Tag Archives: Segregation

A Dark Day in Los Angeles: Venice Beach BID Ordinance Approved by Council on Friday. Final Hearing August 23 at 10 a.m. in Council.

The sun sets on a free Venice Beach for the last time as a new era of totalitarian private/public partnership threatens to ruin everything.
The sun sets on a free Venice Beach for the last time as a new era of totalitarian private/public partnership threatens to ruin everything.
On Friday, July 1, the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles signed an ordinance of intention to establish a Venice Beach BID. It seems that this isn’t final, and there will be a hearing on August 23, 2016 at 10 a.m. “to determine whether to establish the District.” Please mark it on your calendars and come put the integrity of our City Council to the test. After all, if 169 signatures below one of the most eloquent anti-BID statements I’ve ever had the good fortune to read didn’t sway them, I don’t imagine that a huge public outcry will do much. But that’s no reason for remaining silent.

You can read a description of the boundaries of the proposed BID in the ordinance, although it’s a little hard to follow even for someone who grew up out there. The District seems to be bounded roughly by the Boardwalk on the West, by North Venice Boulevard to the South, by Pacific Avenue to the East, and by Rose on the North. Now, I don’t know how much you know about the history of race relations in Venice, but it’s essential to an understanding of the deep politics of this BID1 to know that the area roughly bounded by Electric Avenue, North Venice Blvd., Lincoln Blvd, and (maybe) Brooks Avenue, known as Oakwood, was originally the only area of Venice that non-white people were allowed to own property in. Thus ownership of commercial property in the area encompassed by the proposed BID, like most such areas in Los Angeles, was restricted to white people only until sometime in the late 1960s, and then only as a matter of law. There is no question that the huge majority of that property is, even now, due to the way that commercial property is passed down in families, owned by white people.
Continue reading A Dark Day in Los Angeles: Venice Beach BID Ordinance Approved by Council on Friday. Final Hearing August 23 at 10 a.m. in Council.

Between the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the HPOA: 95 Years of Anti-Japanese, Anti-Black, Anti-Brown White Supremacism. “GET BUSY, JAPS, AND GET OUT OF HOLLYWOOD”

A member of the Hollywood Protective Association and spiritual forebear of the modern BID, with the backing of the 1923 edition of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, announces to the world that she's a moron.  Note sign in window stating "Member Hollywood Protective Association."
A member of the Hollywood Protective Association and spiritual forebear of the modern BID Board member, with the backing of the 1920s edition of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, announces to the world that she’s a moron. Note sign in window stating “Member Hollywood Protective Association.”
Long-time readers of this blog will recall that, last month, we broke the story of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce biggity-wig Marty Shelton’s bizarre distaste for black, brown, and poor people visiting Hollywood. Inspired by that, we recently wrote on the white supremacist roots of our beloved Hollywood sign and the inwrought caucasians-only policies of the real-estate development it once promoted. This line of inquiry got us interested in the jim crow history of Hollywood, which turns out to be quite rich.

For instance, a brief discussion in Scott Kurashige’s interesting book The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles1 led us to read up in old LA Times articles on anti-Japanese hysteria in Hollywood in the early 1920s. It seems that in April 1923, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave some advice to a bunch of angry white people. The article is here, but the short version is that some Japanese people bought eight lots in Hollywood, four near Bronson and Sunset and four on Tamarind and Gordon, and had the nerve to wish to build some apartment buildings and a church.

Jess E. Stephens, City Attorney of Los Angeles in April 1923 when pitchfork-waving torch-bearing howling Hollywood lynch mobs came whining to him about how Japanese people were being meanies and building a church in Hollywood.  His response doesn't seem to be available in the historical record.
Jess E. Stephens, City Attorney of Los Angeles in April 1923 when pitchfork-waving torch-bearing howling Hollywood lynch mobs came whining to him about how Japanese people were being meanies and building a church in Hollywood. His response doesn’t seem to be available in the historical record.

The white people got all in a tizzy, you can see one in the image above, and went to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce screaming for help. The Chamber, as opposed to the presence of non-white people in Hollywood as they are today, directed the howling mob to the City Attorney to seek a restraining order and they also started circulating petitions “urging the residents to agree to restrict the use of land to those of the Caucasian race.”2 They were even inspired to poetry! See after the break for an especially creepy example.

By May of that year things had really gotten out of hand!
Continue reading Between the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the HPOA: 95 Years of Anti-Japanese, Anti-Black, Anti-Brown White Supremacism. “GET BUSY, JAPS, AND GET OUT OF HOLLYWOOD”

Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!

Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
Ad for Hollywoodland development from the L.A. Times, September 7, 1924, page D2, fearmongering about minorities in Hollywood, just like now, 90 years later.
While flipping about in old issues of the L.A. Times, we came upon the enlightening 1924 advert you see to the right, luring buyers for the famous Hollywoodland development, from which we inherited not only the iconic sign but the famous racist attitudes, it seems. See what it says?

…to the “Old Timer” of Los Angeles! You…..who have seen the fine residential districts of Los Angeles despoiled by metropolitan development—must realize now that Los Angeles is destined soon to be a city of millons.

Protect your family by procuring at today’s prices a home place in the Hills of Hollywoodland—secured by fixed and natural restrictions against the inroads of metropolitanism and yet within twenty-five minutes of Seventh & Broadway.

Today is Your best opportunity. Are you going to sit idly by and let the March of Progress pass unheeded?

Continue reading Protect Your Family From the Despoliation of “Metropolitan Development.” Move to Racially Restricted Hollywoodland!