Oakland, once again, the the focus of a racist incident captured on social media. Here, Oakland’s Jordan Cordova and his friends are being harassed by Lesleigh Franklin, and for nothing more than parking their car in an open public spot, which just happened to be in front of Ms. Franklin’s home. This happened on Saturday, August 4th. Mr. Cordova posted his account on Facebook:
“On Saturday August 4th, my family and I were on our way to a party. So we parked on public parking, in front of the white womans house in this video. This woman began to confront us and began yelling at us without reason. Keep in mind that as soon as I saw her come out of her home, I sincerely asked her why she wanted us to leave. Never did i disrespect her in any way. She wanted us to leave, as we refused she approached our car and tried to open the doors. That’s when I began recording because we felt attacked and we know these situations have happened already to black and brown people because of how we look. This woman targeted us AND even questioned our status in this country. I ask people to share and find who this women who claims is immigrants attorney. Quick Note: I am a High School Student and a proud Salvadorean in East Oakland California.”
Lesleigh Franklin, the woman, is not an immigration lawyer, Lesleigh Franklin is, and now was, the CEO of The East Bay Family Institute, and a licensed clinical psychologist who has described herself as “working with diverse populations in both school based and clinical settings for over 20 years.” It was, until recently and after this incident, a position she held since 2010. On her Linkedin page, Romana A. Norton, Ph.D. described Lesleigh Franklin as a “Incredible colleague with a passion for social justice.”
Marisol Reyna, is both Lesleigh Franklin’s partner and the co-founder of The East Bay Family Institute. And there’s a photo of Franklin spread on a lawn chair on Reyna’s Facebook page. Reyna has reported that Franklin stepped away from the business, but given that they are co-founders and live-together, such a claim may be to put up a cosmetic front that she’s separated from the business which she’s really a part of it – and perhaps to protect Franklin from the public complaints against her.
Another Racist Incident In Oakland
First, it must be said that being in an interracial relationship does not wash-away any person’s desire to be racist. I recall the late sports anchor Doug Murphy of KPIX San Francisco, who used to come to the old King’s X Bar on Piedmont and Pleasant Valley in Oakland after work, get drunk, and refer to his Indonisian wife (who was not in the bar with him) in the most vile, racist language he could come up with, then loudly proclaim he loved her. Second, the unanswered question is why are these occurences suddenly, this year, springing up? t’s noted that extreme racism is a mental illness, but why do more of these problems happen now? Is it increased drug use in the wake of legalized marijuana? Many drug use studies focus on racism as a cause of drug use of people of color but does increased drug use make a person more racist?
Something, clearly, is wrong.
It should be illegal in Oakland for a person to threaten to use law enforcement against a person taking on a common social action, like parking the car in a legally designated area, or cooking in a legal area, or sitting at a bus stop. The Oakland Cty Council must take steps to stop this behavior in its tracks.