Sister Cities Project / Uncomforta(blog)  / When Injustice Rains: Racism’s Contribution to the Flood in Southeast San Diego

Amid the ongoing flooding that continues to batter San Diego, a painful reality persists – not all communities are weathering the storm equally. The hardest-hit are the underserved neighborhoods, especially Southeast San Diego, where faulty and neglected infrastructure is grappling with the relentless rain, echoing historical injustices deeply rooted in racism and redlining practices from the 1930s.

The Legacy of Redlining:

To comprehend the tragedy unfolding in Southeast San Diego amid the ongoing rain, we must confront the dark legacy of redlining. Decades ago, discriminatory lending practices systematically pushed Black families into specific neighborhoods, such as Southeast San Diego, branding them as “undesirable.” These redlined communities not only faced restricted access to housing but also endured a relentless cycle of declining property values, resulting in a persistent lack of investment that spans generations.

Decades of Neglect:

The neglect that Southeast San Diego is currently experiencing didn’t happen in isolation. As redlining confined Black families to these neighborhoods, systemic disinvestment took root. The basic necessities – schools, healthcare, and crucially, infrastructure – were left to decay. Roads and drainage systems, essential for weathering the forces of ongoing rain, were overlooked, setting the stage for the current devastating consequences.

Faulty Infrastructure and Ongoing Disasters:

As the rain continues to inundate Southeast San Diego, it lays bare the fragile state of infrastructure that has long been ignored. Decades of inadequate investment leave the community vulnerable to disasters that could be mitigated with equitable resources. From crumbling roads to overwhelmed drainage systems, the ongoing rain vividly exposes the human cost of neglect.

A Call for Equitable Investment:

The ongoing tragedy in Southeast San Diego serves as an urgent plea for equitable investment in historically marginalized communities battling the current flooding. It is a call to address past wrongs and dismantle the cycle of neglect amid the ongoing rain. Prioritizing infrastructure improvements, flood prevention measures and community resilience programs is crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents amid the ongoing weather challenges.


The ongoing flooding in San Diego lays bare the harsh reality faced by Southeast San Diego communities, where the intersection of historical injustices and current neglect amid ongoing rain culminates in a preventable disaster. We must confront the systemic issues perpetuating inequality and demand change.

There is an immediate need for Humanitarian Aid. Everyone in San Diego County lives within 45 minutes of Southeastern San Diego, these are our neighbors! Consider a contribution to help trusted local organizations working tirelessly on the ground. They badly need funds.


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