On today’s show we speak with residents in Martinez, California who talk about the racism still plaguing this small town in Contra Costa County. Long time artist Justin Gomez and local activist Nakenya Allen spoke about what life is like in Martinez since the defacing of the Black Lives Mural in front of city hall which garnered national attention and led to a huge march and rally that followed back on July 12 2020. Both Gomez and Allen spoke about the huge amount of death threats they have recieved from white nationalists.
They also talked about the death threats that have been directed at the Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton who is African American, after she filed hate crime charges against Martinez residents Nicole Anderson, and David Nelson who defaced the mural. Hours after the BLM mural was defaced, a man showed up with a gun and threatened to shoot organizers who attempted to repair it. That man was arrested by cops who happened be nearby in an unmarked car and led to folks like Gomez and Allen to take any and all threats seriously and not to underestimate the amount of racial hostility held by some folks who live in Martinez.
During our interview it was also noted that racial tensions have erupted in other cities around Contra Costa County including Walnut Creek which is gearing up for a planned BLM Rally and nearby Concord where an angry racist has repeatedly erased the BLM chalk drawings done by a child…
In response to all the challenges, Gomez and Allen pointed out there is alot of hope and progress. They have put together a racial task force that is pushing for equity on the city level. They have formed an heavily populated and supported online facebook group called Martinez Solidarity Coalition and they are running two people for city council. (Hard Knock Radio 08-10-20)