It was interesting to read the perspective of 80-year San Mateo residents Arleen and Ed Johnson on recent events (“San Mateo mural,” July 25 edition). However, I was surprised that folks who have personally witnessed so much history do not recognize the intent behind “Black lives matter.” Of course “all lives matter.” The point is that the phrase “all lives matter” isn’t truly accurate until “Black lives matter too.”

Surely, the Johnsons have seen much of this over the course of their lifetimes. They must remember when, as young people post-World War II, people of color were only allowed to live in certain parts of the county. Burlingame was off-limits to nonwhites, and in San Mateo, Black families could only own homes east of El Camino Real and west of 101. They must have seen photographs in local newspapers of Black civil rights leader Amelia Boynton knocked unconscious by state troopers at the first Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. They must have noticed the decline in San Mateo County’s Black population from a high of 35,000 in 1980 to only around 20,000 today — directly in line with the growing intensity of our housing crisis. And surely, they must have heard about Chinedu Okobi being tased to death in 2018 by San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies in Millbrae.

Many white people, myself included, have been forced to confront how our country has been deeply shaped by racism, including today. Even in your 80s, it’s never too late to learn.

Mike Dunham


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(17) comments

Gloria Gael

So, San Mateo has never had a race problem? You must not be aware of the many neighborhood covenants that once existed to keep black and brown people from buying in certain neighborhoods. Is that not a race problem? If you were black or brown, you would certainly think so. Chris, you want to control every aspect of what happens in San Mateo. Well, guess what? San Mateo doesn't revolve around you.

Cindy Cornell

Christopher Conway: "The good news is that San Mateo County has never had a race problem." Exactly where does that fact come from? Polls? Surveys? If it's coming out of your own person-to-person experience, might you not tell us how many people of color you even asked? So many of your comments (and many they are!) carry the message that only people who were born here should have an opinion or work for change or make policy. How long does a person have to live here to qualify as valid in your metrics? Oh, and by the way, I was born in SF and have lived in San Mateo County for over 70 years, so I guess I am qualified to challenge you.

Christopher Conway

My biggest beef with liberal progressives Cindy is they seem perfectly fine moving into a well run community and then start to complain it needs changing. Anyone can challenge my positions, that is fine, but when you start to try to change policy and you just got here, your policies and agenda are going to be questioned and dismissed. San Mateo County does not have a race problem. Period.


Cindy, Chris has never agreed any of us with a democrat thought, nor has he ever had the wherewithal to further his education by taking a Black History class at CSM like the one Dr. Zelte Crawford taught years ago. He has never rode the Freedom Train nor sat down personally and spoken with Mayor Mack. Old family money = my way or no way.

Christopher Conway

Never have and never will, Mayor Mack have never talked with me, which is the way you should have wrote that.


"you should have wrote"? Too early in the morning, Chris?

Tommy Tee


Your superior private school education has failed you. Your grammar is atrocious. Let me correct it for you: "Mayor Mack HAS never talked with me, which is the way you should have WRITTEN that."

Normally I wouldn't correct people, but you constantly tout the superior Catholic School education you received.

I went to public school, just saying.


Well, Cindy, - some of the comments have proven the heading wrong: for certain individuals, it IS apparently too late to learn! Or, perhaps it has always been so?

Dirk van Ulden

"Many white people, myself included, have been forced to confront how our country has been deeply shaped by racism, including today." Speak for yourself Mike. This country has made many changes, including the disastrous Civil War, to rectify the racism that you speak of. You have some nerve berating senior citizens without knowing who they are and what they stand for. Please keep on wallowing in your guilt-complex.


In reading your comment about the disastrous Civil War one might think you are disappointed the South lost and had to free their slaves.

Tommy Tee

Conway--again, you spout nonsense with no evidence whatsoever. You previously claimed "new people" are the ones who want BLM murals. Now another unsubstantiated claim that only "new people" complain about racism. Where's the proof? It's like watching Fox News. I highly recommend you get your head out of the sand, unsubscribe from Trump's Twitter account, and wake up to reality.

Christopher Conway

Tommy- calm down. What is the history of the author? how about we start with that. I will not stand by and watch a left leaning political maneuver used to gain control over our political, judicial and law enforcement in my city or county. Divide and Conquer, District Elections and know the race card. All tactics used by the left to limit your power and increase those of special interests who divide us even further. You get your head out of the sand and be part of the solution and not the problem. And yes, I am tired of people new to town telling citizens how they must feel and what they must do. Save the guilt trip for those who are naïve, not buying it.

Christopher Conway

The good news is that San Mateo County has never had a race problem so we don't need to be spoon fed that Black Lives Matter like we are children. Always interested to see that those who are new to this area are the ones complaining about racism. BLM is a political movement that has no room in our city or county. Race hucksters are coming out of the woodwork, just ignore them, they are trying to create a problem that doesn't exist. They are trying to divide us and they use the topic of race to do it.


Be sure to send a copy of your comment to the your racist leader, Donald Trump, the race huckster himself. He has spent his entire life supporting racism and is trying to divide the country every day he is in office. You must have seen his latest action to limit fair housing laws so the "suburbs" can discriminate again.

Christopher Conway

OK TAFHDYD, anything you say


Chris ask Lynn Swann about your statement.

Christopher Conway

Why would ask Lynn Swann about my statement?

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