L.A Politics

Black & Homeless: Los Angeles Needs To Commit To Dismantling Anti-Black Racism

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Los Angeles continues to place all the blame of anti-Black racism on Kevin de Leon, Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillio and Ron Herrera, following the leaked audio scandal and fall out at city hall.

Anyone engaged in anti-racism work, however, or those familiar with L.A’s full history, understands that anti-Black racism is woven within this city’s fabric.

Staying true to her word Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency on L.A’s homeless crisis her first day in office, in an effort to rapidly get unhoused people off the streets.

Bass was sworn in ceremonially this weekend as the new Mayor of Los Angeles, by US vice-president Kamala Harris at the Microsoft Theater. The ceremony was widely attended by Los Angeles residents, eager to witness the first Black and woman Mayor of L.A be sworn-in.

Bass declared victory over her opponent Rick Caruso, a billionaire developer who spent more than $100m on his campaign.

The state of emergency on homelessness, allows Bass more room to quickly create new interim housing for unhoused Angeleno’s.  

This includes the ability to expedite permitting processes, as well as approving the leasing of buildings. It also allows Bass to quickly dispense money to organizations doing outreach work with homeless people.

She also urged residents to become involved in city government, echoing John F Kennedy’s presidential inaugural address in which he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

The Guardian

Social media activists have longed criticized L.A’s homeless crisis, while failing to address the fact that Black Angeleno’s continue to be disproportionally impacted by homelessness in L.A.

According to a 2019 report released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Black Angeleno’s are only 8% of L.A’s population, yet represent almost 40% of the homeless population.

LAHSA noted that leading causes of these disparities are structural racism, discrimination and unconscious bias across institutions including housing, employment, criminal justice and child welfare policies.

The report is the first step of a dynamic process of collaboration between stakeholders to implement recommendations, which include interweaving a racial equity lens throughout homelessness policy and service delivery systems as well as across public, private, and philanthropic institutions.


The report also notes that ending homelessness will require a collective commitment to dismantling racism and addressing racial disparities, and sustained support from funders, policymakers, mainstream systems of care, service providers, and community partners (LAHSA).

This does not mean we ignore the plight of unhoused Angeleno’s who are not Black, or dismiss the various gains that people of all racial backgrounds have been able to obtain in L.A.

We are just asking for a collective effort and willingness to talk about the specific issues facing Black Angeleno’s, who continue to be impacted the most in L.A, due to failed policies and discrimination.

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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