FONTANA -- (January 23) A group of about 20 Fontana residents and local activists gathered yesterday evening outside of Randall Pepper Elementary School to commemorate the 1945 firebombing of the house owned by O'Day Short, an African-American targeted for racist violence for challenging white supremacy in the segregated city by daring to purchase a house on the south side of Baseline Avenue. Short, his wife Helen, and their two children Barry and Carol-Ann were all killed as a result of the December 16, 1945 firebombing.
As we talked, several themes emerged. One topic that stuck out was how little known the crime was, even among lifelong residents and people deeply involved in the community.
Many people made mention of the history of Fontana and the area, including one man whose family had suffered from the persecution of Mexicans. Some went even further back: "There was a village here in Fontana, it was called Wasingna if I'm not mistaken, and I went to the Fontana historical society. . ." However, when this person asked for help locating the village, society members replied, "Oh, those people, they moved around a lot." The speaker added: "Thousands and thousands of years of habitation. And these white people around here, excuse me, but these people that colonized this place, they still wanna say, 'Oh, they're nomadic,' or 'they didn't have title to the land,' all this stupid shit."
Full story and pix: Vigil for O'Day, Helen, Barry, and Carol-Ann Short, killed by racist terrorists in Fontana by Rockero