White supremacist graffiti mars the base of the 5th Street Bridge. Photo by queerbychoice.

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Racism has long been a serious problem in the Yuba-Sutter area, yet significant anti-racist breakthroughs have happened here too. Back in 1886, Marysville, Wheatland, and Nicolaus all violently drove all their Chinese residents out of town, permanently destroying what had been thriving Chinatowns in each. Yet only two years later, in 1888, Wheatland elected Edward Park Duplex as its mayor—making him the first African-American to be elected mayor of a western United States city.

Today, the white supremacist prison gang Aryan Brotherhood is active in the Yuba-Sutter area, and a great deal of more subtle racism also persists.