A gentleman better known for creating controversy by flying the Confederate battle flag over his home, Joseph Ryan, once again demonstrated who he is by filing suit against the County of Los Angeles in an attempt to stop the return of beachfront real estate stripped from a black family, the Bruces, almost a century ago.
The County continues forward with restoring the land to its rightful owners.
Joseph Ryan, an attorney from Palos Verdes Estates, filed a complaint with the court in November seeking an injunction against the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Ryan argued the land transfer does not serve a public purpose and the state law recently enacted to enable it, S.B. 796, is therefore unconstitutional under California law. The Bruce family joined the County in defending against the lawsuit.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff, in a ruling issued April 14, rejected Ryan's argument, paving the way for the land transfer. The Bruce's are expected to take ownership of the land within months. The judge wrote that redressing a past governent wrong in order to remedy racial discrimination serves a public purpose.
Ryan did not respond to a request for comment. He drew attention four years ago for his practice of raising Confederate battle flags over his PVE home, which upset some neighbors. He is a Civil War buff who publishes a blog called "Joe Ryan's American Civil War." In a 2018 Daily Breeze article about his Confederate flags, Ryan noted that he also flies Union flags and said that he was simply trying to bring attention to the racial underpinnings of American history.
"I don't really give a damn about the politics of liberal idiots who want to look at that flag and say, 'Oh that's racist,'" Ryan told the Daily Breeze. "The last person you can call a racist is me."
Apparently, Mr. Ryan and I disagree on what a racist is.