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Kidnapping allegations in Torrance?

By Richard Myers
Posted: 10/07/2020
1619 Project Discussion Group met Friday, October 2, 2020. The group was to discuss an article critical of the 1619 Project in terms if it's framing of history.

Before the discussion of the article, the group engaged in a discussion of an article in Friday's LA Times relating an incident in the City of Torrance.  A white apartment dweller called 911 to report the kidnapping of a white child.  Upon investigation the police learned the child was the grandson of the man who had him.  The grandparents were babysitting their daughter's son who is bi racial.  No charges were brought against the women who made the call and the grandfather was advised not to engage the neighbor as it might result in harassment charges against him.

The group noted:

1.   It was unfortunate that the neighbor never considered the child might be of mixed heritage.   Several members noted they had bi racial family members and in some families there had been misunderstandings in public settings.  Concerns for how family members might respond were noted.

2.   The incident could have been an opportunity for neighbors to meet one another to avoid a repeat of the incident.  

3.   A question was raised about how the incident might have played out if the police had been accompanied by a Social Worker.  This led to a discussion of the Cahoots program where calls are sorted to determine if police were the appropriate first responders or if mental health, social workers or family counselors were more appropriate responders.

4.   The question "What if this happened in Pasadena" was asked.  One member indicated that this was unlikely to happen in neighborhoods were people knew one another.  Walking the neighborhood with the City Council member was suggested, as was providing various opportunities for neighbors to meet.

The 1619 to 1776 article was discussed.

The group noted:

1.   There was a need to have history be a holistic and fact based.  The use of 1776 as a starting point of American History failed to acknowledge indigenous first inhabitants and the actions of colonizers on these inhabitants.  It also failed to provide an opportunity to understand the cultures and customs
of first inhabitants.

2.   It was noted that there was a defensiveness among some white community members when the broader approach was taken.  It was suggested some white community members might feel they were being criticized for the actions of previous generations.  Overall, members felt the holistic and fact-based approach while difficult for some communities was the most appropriate approach in studying history.

3.   The current focus on history framed as love of country was discussed. It was noted that there was the potential for this to be dangerous.  Numerous historical examples were discussed.

- Recording by Sharon Jarrrett -

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