In a county notorious for its lack of African-Americans, Brea stands out as a particularly egregious example. Brea was a sundown town, for starters, a city that didn’t allow blacks to live within city limits or even stay overnight. There were four African American residents s noted in the U.S. Census in 1950, TWO in 1960, and only 40 by 1970. That’s what happens when the Ku Klux Klan had a majority of its members on the Brea City Council during the 1920s, or when local officials name William E. Fanning Elementary after a Klan member.
The KKK was terrorizing minorities as recently as last summer. And now there’s this: a Brea eighth-grader told a black classmate that because of Trump’s presidential victory, she would have to “go back to Africa—where you belong.”
The disgusting anecdote comes courtesy of a recent Buzzfeed exposé examining hate incidents at elementary, junior, and high schools across the U.S. inspired directly by Trump. It was based on reporters following up on “hundreds of reports submitted to the Documenting Hate project, a database of tips about hate crimes and bias incidents set up by ProPublica and shared with other news organizations,” per Buzzfeed.
Brea was the only Orange County case that Buzzfeed mentioned, so OF COURSE I was curious for more context. I reached out to one of the Buzzfeed writers, awesome criminal justice reporter Albert Samaha, and he shared with us the original tip:
“My daughter, a 13 year old we adopted from Mozambique, was told by her 8th grade classmate: “Now that Trump won, you’re going to have to go back to Africa – where you belong.” We as her parents have spoken with the school authorities, as well as members of the school board, and received a supportive response. We hope eventually to meet with the family of the boy who said this.”
Samaha told the Weekly that in addition to Buzzfeed verifying the Brea case, another news org participating in Documenting Hate had previously confirmed it as well.
The Weekly is still trying to find out the name of the junior high. Stay classy, OC!