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Morning Briefing: The Antelope Valley’s History Of Racism

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A stencil on a power box in Echo Park reads "rent strike." Chava Sanchez/LAist
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When Robert Fuller’s body was found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, officials abruptly labeled it a suicide. But pushback from the community – which included highlighting the fact that Fuller’s autopsy wasn’t even complete – caused them to walk that stance back.

Part of the reason for the pushback, reports Emily Elena Dugdale, is the area’s history of entrenched racism.

In 2010, a U.S. Department of Justice report found that the Antelope Valley had L.A. County’s highest rate of hate crimes. In 2015, the department accused L.A. County officials and Sheriff’s deputies of purposefully discriminating against Black residents. And Neo-Nazis and skinheads have long terrorized the area, committing assaults and firebombing a Black church.

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Aezana Nora, who grew up in Palmdale, told Dugdale that white classmates used to taunt him with threats of an attack by the KKK. At 12 years old, he said, men with swastika tattoos chased him out of a restaurant and followed him in a truck.

"The things that I've gone through,” he said, “[Fuller] could have been me.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


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Coming Up Today, July 1

Olivia Riçhard has the story about a program that teaches Black youth how to navigate high-stakes situations with law enforcement.

LAUSD is set to vote on its budget today, which is subject to revision after July 15. Kyle Stokes breaks down the spending plan.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

#JusticeForRubertFuller: When Robert Fuller was found hanging from a tree, the fear that he was lynched grew out of the area's long history of racism. Fuller was laid to rest yesterday.

Money Matters: California child care providers who work with children from low-income families will not see some of the budget cuts they feared. L.A. County officials approved a 2020-21 budget proposal that includes cuts and layoffs across all departments. An 81-year-old Iranian immigrant whose shoe-and-leather store on Melrose was looted and burned down during L.A.’s recent protests wonders how to rebuild.

Coronavirus Updates: The hotel workers union is now calling on local officials to shut hotels down until proper coronavirus protections are in place.

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Love That Dirty Water: Heal The Bay has released its annual beach report card for California, which rates the cleanest and dirtiest spots along our coastline.

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Photo Of The Day

Aezana Nora was born and raised in the Antelope Valley. He says he’s had run-ins with neo-Nazis there.

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(Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)

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