I “like” several local news/info pages on Facebook — East County Today, Antioch/Brentwood/Oakley News, Take Back Antioch — and the bottom-feeding level of discourse that transpires on these sites never ceases to amaze me.
It’s always the same mantra (or variations on the same theme):
- “Section 8 blah blah blah…”
- “If only they’d allow concealed carry yada yada yada…”
- “Richmond and Oakland ghetto thugs and so on and so forth…”
- “Liberal politicians soft on crime wah wah wah…”
It shouldn’t surprise me. At all. I grew up in the ass-backwards city of Antioch, so I know more than I’d ever want to about the kind of ignorant, reactionary, hillbilly yahoos that populate the area. But you’d think that, as the region has grown exponentially in number of residents, and as the complexion of the population has become more diverse, a little sophistication, a little enlightenment might have crept in somewhere. Somehow?
On the face of it, East Contra Costa County has a lot going for it: awesome, seemingly endless rolls of magnificent oak savanna-covered foothills; ubiquitous chaparral shrublands; multitudinous tree stands of every variety; a stunning waterway (the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta) and associated wetlands; six regional parks (Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Contra Loma Regional Park, Bay Point Regional Shoreline, Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline, Big Break Regional Shoreline, and Browns Island); and three State of California parks (Brannan Island State Recreation Area, Franks Tract State Recreation Area, and Cowell Ranch/John Marsh Property State Historic Park). Plus glorious weather for most of the year.
The only missing elements are class, culture, and sophistication. And tolerance. Rather than a celebration of diversity, we have god, guns, and an intense fear of “socialism” and folks with brown skin. And this only seems to have grown worse over time.
California has a reputation for being “liberal”…. and, well, it is fairly progressive in the more densely populated urban areas. But most of the state — including the fair city of Antioch — cannot accurately be termed liberal. Truth is, the Golden State is largely inhabited by moronic bumpkins who chug down reactionary propaganda like it’s Mountain Dew on a hot day.
No intelligence necessary.
No critical thinking required.