He sings the praises of Santee's nice homes, many dining and shopping options, the Drive-In and Sonic, great parks and hiking areas- but right off the bat he denounces the pejorative often heard, but rarely discussed in print:
Of course, the stereotypical nicknames given to the jewel of East County don’t help its cause. 'Klantee' immediately comes to mind, which really makes no logical sense whatsoever. In fact, the 1920s San Diego Ku Klux Klan branch operated out of a building located on Idaho Street and University Boulevard in, of all places, North Park.
The question of Santee's reputation concerning racism has been raised before. A local high school student recently displayed an artwork titled "Is Santee a Racist Town...?" at a West Hills High art show. And, Santee Patch blogger Christal Ferris touched on this subject in her blog "Racism: Santee’s Diversity Stigma":
Since living in Santee, I have yet to experience racism as I did growing up in Texas. I am thankful for this, but there is still a shame associated with living in Santee. Each time I inform someone where I reside, the immediate response is, 'Oh, you live in Klantee?'
Immediately, I go on the defense and ask, 'Well have you ever been to Santee?' Every time the response is the same, 'No.'
This gets to Bailey's next issue- that many students think Santee is far away and not worth visiting.
"The way they say, 'Oh, you’re from Santee,' insinuates the town is some barren wasteland past the borders of San Diego County where dinosaurs go to die."
The piece highlights many of Santee's great features, and hopefully more students are now aware of what treasures lie just beyond Cowle's Mountain. Bailey encourages readers to explore the "mysterious oasis called Santee."
"In short, Santee isn’t nearly as scary as people think it is. It’s a growing community where businesses pop up left and right to serve the hard-working, middle-class citizens living there."
COMMENT: What do you think about Santee's reputation and the slam "Klantee"?