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African Americans face discrimination

March 9, 2013 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

IRVINE, Calif., March 9 (UPI) -- Blacks make up only 2 percent the population in Orange County, Calif., but are the target of more racial discrimination than any other group, a survey found.

Nearly 30 percent of African-Americans who participated in the non-scientific survey, conducted by OC Human Relations, said they had been racially profiled by police, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

OC Human Relations -- a combination the county's Human Relations Commission and the private, non-profit Orange County Human Relations Council -- carried out the survey in response to an incident in Yorba Linda, in which a black family was forced to flee the county after months of attacks and acts of vandalism that were suspected to be racially motivated.

In a series of public listening sessions at churches across Orange County, OC Human Relations heard from 144 people -- including a woman who said a company executive was taken aback when she complained about the Confederate flag on display at his office, and a high school student who said classmates had planned to KKK costumes and "lynch" black people at Halloween.

A military veteran told the panel he was pulled over for a traffic violation in 2002, taken to a police station for questioning, and was not permitted to call his wife to let her know where he was.

OC Human Relations Deputy Director Alison Edwards said she hoped the listening sessions are "a starting point" for "a larger conversation" about racial discrimination.

"There are too many places in this great country of ours, even right here in Orange County, where the promise of opportunity and privilege has been rescinded by acts of intolerance and prejudice," Thomas Parham, a member of the organization 100 Black Men of Orange County, said in December.

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