Oakland D.A.: White victims "harm" her office

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

It really is unfair, you know.

White victims of crime are a real pain in the ass for the Oakland D.A.’s Victims Services Division. It’s almost like they think they count or something.


That’s the lesson being taught in Oakland to the people charged with helping crime victims trying to navigate the frustrating world of being a crime victim.

It’s the next step in the ideological movement that classifies everybody except White people as victims. As we all have heard by now, if you are White you are privileged, so quit whining about that assault you suffered.

The story comes from Heather MacDonald, an invaluable commentator and contributor to the also invaluable Manhattan Institute.

After “antiracist” consultant Karen Fleshman finished a training in Oakland, Calif., she took to Facebook to express pride in her work: “Great afternoon training Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s Victim Services team in ‘How to Serve White Victims.’ Madam DA Pamela Price is my shero [sic] and mentor. She is a lifelong warrior for justice with compassion.” A few days later, Ms. Price thanked Ms. Fleshman for her “wisdom and support.”

But when I started asking questions about the June 26 training, suddenly trainer and trainee didn’t want to talk about it. Ms. Fleshman didn’t respond to my queries. Neither did the head of the district attorney’s Victim Services Division, Kristina Molina. Ms. Price’s press officer, Patti Lee, told me that she deals with the press, whereas I, as a think-tank employee, have a “specific point of view.”

The Victim Services Division consists of social workers who help crime victims obtain psychological and financial support. Ms. Fleshman’s PowerPoint slides reinforce the idea of dividing victims by race. (Photos of those slides circulated among Oakland’s law-enforcement community, one of whose members forwarded them to me.)

One PowerPoint panel lists the session’s “Key Takeaways.” Among them: “White people are not entitled to harm you”; “When interacting with white victims, speak up for yourself or for your coworkers”; and “If a white victim continues to harm you, ask that they be transferred.” The slide also asserts that “white victims are entitled to the same compassion and practices as all victims,” but the rest of the slide is at odds with that message. It’s unclear how white crime victims “harm” government employees. Another panel from the training asserts that “White Supremacy Culture” is characterized by “Perfectionism,” “Objectivity,” “Sense of Urgency” and “Individualism.” Perhaps it’s harmful to expect government employees to respond to crimes objectively and urgently.


“If a white victim continues to harm you, ask that they be transferred.” Think about that one for a minute.

What kind of “harm” is being done? Asking for “objectivity?” Perhaps a “sense of urgency?” Or, maybe, they ask to be treated as an individual and not a faceless avatar of an entire race?

Yes, that kind of harm. They are White, after all. And White is bad apparently.

Meet the new racism, same as the old racism. The only difference is not in kind, but rather the intended victim. The old racialism and the new are exactly the same in intent. The excuses change but the effect is the same. New words and new excuses replace the old–in Jim Crow times Blacks were claimed to be “lazy” and “not rational,” while in modern America Whites are “privileged” and thus deserve to be derided.

Oakland’s D.A. Pamela Price is at least consistent. Her racialist policies don’t merely apply to victims but to perpetrators.

An April 14, 2023, “special directive” from the district attorney’s office creates a presumption that prosecutors will foreswear higher sentences for particularly egregious crimes if those higher sentences would “result in disparate racial impact.” If a white person uses a gun during a crime, or if a white gang member commits a robbery, he might face an enhanced sentence based on that gun use or gang membership. If the defendant is black, however, he will be charged at the lowest possible level to avoid “disparate racial impact.” Only if a prosecutor receives permission from his supervisor may he pursue a higher sentence for a black defendant. Other reasons for forswearing a so-called sentencing enhancement are if the crime was “connected” to “childhood trauma” or if a defendant’s prior felonies were committed while he was a juvenile.

Ms. Price has announced that probation will be a prosecutor’s presumptive offer for all misdemeanors and for felonies that are statutorily eligible for probation. If a particular felony isn’t probation-eligible, prosecutors will charge the lowest possible term of confinement, unless a supervisor approves a higher charge.

Crime in the county, which surged after George Floyd’s death, hasn’t relented. As of July, Oakland’s homicide count was up 80% over 2019, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Car break-ins were up nearly 90%, and assaults were up 40%.


Just as the KKK in the Deep South could terrorize Blacks once upon a time without facing serious consequences, Price’s policy is that Black criminals can terrorize others. If you are under 18 the chances are good that no punishment at all be dished out even for violent crimes.

This isn’t merely unfair, undemocratic, a rejection of the decades of Civil Rights work and law; it is really really stupid, too. If distributing power based on race is a good thing, as Price apparently thinks it is, then I have news for her: In most places, Whites are still the majority. Blacks make up only 12-13% of the population, and chances are good that a lot of other minority groups would be just as happy to band together with Whites to push back against criminals.

Racialist policies create racism, and a genuine resurgence of racism against Blacks would be a very very bad thing for Blacks as a group. What is grumbling today may turn uglier tomorrow.

If color-blind policies are a bad idea then the alternative is non-color-blind policies. And non-color-blind policies aren’t just bad for society but are bad for minorities in particular.

The only reason that the backlash hasn’t happened yet on a large scale is that most Americans of all colors instinctively understand that “individualism” isn’t just good for individuals but for everybody in society. Racism is stupid and morally wrong; it is shameful to treat people differently just because of their skin color.


But the new rules being pushed by the DEI/Equity crowd put race first, and when they have power they disadvantage people of races they disfavor. And I can assure you that once enough people sense that injustice is being done they will push back. An increase of assaults by 40% will do that.

Ironically, a lot of the pushback on the crime policies will likely come from Blacks themselves. They like the increase in crime no more than anybody else and are smart enough to see that increasing crime harms their community disproportionately. The criminals by and large aren’t targeting White people, but easy prey of any color.

When Obama was elected in 2008 people expected a new post-racial era; what we got was a new era in race relations, but for the worse. It is a sad legacy of the Obama era, but a predictable one. The race-baiters like Al Sharpton saw an opportunity and took it, and Obama chose to follow their path rather than the one of reconciliation.

I live in a majority-Black neighborhood, and my neighbors are as bothered by crime as much as I am. The pattern I have seen is that Blacks older than 40 get along well with Whites, and racial attitudes harden the younger you get. Perhaps that is because the older population has seen racial tensions ease, while the younger have been steeped in racialist rhetoric.

For whatever reason, racialism has metastasized and is getting uglier. That is bad for everybody. It might turn out to be worst for Black Americans.


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