Hating California

Eureka California

I’m not sure if its envy, but there some Americans who struggle to admit they like California. There are some media outlets who routinely show the same few blocks of the homeless in San Francisco and Los Angeles, leaving the viewer the impression those blocks represent the whole of the cities.

I am reminded of the amateur filmmakers during San Francisco Pride, who would only film men in drag or masculine looking women in the parade. The edited videos gave the viewer the impression that those participants validated gay stereotypes. The reality, those participants made up 10% of the celebration.

Lake Tahoe

My family is from Texas and Oklahoma. My family was part of the large migration to Northern California to work in the Shipyards in the San Francisco Bay during the forties. As a child, my brother attended an integrated Elementary school in Richmond. Looking at his fourth grade school photo, there were Chinese, Filipinos, Whites, Mexicans and other people of color in his class. I came along more that a decade later. The first Californian in my immediate family.

Legend has it, I was different, from the way I spoke, to what I ate, blame California

As a kid, I didn’t grow up in a mono world as my family did. My friends came in every hue, as a result a lot of people in my family didn’t get me and I didn’t get them. I didn’t experience the racism they experienced in the south and didn’t share their mistrust of whites. Yes, there is racism in liberal California, but it wasn’t the same.

As as child, I remembered hearing family members pronouncing cailfORNIA in a sarcastic tone, I’m going back to Oregon and you can keep cailfORNIA, you couldn’t pay me to live here. I don’t remember anyone in my family having anything negative to say about Oregon or Texas.

As I drove across the country, my license plate would elicit comments, “oh he’s from California” “Charge him more, he’s from Cailfornia-he can afford it”


A few years ago, I rented a Chrysler Pacifica Minivan and played tour guide for a dear friend and his family from Louisiana. The tour started in the Napa Valley, where they saw their first geyser

Old Faithful

From there we went East to Sac, through the mountains where there was his children saw snow for the first time, to Reno where we stayed the night. We did the Buffet and drove through Carson City (Nevada’s State Capital) to Lake Tahoe where my friend and his middle daughter wept at the beauty of Lake Tahoe. No one on record has seem him emotional before. We drove along the entire lake stopping for pictures. Then southward to Yosemite for a two night stay.

They saw Carmel and the Monterey and then a slow drive up the coast to San Francisco. and the Bay. The teenagers especially liked Berkeley’s Telegraph Ave near the University and the street vendors that lined both sides of the street. They commented on how weird the people were and they had never seen so many people smoking weed on the streets before. “Couldn’t get away with that in Baton Rouge” We visited the obligatory tourist spots in San Francisco, Oakland, and Alameda before returning home. Someone wanted to see the queers in San Francisco ( I always find that interesting) I took them to the Castro, no one wanted to get out of the van.

Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
Lake Merrett, Downtown Oakland
Dolores Park, San Francisco
Steam Trains in Tilden Park Berkeley

At the end of their stay, I received warm hugs from the family. With the exception of the Wine Country, EVERYONE had a good time………

Monterey, California

A few years later, I learned that he down played his visit to California, he wasn’t impressed. This was the man who wept at the sight of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.

What happened, what changed?

I learned in some circles, having nice things to say about California, means your accepting the liberal lifestyle that some people believe is odd.

My cousins from the Dallas area, where impressed after Robin Williams acknowledged me in Macy’s San Francisco . We weren’t friends, he knew me from the Rental Car Company ,I worked at near Union Square. He signed autographs for them and from that point forward, I was the boss.

Years later, it became, why hasn’t he put you in one of his movies, since you guys are friends, nasty! They made up stories about Gays in the city, “men wanting to be women and one approached him and he had to fight him off. They were in the city for less than two days and we were all together, out side my church, they didn’t meet any gay people.

Overseas, California is a big deal. People assume San Francisco is right next to Los Angeles and they ask questions about living here and visiting the ocean and Yosemite.

Half Moon Bay

In the last few years, hating California has become of a thing. With some, celebrating people leaving the state. With most of the noise coming from the South and the Midwest.

Its expensive to live and operate a business in a Beautiful state like California and Hawaii. If your family makes less the 100K, the entire state is pricey and you get more bang for your buck in Texas, Nevada and Arizona.

With the exception of food, most things are simply more expensive.

The trade off are the vistas above. A diversified economy that not only feeds the world. An economy that has made the world smarter, with its computers, made cell phones technology what it is. Leads the nation in recycling, wind and solar. Entertains the world and one of the world favorite places to invest money in.

A few years back, I considered leaving Sacramento for parts of the country were my Washington’s go futher. But life is more than a 2500 square foot home. It’s why many New Yorkers and San Franciscans stay in their tiny homes and apartments.

It’s an ideology, that no amount of square footage can overcome. The wealthiest school district in Texas actively discriminating against children of color.

An ignorance, feat, and anger of someone who believes, looks, or worships differently. California isn’t exempt from this ignorance. The difference is , it isn’t legislatied. Laws intended to discriminate.

We have an educated workforce due to early investment of education. Junior College in California is lower than most other states.

Like New York, California is attractive to the Wealthy.

Cailfornia is the only state where you can ski and snorkel off the warm waters of the ocean in the same day.

In Texas, you can buy a nice house, but when you think of a lifestyle beyond an Old Navy Store your not thinking Texas.

International Travelers, do not dream of visiting Texas, Arizona or Georgia. California is the place they want to be.

Despite all of the celebrating of the demise of California Most of their children dream of living here.

Continue, to hate on the Golden State and we’ll see you next year.