msn.com 18 Sep, 2020 02:45 am

People of color were systematically denied fair access to public beaches. Here's how to fix that.

Coastal property deeds often featured racially restrictive covenants that denied communities of color fair opportunities to live along the coast.

San Diego Union Tribune p Dog Beach in north Del Mar is empty on a normally busy Sunday afternoon on April 5, 2020 when San Diego County beaches were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune) p Recent social movements have renewed attention to racial injustice across the U.Even in San Diego, a heritage of inequality underlies our most treasured resource: our beaches.Although San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline belong to the public, beach access (particularly for inland-dwelling communities of color) remains hamstrung by a history of housing discrimination, the legacy of which is upheld today by local planning decisions, which are dominated by a vocal minority of coastal homeowners.

To understand how public beach access is an issue of racial inequity, we must first examine why the demographics of San Diego’s coastal neighborhoods are primarily White.After the displacement of San Diego’s original inhabitants, the Kumeyaay, a history of discrimination persisted.

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