “the end all.”
But there is a danger in forgetting our history. If we go back 100 years, there is a real danger that a small group of people who control a majority of seats in this city and the state will continue to use this moment to undermine those of us who are part of the majority. Let us remember that there are those who want to take away our guns, turn the schools into prisons, and limit our rights.
As a city, Black people have long been leaders. We have been leaders in the fight for civil rights. And we have stood up to fight back, and we have won. I want to acknowledge the tremendous strength of the African American community in our city. But I want to say that we need to be vigilant and I welcome the vigilance of my fellow black leaders, who are doing the same. I stand in solidarity with them.
They and I need to be vigilant. We’re not going to be able to resist the growing tide of authoritarianism and the authoritarianism of hate and bigotry that we see every day. We have to continue to push back. We’ve got to say that this isn’t right. We’re not going to allow this to continue. We will not forget the legacy of the Black community or the history of the Los Angeles community. We’ve got to protect it. And we’re going to do it by putting down the white supremacists, if they come, and engaging in this dialogue so that we can find ways to work together.
I encourage the Black and Latino communities, the Asian communities, and all communities to be