When Fullerton Residents Discriminated Against African-American and Latino Veterans Returning from World War II

The institutional racism of Orange County knows no bounds, of course, but researcher Luis F. Fernández–the Cal State Fullerton grad who resurrected the Alex Bernal case from the dustbins of you-know-what–found a case that had even me shaking my head.

In 1946, the Fullerton Planning Commission had before it a proposal to build temporary housing for World War II veterans. Sounds patriotic enough, right? Spill your blood fighting Nazis and Japs, and the least your neighbor can do is welcome you back?

Not in Fullerton if you were Mexican or African-American.

According to May 8, 1946 planning commission minutes unearthed by Fernández, 35 Fullerton residents signed a petition demanding the city not build the veteran housing in their neighborhood. Six of those Know Nothings attended the meeting, and told the commission that the neighbors “objected on the grounds it would depreciate the value of the surrounding property and they did not want Negroes and Mexicans in the neighborhood.”

Oh, joy! Thankfully, the planning commission approved the building, but Fernández has yet to find out if the council went ahead and authorized the construction of the housing–and what, if anything, racist Fullerton idiots did about it. Stay tuned…

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