Commentary: Were Acid Bombs in Orange County a Racist Attack?

A couple weeks after a Black family fled Orange County, another Black woman came home to find an unwelcome surprise in her yard.

Posted: 12/06/2012 02:39 PM EST
Commentary: Were Acid Bombs in Orange County a Racist Attack?

Just a couple weeks ago we told you about a Black family in Yorba Linda, a California city in Orange County, that had to flee their neighborhood because of racist attacks. They had rocks thrown through their windows, their tires were slashed and people shouted racial slurs at them as they walked down the street.

The family being forced to leave their home was a sad conclusion, of course, but it was a good reminder that deep, ugly racism exists in all parts of America, not just the South. Today, there’s even more — and even scarier — news about bigotry out of Orange County.

In Rossmoor, Orange County, police are now looking into a case of “acid bombs” being left on a Black woman’s lawn. Reports Rick Rojas at the Los Angeles Times:

A woman called law enforcement shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday to report that she had found several plastic bottles containing a blue liquid near the driveway of her home in the 3000 block of Mainway Drive.

As she was on the phone with the authorities, one of the bottles exploded with a sound that resembled a gunshot, said Investigator Kent McBride of the Orange County Sheriff's Department bomb squad.

When authorities arrived, the other containers on the driveway and lawn, as well as one lodged in a tree in a park across the street, had not gone off, McBride said. The bomb squad cordoned off the area and disabled the explosives.

Acid bombs, he said, are potentially devastating, capable of ripping apart the hand of someone holding it, and the noise can rupture eardrums.

Thankfully, nobody was injured by the bombs, but the woman who was targeted says she worries the attack was racially motivated. Police say there’s no evidence of that yet, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility, particularly in Orange County.

Besides this case and the Yorba Linda case, Orange County and its surrounding areas are well-known as hotbeds of neo-Nazi and other white power organizing. “Skin heads and white supremacists made their way to Southern California back in the '40s and '50s,” reported KPCC this August. “As areas like Los Angeles began to diversify, hate groups were pushed out to areas like the Inland Empire and Bakersfield.”

It’s best to not jump to conclusions — the people who planted the acid bombs could very well have been some jerk teenagers with no racial motive whatsoever. But it’s important for African-Americans and others to realize that hate is a powerful force that exists everywhere, even in otherwise idyllic pockets of sunny Southern California.

 

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(Photo: Courtesy of BayNews9)

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