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The Media Mantra

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July 21, 2021

Note: If Mayor Hadley really wanted "history" instead of "story," she would have retained an intelligent lawyer to give her the one instead of the other. But, she chose to hand the pen to the kids who are simply expressly their feelings about history in story form. It's a little late in the game, now, to tell us she just wants the facts.

Note: as for McDermott, the concept of "fact" eludes him entirely. He writes that the plaque "tells a white-washed history;" i.e., it "praises" Peck for "allowing black people to purchase land," but, in fact, McDermott tells us, Peck, first, "did not sell the land," and, second, "had the beach roped off and `No Trespassing' signs erected."

The lawyers in court, on the other hand, would not dispute between themselves the fact that Peck sold the land to any black person willing to buy it, and the business about the beach rope and the signs is irrelevant entirely to the question whether the City of Manhattan Beach, in its taking of the land, discrimined against Willa because of her race.

McDermott and the Task Force kids, and for that matter Hidly's pals, want to give public wealth to private persons, for their personal pleasure, not because the City discriminated against Willa in its taking, but because Peck, who was not involved in the taking, roped off his private beach property and erected No trespassing signs?

Note: McDermott tells us Kristen Drew Long says the reason the No Trespassing sign business is relevant to the plaque business, is because Peck's agents did not enforce the prohibition against white beach-goers, but did enforce it against Willa's guests on June 24, 1912. Kristin is apparently relying upon an article published in the Los Angeles Times which reads, "For a distance of half a mile from Peck's Pier to 24th Street," on the strip of beach land Peck owned, No Trespassing signs had been erected and there were "constables" present "when a good-sized Sunday crowd of pleasure seekers. . . were confronted by the constables who warned them not to cross the stakes." According to The Times, the "pleasure seekers" "walked a half mile" to get around.

Apparently all parties involved as Task Force members and City Council members, agree that the relevance of this story goes to the issue of language on a plaque and has nothing to do with the question of the City's discrimination against Willa in its 1924 taking. Even so, The Los Angeles Times article does not establish, as fact, that Peck's agents actually discriminated against black "pleasure seekers" while giving white "pleasure seekers" the license to pass the stakes directly. Indeed, the "half mile" The Times acknowledges is a "small inconvenience," is not, in fact, a "half mile' If any cares to measure, the distance between the south end of 26th St to the north end of 24th St. is probably about one hundred yards. It is two short walk street blocks.

In contrast to The Los Angeles Times story, which Kristin hangs her case on, Hildy, in her report, qualifies Kristin's excitement with The Times, with the statement that, "It is unclear if these signs were placed at Peck's request or even with his knowledge." Whether or not Peck was aware of the stakes and signs, however, is irrelevant in any event, simply because, as the owner of beach land in 1912, if he had allowed the public to walk across his land to reach the high tide mark, he was a risk of losing the land by prescriptive easement to the County of Los Angeles, as other beach ground owners did, and continue to do; e.g., the millionaraire at Half Moon Bay.

Note: Steve Napolitano graduated from Loyola Law School, in 2000, and presently works as a California State appointed attorney for Parole Board hearings, specializing in "Lifer suitability hearings." It is doubtful Steve has ever walked through a jury trial to verdict in his life, and thus his grasp of the concept of "fact" is hardly much better than McDermott's or Kristin's.

Steve, in not questioning "the racist motivations behind the land's condemnation," is intentionally, or unintentionally, ignoring the legal reality that the racist motivations "behind the lands condemnation" are legally irrelevant, if, in fact, the City did not, in its action of condemnation, actually discriminate against Willa because of her race. How this thing got to be such a hullobaloo, can only be accounted for by Black race politics.

Then, again, we have the nutty kid, Kristin, with the come back on the Klan: but they wore hoods, remember. How silly she is.

Note: "It's so much easier to be an editor than it is to be a writer," Hildy, the Georgetown Law School graduate, tells us. No, the hard part of writing (the poor thing has not learned?) is in the edit, edit, edit, edit. It is in the edit that the serious student gets her language in order and her facts straight.

Joe Ryan