Did Peter Liu, Oakland Mayoral Election Candidate, Violate Hate Crime Laws With Tweets About African Americans?

Pwter Liu OaklandPwter Liu Oakland (Photo courtesy San Francisco Chronicle)
Peter Liu With Gun Campaign Photo

Peter Liu With Gun Campaign Photo

Did Peter Liu, the Oakland Mayoral Election Candidate, violate local and California Hate Crime Laws with his Twitter tweets About African Americans?

Peter Liu is the Oakland, California Mayoral Election candidate who’s running for the office held by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for a second time, the first time being in 2014.

Over the course of his three tries at elected office (for Mayor of Oakland in 2014, then California Governor and Mayor of Oakland), Mr Liu has used the twin attention-getters of race and violence to draw attention to himself. His campaign logo includes the use of a gun turned to form the “L” in Liu, and he would, at times, make entries in social media that were racially charged – and African Americans were the focus seemingly all of the time. But this time during his second go at running for Mayor of Oakland, Peter has used language that’s troubling.

Peter Liu, in my opinion, is bad for Oakland and in violation of Oakland’s Hate Crime Law. This must be stated in the wake of several race-related incidents in Oakland, most notably “BBQ Becky” and “Jogger Joe”, as well as the more recent race-based harassment faced by Jordan Cordova by Lesleigh Franklin about two weeks ago to this date.

And the reason is Liu’s Oakland African American-directed Twitter tweets like this one:

Look, this is nothing but Peter Liu being a backhanded racist: in the tweet, Mr. Liu says he’s running for Mayor of Oakland to get rid of racist stereotypes against blacks “NOT African American” but invests a great deal of time throwing up his own racism about us in the same tweet. Peter could have just said “I’m running to stop racism” but he didn’t do that.

And on top of that, I was just informed of that racist tweet on Saturday, August 18th and thanks to another candidate for Mayor of Oakland, Jesse Smith. Peter’s tweet has been up since June 9th of this year, but the Oakland media has not pointed out his racism at all. And Peter Liu Twitter tagged ABC, NBC, Fox News, KRON 4, and East Bay Times, to name some of the media outlets – but not one mention about Peter’s racism.

But one media outlet I won’t mention did not hesitate to find something wrong with an African American male candidate, Chris Young, who ran for Oakland City Council District Four, and his problems with legal certification – during the time Mr. Liu, the Oakland Mayoral Election Candidate went on his racist Twitter rants, including with that publication! Thus continuing what in my opinion is the mainstream American and Bay Area media habit of finding any little examples to try and communicate an idea that African Americans in politics are shady in some kind of way, yet ignoring anyone who may be a true wrong-doer because they’re not black.

Everyone will tell you that Chris Young, the former aide in the 2008 Obama For President Campaign, was an excellent candidate for the “D4 seat,” and earned the endorsement of the Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf as well as Oakland City Council District Four Representative Annie Campbell Washington. So, while Chris’s reputation was being attacked by both media (and some Oakland elected officials and political observers) Peter Liu was and is literally showing his racism out there for all to see, and yet the media failed to present it, as if it was OK.

Just ‘Peter Liu being Peter Liu,’ is how his actions are regarded, as if his being mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel in 2014 made him cool, or something.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with seeking attention – everyone does that to some degree, and it’s completely hilarious to watch people who do things to get attention waste time explaining why they’re not doing that, and thereby gaining more attention. But using racism as a campaign tool to gain attention is vile, and that’s putting it kindly. And that’s not the only time Peter’s done it on Twitter.

Take a look:

And that’s not all folks: Peter Liu’s Twitter account reveals what can only be called an unhealthy obsession with the act of posting African American stereotypes. All of which proves Mr. Liu’s June 9th 2018 tweet was completely dishonest – he has no peaceful interest in getting rid of racist stereotypes against African Americans. And, Mr. Liu is running for Mayor of Oakland and has gained the required number of signatures to be on the November 2018 ballot.

Why is this OK, and Peter Liu’s not considered as violating Oakland’s hate crime law? In 2001, my friend, Oakland City Attorney (and now Irvine City Manager) John Russo, issued a letter announcing what was the toughest hate crime legislation in America. The Russo-led Oakland City Attorney’s Office wrote: “Under California law, hate crimes are acts of violence, threats or intimidation toward any person on the basis of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation,age, disability, position in a labordispute, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of these characteristics.”

Why Peter Liu’s not acting in violation of Oakland’s Hate Crime Law with respect to “threats or intimidation”, when he openly expresses dislike for blacks on Twitter, and under the color of the idea that we commit crimes, and then writes “against Asians” (forgeting the number of statistics that would destroy his racist claim)? Where’s Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker on this?

Peter Liu Oakland Mayor Race Photo From 2014

Peter Liu Oakland Mayor Race Photo From 2014

If Peter Liu thinks that and is willing to express an idea that’s consistently and frequently issuing black stereotypes on Twitter, what’s next? Given the spate of race-related violence we have seen of late, why should we let Peter off the hook, considering he has posted photos of himself brandishing a gun, and then writes that “we should be armed and vigilant” against blacks, because he considers “enough” of us to be bad. It’s one thing to be what I call “race conscious” in pointing out that a singular crime was one by someone who happens to look a certain way, but Peter’s not doing that – he’s saying that blacks as a whole (or as he says ‘some not all’) are a something, or do a something that’s considered bad.

Folks, that’s racist. Period.

He tweeted that:

Peter Liu’s running for Mayor of Oakland, for God’s sake – have we lost our collective minds and our nerve as Oaklanders?! Oakland is supposed to be a “hate free” zone – Peter Liu didn’t get the message and the media certainly didn’t either.

It’s no wonder fellow Oakland Mayoral Race (I prefer “Oakland Mayor’s Race” because it sound’s cooler) candidate Jesse Smith wanted to fist fight Peter Liu and said so on Twitter, making some good points, along the way:

Whatever. The fact is that by allowing a candidate for Mayor of Oakland to behave the way Peter has, we permit the degradation of the Office of The Mayor of Oakland, and send a signal that we’re allowing racism to tarnish and damage a City that clams it’s a “hate free zone” but, of late, has shown no real interest in proving it.

Oakland can start by enforcing the California State Hate Crime law with respect to Peter Liu. I’m not suggesting his name be removed from the ballot, but that Oakland law enforcement investigate his actions on social media with respect to the law. In my view, Peter must be made to stop this racist behavior, or get out of the Oakland Mayoral Election.

Consider this: what would you make of a candidate for mayor who posts comments on social media universally considered racist, then posts photos of himself with a gun, and says he’s a war veteran? I’ll leave the conclusion to you, the reader.

And no fist fights, Jesse Smith! Enough of this! Challenging him to a fight just equalizes his platform to one that Oakland has worked for decades to craft: no race hate. Period.

Stay tuned.

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Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media

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Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media