The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Are politicians, not police, to blame for violence in Anaheim?

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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A line of police officers protect Anaheim City Hall during demonstrations to show outrage for the fatal shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, at Anaheim City Hall on July 24, 2012 in Anaheim, California. Diaz was fatally shot on July 21 by an Anaheim police officer and has sparked days of protests by the angered community. Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images

For most Americans, Anaheim is known as the home of Disneyland. But it's also a real city, home to 350,000 people, with more than half of them Latino.

Just a generation ago Anaheim was predominantly a white town, but the emergence of a Latino majority has not meant a greater role for Latinos in the city's leadership and political structure.

Protests and violence have flared since two young men were killed in police shootings last weekend, but some observers say Anaheim has been spiraling downward for years. They blame a schism between the city's leaders, and the mostly working-class population.

One of those is Gustavo Arellano, editor of the OC Weekly. He grew up in the city, and still has family there. In an opinion piece published today for NBC Latino, Arellano refers to Anaheim as the 'Tragic Kingdom'. And unlike the protestors who are directing their anger toward the police, Arellano says the problem is the city's leadership.


Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly editor, raised in Anaheim, and author of "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America"

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