Statement on racially offensive card from Alameda County Fire Station

Posted: May 8th, 2019 12:00 PM

Last Updated: May 8th, 2019 12:00 PM

Statement from Office of District 2 Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas

During this Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month, I’m proud to stand together with all of you to condemn racism, discrimination and hate. The racially offensive card from the Alameda County Fire Station shows that the County has hard work before it to create a work environment and workforce that is centered around equity, fairness and respect. I join the call for the County to conduct an investigation and take action.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are an important part of what make our diverse city and community so amazing. As the first Filipina American to serve on the Oakland City Council, I am proud of my immigrant heritage and all the ways my community contributes to enriching the culture of our City and helping to make it an open, thriving place to live.

Just two weeks ago there was another racist incident, an actual hate crime, right in my District. Dontae Moore, a lifetime Oaklander and new City of Oakland employee, found his car spraypainted with the N word in front of his Eastlake home.

As we come together today to denounce racism towards Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, and all Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, so too did our community come together for Dontae to denounce anti-blackness and to show love and support, as well as raise funds to help him re-paint his car.

Even as Trump invites white nationalism and hate like this out of the shadows, we all know that love and community have greater power. Racism and discrimination have NO place in Oakland or anywhere.

The City of Oakland is actually leading the way through our Department of Race & Equity. It works with City departments to create a city where our diversity is maintained, racial disparities have been eliminated and racial equity has been achieved. The department recently hosted an event to discuss what it means be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet is deeply divided by race. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, described the way race shapes the lives of White
people, explained what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identified common, White racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity.

Additionally, at the Oakland City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at 5:30pm, CM Sheng Thao and I will launch the first annual celebration of API History Month. Each Councilmember and the Mayor will recognize and honor an API leader or organization. I hope you will join us.