The government of Palm Springs, California, is declaring a war on so-called “racist” trees that line a golf course.The city plans to spend $169,000 to remove the trees, which were planted in the 1960s between the perimeter of the course and a minority neighborhood.
The tamarisk trees were plants on the border between Tahquitz Creek Golf Course and the African-American community living in Crossley Tract, along with a chain-link fence, to separate the two areas. Some residents argue that the trees are a painful reminder of past segregation. Many longtime residents of the neighborhood previously told The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun they believed the trees were planted for racist reasons in the 1960s, and remained a lasting remnant of the history of segregation in the city.
Tucker Carlson, noting that many new things have been declared racist in 2017, spoke to one of the residents on his show Wednesday night.
Trae Daniel said when Tahquitz Creek Golf Course was built, the clear intent was to separate the course from what was at the time a new housing development.
“Why are we punishing the trees? We’re killing them,” Carlson argued, adding that the people responsible for planting the trees died long ago.
Daniel said the trees are “nasty” and environmentally-unfriendly, but they also prevent African-American homeowners from enjoying the benefits to property values of living along a golf course.
According to USA Today and The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun, the residents of the bordering neighborhood “said the invasive tamarisks, which block views of the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course and San Jacinto mountains, have artificially depressed property values and prevented black families from accumulating wealth in their property over the past half century.”
Along with citing the questionable purpose of the trees, residents also claimed that the invasive species have been lowering their property values, as they block views of the golf course and San Jacinto mountains.
Council member Roberts apologized to the residents of Crossley for the mistakes committed in the past. He also said that he, along with the other council members, would work towards making alterations so that future generations don’t have to go through the same issues the current and earlier generations faced.
Roberts told Crossley residents in the meeting: “You asked why it took us this long. I can’t answer that. But guess what? We’re here now”
Mayor Moon stated that he and Roberts had a combined experience of only four years on the council and the issue with the trees only recently came to their attention. Moon also stated that in order to get an idea of the problem, he visited the residents of the neighborhood as soon as he heard about the trees. Both Moon and Roberts promised the residents that the Crossley neighborhood had the support of the whole council.
“It’s a new city council and a new time,” Moon said.
Watch the full interview above.