News

Danville mayor condemns racist display near Blackhawk

Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich released a statement Monday, condemning the group of masked people who on Saturday held up signs at the corner of Blackhawk Road and Camino Tassajara, saying things like "White Lives Matter," and "Watch Europa the Last Battle."

The latter is a 2017 film that many have called Nazi propaganda.

A group wearing masks displayed a sign reading "White Lives Matter" at the corner of Blackhawk Road and Camino Tassajara in Danville on May 14. Danville mayor Newell Arnerich condemned the display. (Via Conscious Contra Costa / Twitter)

Saturday was also the day an 18-year-old man allegedly drove 200 miles to a grocery store in a mostly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY, shooting 13 and killing 10. Almost all were Black.

Investigators found a 180-page racist manifesto the shooter reportedly wrote.

"As most reasonable people do, I share the visceral reactions of many in our community to hate speech groups and hate in general," Arnerich wrote. "This past Saturday, a small group of people stood at the corner of Blackhawk Road and Camino Tassajara Road, displaying banners, one of which read 'White Lives Matter'. Although this took place on private property, just outside of our town boundaries, the incident was reported and town officials were made aware of it as well.

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"Those responsible made sure to cowardly cover their faces and hide behind their signs," Arnerich wrote. "These people were acting out hate speech. Though not a crime, this was clearly an abhorrent gesture towards people of color. People and groups like these are looking for confrontation and publicity, and we will not condone them nor give them any credibility, attention, or the publicity they are seeking.

"Our town stands united against racism in any form and any acts that direct harm or hatred toward people based upon race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability," the mayor said.

"Free speech is very painful and hurtful at times," Arnerich wrote. "We do not have to listen or give them any credibility. The horrific mass shooting that took place this past weekend in Buffalo, New York, demonstrates the incredible division that exists in our country.

"The shooter, who is now in custody, posted a document prior to the mass shooting, centered on a far-right conspiracy theory that baselessly posits that the white population in western countries is being reduced or replaced by immigrants in a deliberate plot," the mayor said.

"The shooter, in this case, will be taken out of society and imprisoned for life at the expense of 10 innocent people. This price is too much to pay for simple justice for one prejudiced person's actions," he said.

"Danville Town Council, our police department and town staff continue to work to make Danville a safe place for everyone where we can celebrate our diversity and strive for equality for all members of our community," Arnerich said.

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Danville mayor condemns racist display near Blackhawk

by Tony Hicks / BCN Foundation /

Uploaded: Mon, May 16, 2022, 4:14 pm

Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich released a statement Monday, condemning the group of masked people who on Saturday held up signs at the corner of Blackhawk Road and Camino Tassajara, saying things like "White Lives Matter," and "Watch Europa the Last Battle."

The latter is a 2017 film that many have called Nazi propaganda.

Saturday was also the day an 18-year-old man allegedly drove 200 miles to a grocery store in a mostly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY, shooting 13 and killing 10. Almost all were Black.

Investigators found a 180-page racist manifesto the shooter reportedly wrote.

"As most reasonable people do, I share the visceral reactions of many in our community to hate speech groups and hate in general," Arnerich wrote. "This past Saturday, a small group of people stood at the corner of Blackhawk Road and Camino Tassajara Road, displaying banners, one of which read 'White Lives Matter'. Although this took place on private property, just outside of our town boundaries, the incident was reported and town officials were made aware of it as well.

"Those responsible made sure to cowardly cover their faces and hide behind their signs," Arnerich wrote. "These people were acting out hate speech. Though not a crime, this was clearly an abhorrent gesture towards people of color. People and groups like these are looking for confrontation and publicity, and we will not condone them nor give them any credibility, attention, or the publicity they are seeking.

"Our town stands united against racism in any form and any acts that direct harm or hatred toward people based upon race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability," the mayor said.

"Free speech is very painful and hurtful at times," Arnerich wrote. "We do not have to listen or give them any credibility. The horrific mass shooting that took place this past weekend in Buffalo, New York, demonstrates the incredible division that exists in our country.

"The shooter, who is now in custody, posted a document prior to the mass shooting, centered on a far-right conspiracy theory that baselessly posits that the white population in western countries is being reduced or replaced by immigrants in a deliberate plot," the mayor said.

"The shooter, in this case, will be taken out of society and imprisoned for life at the expense of 10 innocent people. This price is too much to pay for simple justice for one prejudiced person's actions," he said.

"Danville Town Council, our police department and town staff continue to work to make Danville a safe place for everyone where we can celebrate our diversity and strive for equality for all members of our community," Arnerich said.

Comments

H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 17, 2022 at 6:47 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 6:47 am

It was hardly a condemnation. It was more of a list of excuses for why Newell Arnerich didn't do anything. "Danville Town Council, our police department and town staff continue to work to make Danville a safe place for everyone." How exactly? He doesn't say. Also, where was Newell Arnerich during COVID shutdown? He was hiding at home not caring about how many small businesses were shutting down nor how many kids were struggling with isolation. Has Newell Arnerich done anything to support this community further since? No. In fact, Newell Arnerich was one trying to take away TLUPs for outdoor dining downtown. Newell Arnerich doesn't care about solving problem, Newell Arnerich cares about photo ops and being congratulated for other people's accomplishments.


Parent and Voter
Registered user
Danville
on May 17, 2022 at 7:48 am
Parent and Voter, Danville
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 7:48 am

There are multiple storylines in the article but not all of them connect directly to one another.
The Buffalo NY story is both tragic and abhorrent. Obviously that shooting was motivated by hate and I suspect mental illness played a role too.
The small group of local protestors stirred up some emotions with signs but apparently the people were not violent. Signs referencing any racial group, White, Black, etc, can potentially trigger emotional reactions but that is a tough balancing act between free speech and public safety in some cases.
It is a complex world and we have a huge learning curve ahead of us.


Chandra
Registered user
Alamo
on May 17, 2022 at 8:07 am
Chandra, Alamo
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 8:07 am

This is very disturbing development in our area. I believed that our area is an educated and civilized society. The culprits Must have been arrested by Police, even on private property, for disturbing peace and harmony in our peaceful communities. One more such incident will bring out demonstrations by minorities in Danville, to expose presence of Racist & Misguided people in our communities. We are watching Danville, how you handle such nasty incidents in the future !!!


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 17, 2022 at 8:30 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 8:30 am

There is nothing “disturbing“ about divergent opinions, even if they raise a certain emotional level. To suggest they should’ve been arrested is bizarre. Not to mention completely un-American. The fact that someone says “we will be watching you“ is scary and disturbing in and of itself.


ddmom
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 17, 2022 at 8:38 am
ddmom, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 8:38 am

Could someone explain the difference between all the signs that were displayed for 'black lives matter' (even writing on the streets) and a sign for 'white lives matter'? Are we not allowed to state white lives matter? I believe all lives matter!


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 17, 2022 at 9:56 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 9:56 am

ddmom - I would like to know the difference as well. Police took names of the "Black Lives Matter" folks but didn't do the same for these folks. Why is that? Why does Newell Arnerich feel that he needs to justify the non-involvement of police here? Here is a better question, were any of the folks in the white masks part of the Contra Costa Sheriffs department / Danville Police?


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 17, 2022 at 10:37 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 10:37 am

Why did Mayor Newell Arnerich felt that police should be taking identifications of parents at public school board meetings but didn't feel the same about this situation ????


The Dude
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 17, 2022 at 11:52 am
The Dude, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 11:52 am

Chandra, this is constitutionally protected speech. That's a very slippery slope to arrest someone exercising their rights when groups vandalizing public property with the same message but with one different word were given a pass and even celebrated by some.


Joe Doaks
Registered user
Danville
on May 17, 2022 at 12:30 pm
Joe Doaks, Danville
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 12:30 pm

Conscious Contra Costa announces a protest tonight in downtown Danville.

"Danville, this is not a Democracy.....this is a CHEEROCRACY!"


D
Registered user
Danville
on May 17, 2022 at 12:43 pm
D, Danville
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 12:43 pm

All lives, whether black, brown, white, or other, truly matter, and all are a gift from God and all should be cherished and treated with respect and dignity. Some will see a black person with a "Black Lives Matter" sign and feel excluded and hated for not being black. Some will see a white person with a "White Lives Matter" sign and feel excluded and hated for not being white. If you truly want all lives to matter, which should be everyone's goal, than do not create divisions with messages that create more divisions.

We should simply follow the colorblind Golden Rule: Treat all as you would want to be treated, regardless of color.

"Faith, hope, and love remain, these three: but the greatest of these is love".-I Corinthians 13:13


Chandra
Registered user
Alamo
on May 17, 2022 at 3:32 pm
Chandra, Alamo
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 3:32 pm

Freedom of speech was intended to promote good (Ideas) over evil. Not Hate or Violence ! If we take that right literally, there is No End to Nonsense; we can make our own Rules of Conduct, and do Anything that we Want !! But, we live in a Democracy, where majority decides how we behave and how we conduct !!! No one Person/Group/Community/City/State can Rule over the Rest of America !!!! Division is Destructive, but Unity is Strength !!!! Perhaps, we can learn from the Re-birth of Unity (Strength), that West has Engineered recently against the Ruthless Russia (Putin), and talk about the Freedom of Speech for Ukrainians/Russians/Chinese/North Koreans/Iranians/Saudi's, etc., etc. Let's work together for Global Strength, Not Divisiveness !!!!! Please Remember: If we don't change the course/our behavior, we are contributing in the Natural Extinction of Human Race, Sooner than Later !!!!!!!


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 17, 2022 at 7:08 pm
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 17, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Somebody might want to understand we are a republic, first thing, and secondly please read the first amendment.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 18, 2022 at 7:04 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 7:04 am

Kjgamble - what does "we are a republic" have anything to do with this exactly? Are you suggesting that a "republic" doesn't care about public safety / law enforcement ?


The Dude
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 18, 2022 at 9:30 am
The Dude, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 9:30 am

H, my guess would be it was a reference to Chandra who said, "But, we live in a democracy, where majority decides how we behave and conduct !!!" And advocated the arrest of the banner waivers despite this being constitutionally protected conduct.


Dapper Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 11:21 am
Dapper Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 11:21 am

Here's a civics lesson for you Chandra. We are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic which was precisely designed to protect the minorities from the majority's "mob rule." This is precisely why we have the Electoral College.

I am going out on a limb here, but the fact that you separate your punctuation with a space, leads me to believe that the USA is probably not your place of birth. That's perfectly fine. You're welcome here. But please do study up on your civics before demanding that free speech be silenced, people arrested (even on private property) and warning us that you will be "watching us."

Have a good day.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 18, 2022 at 12:04 pm
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Dapper Danville - What part of California State law is "republic" in nature? Since 1911, California has been a "direct democracy" as the voters retain powers of recall, initiative, and referendum. Regardless, what does that again have anything to do with law enforcement? Danville sent police to monitor black lives matter people and also monitor the public at school board meetings so why would the police monitoring this group be any different? Help me understand your point, I don't get it.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 18, 2022 at 12:15 pm
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Newell Arnerich is basically saying that anyone can do anything at anytime on that corner and Danville PD can't/shouldn't do anything to interfere. Unless the exact property owner contacts I guess the County Sheriff, that nothing can be done to any group of people that gather on that corner. Do you people here agree with that? Isn't there a place for public safety in your "constitutional republic?" Police did the same in 2020 after the election and showed up at the exact same location and monitored to some degree. No one was arrested then. Should these people in question here be arrested? No. Should they have been treated with the same police response as everyone else that gathers to voice opinions on public policy in Danville? Yes.


Dapper Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 12:21 pm
Dapper Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 12:21 pm

@H -- Free speech. Free speech is not granted by any local elections or what the majority here thinks in Danville or California for that matter. Free speech is enshrined in the Bill of Rights and is protected at the national level. Furthermore, it's not a problem if the police monitored the event. I would expect them to. In my comment, I mentioned nothing about the police. Chandra was advocating that the "culprits Must have been arrested by Police, even on private property, for disturbing peace and harmony in our peaceful communities." As far as I am aware, their "protest" or "banner event" was fairly peaceful. My response to Chandra was nothing more than a civics lesson in free speech.


Dapper Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 12:47 pm
Dapper Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 12:47 pm

@H and Chandra

And as I read again Chandra's second posting "Freedom of speech was intended to promote good (Ideas) over evil."

That's simply not true Chandra and that's not the meaning of free speech. Free speech is free speech. It matters not whether you agree with it or you feel it's good or evil. Poor Chandra is terribly misguided on what free speech is and what it means to American citizens.


MikeL
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 6:27 pm
MikeL, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 6:27 pm

Dapper Dan,
Apologize to Chandra. What an assumption and statement about her race/ethnicity/birth place. While you may think you know it all, you don’t. Lower your little pinky and sit down as you’re welcome here too- thanks to your ancestors that arrived here. However, your racist, arrogant and ignorant behavior is not welcome.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 18, 2022 at 9:51 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 9:51 pm

Meanwhile…

The Ukrainians are fighting for their very existence, while Chandra complains about a “White Lives Matter” flag. Get your priorities in order.


Dapper Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 10:13 pm
Dapper Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 10:13 pm

@MikeL — Mike. I am not apologizing for anything. I said nothing wrong or offensive. I did not mention Chandra’s race, ethnicity or birthplace.

For your feeble enlightenment, nearly all of Europeans tend to be taught to leave a space after the word and then the punctuation. This has absolutely nothing to do with race or ethnicity. It might indicate coming from somewhere outside the US. Our grammar rules do not teach to leave a space! (Example!)

Having said that, understanding that Chandra may not have grown up here would explain Chandra’s woeful understanding of what free speech really is and why it’s important.

You, MikeL. seem to be part of the chronically offended that see race and ethnicity as part of every single thing in your pitiful life. I feel sorry for you. You and your ilk are destroying this country. Here am I. Exercising my free speech.


Dapper Danville
Registered user
Danville
on May 18, 2022 at 10:19 pm
Dapper Danville, Danville
Registered user
on May 18, 2022 at 10:19 pm

PS: MikeL. You referred to Chandra as “her” in your post. Are you certain Chandra prefers to be referred to as “her?” Maybe Chandra prefers “he” or “they.” You should apologize unless you know Chandra and their preferred pronouns.

Such is the world we now live in.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 19, 2022 at 6:21 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 19, 2022 at 6:21 am

Dapper Danville - Your civics lesson is non sequitur given that Danville Police had no issue with with being present to monitor parents at SRVUSD board meetings and that Police were at the exact same location for protests in 2020. You fail to answer with your "civics" why the police were at both of these "free speech" events I mention but nowhere to be seen at the event mentioned in this article. Please explain with "civics" why the police should be questioning parents at school board meetings but not questioning masked white supremacists echoing the message of a mass shooter hours after the murders.

Also, you are ignorant for insisting that putting a space after punctuation is European. It's a carryover form typewriters. Some people are taught it, other are not regardless of the continent of their birth.


Rick Surewood
Registered user
Alamo
on May 20, 2022 at 12:15 am
Rick Surewood, Alamo
Registered user
on May 20, 2022 at 12:15 am

Dapper you’re the entity (don’t want to offend any fragile, victim hoarding, ignorant, social justice warriors). Truly rich and satisfying, and hilarious, to see their tactics used against them, guess they didn’t have the foresight to see that the tide might change against ‘em.

For anyone who may disagree with me and find the “protestors” and their signs offensive/appalling, it may be difficult to accept but you are the ones who created & fueled them.


Birkman Tillary
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on May 20, 2022 at 9:39 am
Birkman Tillary, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on May 20, 2022 at 9:39 am

@Rick Surewood,

Excellent analysis regarding social justice warriors and their tactics. I would also agree with you that the tide is turning, or, as I like to say, the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way.

Personally, I call social justice warriors groupthink gangsters. Groupthink is the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. College campuses, as one example, are rife with this psychological phenomenon. It’s the “join us or else” mentality.

I also view these social justice warriors as people who simply want power. It’s not their goal of achieving a stated outcome, it’s their goal to achieve power.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 24, 2022 at 6:33 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 24, 2022 at 6:33 am

Birkman Tillary - why is it that you nor any of the others regurgitating InfoWars buzz words without context can explain why the the Mayor felt that Police at the school board meetings to monitor parents that wanted kids to be maskless in school was acceptable yet monitoring people that are echoing the same sentiment as a mass murderer are left alone? Explain that please.


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 25, 2022 at 6:29 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 25, 2022 at 6:29 am

Dapper Danville is on point. ????????????????


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 25, 2022 at 6:31 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 25, 2022 at 6:31 am

Those question marks were supposed to be thumbs up


Birkman Tillary
Registered user
Walnut Creek
on May 27, 2022 at 9:43 am
Birkman Tillary, Walnut Creek
Registered user
on May 27, 2022 at 9:43 am

@ H

You have established one thing: you are not a fan of InfoWars. Well, I do not subscribe to InfoWars either. However, your quip about a mass murderer left me scratching my head. You equate a bunch of people (kids I assume) who fly a white lives matter flag with the same sentiment of a mass murderer? Egads! A tad overkill, don’t you think? Your reasoning is about as weak as Russian armor.

Your are upset about the fact that there was not a police presence while a small number of folk flew a flag. Why would there need to be a police presence if those who flew that flag were peaceful? Would you say the same about those folk who carried a BLM flag, and burned down buildings? I can cite numerous incidents where people with BLM flags and apparel were anything but peaceful; unlike some school board meetings that have actually had their fair share of threats, name calling, and violence.

By golly, Mr. H, let’s just ban everything unless there is a police presence nearby!





.




H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 30, 2022 at 6:30 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 6:30 am

Birkman Tillary - why can't you answer a simple question without hyperbole - why did the Mayor have Danville Police follow people asking questions at a public meeting yet do nothing in this case? You clearly have a reading problem because I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of the Mayor saying the Police can't do something that they've clearly done in the past.


H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on May 30, 2022 at 6:33 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on May 30, 2022 at 6:33 am

Birkman Tillary - Don't bother answering. It's clear to me you don't have any original thoughts on the matter. Since your are limited to regurgitating what you see in some facebook memes, you don't have the tools to respond to my basic question comparing local events.


Malcolm Hex
Registered user
San Ramon
on May 31, 2022 at 3:01 pm
Malcolm Hex, San Ramon
Registered user
on May 31, 2022 at 3:01 pm

What the H?

Now H, did the mayor of Danville actually order police to follow people and ask them questions at a public meeting?

The mayor of Danville is not the chief of police, nor is he in their chain of command; unless of course you assume the mayor ordered the chief of police to have his officers follow people. And keep one thing in mind: the police are beholden to the law, not the mayor.

Now H, I am definitely in your court if this alleged act by the mayor occured. As for the people waiving the WLM flag(s), they have every right.

But one wonders... What if the WLM flag was replaced by a Confederate flag? Or, what if the BLM flag was replaced by a Black Panther Party flag?

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.



H
Registered user
San Ramon Valley High School
on Jun 9, 2022 at 7:24 am
H, San Ramon Valley High School
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2022 at 7:24 am

For the ones here spewing buzzwords while ignoring reality - there were TWO police officers at a regular SRVUSD school board meeting on June 7th to monitor parents. Why does the mayor think this is fine but makes excuses why it's wrong in this case here?


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:27 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:27 am

A demonstration such as this makes participating white Contra Costa County protestors look like avid followers of Tucker Carlson.

And no one in their right mind would want that.


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