Huntington Beach Locals Revive Bias Against “Inlanders” – the ‘909er’ Stereotype

by on September 24, 2013 · 5 comments

in California, Culture, History, Ocean Beach

 Huntington Beach map

By Paloma Esquivel / Los Angeles Times /  September 21, 2013

For years, a stubborn divide between youth in Orange County’s beach communities and those who visit from the inland has been summed up in the term ‘909ers,’ a less-than-flattering reference to an Inland Empire area code that — in beach slang — has come to mean anybody east of the county line.

Its popularity has waxed and waned but resurfaced with a vengeance in the aftermath of the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach in July.

When the weeklong event ended in a chaotic night of broken windows, street fights and a mess of tossed food, word that 909ers were to blame spread quickly among locals, despite the fact that only three of the 12 adults arrested were from the Inland Empire. The rest were from Orange County, San Gabriel Valley and Ventura.

By the next day, residents in Huntington Beach and neighboring beach towns pointed toward the Inland Empire as the source of the bad behavior. Someone even created a Facebook page called Go Home 909ers, warning that “Southern California Beaches are for LOCALS ONLY.” When an end-of-summer beach rave was staged this month, some worried about the 909ers it might attract. Though the event drew thousands, there were few problems.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

rak September 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

Ah, human nature; the old “us” vs. “them” mentality. We see it operate at so many levels. On the small scale, it may be OBceans vs. non-OBceans, then coastal community vs. those east of I-5, and so on up the scale to out-of-state “Zonies” and nation state rivalries. In some weird way it reminds me of Reagan’s 1987 remarks to the U.N. General Assembly where he ruminates on the likely unifying effect on humanity of an alien invasion. While that may be true, I believe that as sentient beings we have the ability, even when we perceive “others” as being different from us in whatever distinct ways that are true, to emphasize and place a higher value on seeing how they are the same as us in even more important ways. I guess the challenging part is how to instill in the world at large that sense of importance on the value of emphasizing our shared humanity.


obecean September 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Aint “shared humanity” where speculators, earth rapers and developers, loan sharks (predatory lenders), and the rest of the profiteers and exploiters are “involved” in our community. Jus’ sayin’…..


Goatskull September 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

A bit irrelevant. This is about us vs. them due to the geography of where people are from.


Debbie September 25, 2013 at 7:09 am





Goatskull September 25, 2013 at 9:35 am

My favorite spoof ode to localism.


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