Black and thinking of Moving to San Francisco, Don’t do it!
Another Black History Month with pomp circumstance and the countless hollow speeches are taking place all over San Francisco. Does anyone notice it is only a matter of time, Black people living in San Francisco will become history?
The 1970 Black population of “Everyone’s favorite city” was, a hundred thousand according to city records. The latest census says, Blacks account for just under 47,000 of the 825,000 city’s population.
Cost of living is blamed for Blacks leaving but as a long time resident, I am skeptical. This has been going on for more than 40 years. I see cleverly camouflaged racism, a condescending attitude towards Black residents, disrespect and a pattern of marginalization coming from City Hall as the root causes of so many to pack up and leave.
When the San Francisco Giants moved from New York to San Francisco in the 1950s, of all people Willie Mays, was denied the opportunity to purchase a home in the neighborhood he preferred simply because of the color of his skin. For the same reason my father, in 1963 had to purchase his San Francisco home in the name of a White female friend.
Blacks should be warned. Considering a move to San Francisco for a place to call home? Don’t do it! Unless you are a glutton for the punishment due to marginalization and disrespect, you stand little chance of taking full advantage of the pursuit of happiness in San Francisco.
San Francisco has not changed from the city that rolled out the unwelcome mats for Willie Mays, my father and countless thousands, who answered the call of, “Go West young man, go West.” What has changed is the fact that the ill treatment of Blacks in San Francisco today comes with a very deceptive smile.
In 2009, former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom commissioned a study that resulted in a detailed report, which consisted of a who’s who list of experts on, everything San Francisco. This report, updated in 2012 is now the responsibility of Current Mayor Edwin Lee, a former civil rights attorney.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), first formed in 1964 to deal with the discrimination against Blacks at the time is set to, commemorate fifty years of fighting against discrimination in the city.
According to my email box, press releases from the HRC commission president comparing the work of his commission to the work of Nelson Mandela in one statement, the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in another and reminding Blacks that this is Black History Month in a third, only fools, fools. Fifty thousand less Blacks living in San Francisco in 50 years of HRC fighting discrimination against Blacks, does not resemble Dr. King, Nelson Mandela or any other civil rights champion in history, let alone offers no hope for the future.
January 1, 2014, the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce has threatened a “Boycott” of the city’s travel and tourism industry due to the lack of Black business participation in that industry. Call me cynical but history tells me that once a few crumbs are thrown at the Black chamber they, will rollover and call the threat of boycott a success after hearing a take it or leave it statement from White business leaders.
Finally, when you say BayView Hunters Point in San Francisco, you think Black people. The BayView Hunters Point is the last strong hold that Blacks have in the city, even though Blacks do not make up the majority population in this southeastern part of the city. Unfortunately, one might also think, crime.Though the BayView Hunters Point has the most stable home ownership of the entire city, most of the news reported from this section of the city is related to young men getting shot, killed or an elderly person who was robbed.
January 17, 2014 Mayor Ed Lee gave his “State of the City” address at, the old San Francisco BayView Hunters Point Shipyard. He boasted of his vision for the future of San Francisco. Then promised a new housing development for the forgotten part of the city where he stood smiling. In my opinion, knowing less than three weeks later another change was coming concerning the Black residents of the city.
A developer selected a former administration, sub-contracted the work to revitalize this once thriving BayView Hunters Point Shipyard with one major change. With no respect of what the name BayView Hunters Point might mean to the longtime Black residents of the area the sub-contractor announced a new name for the development: “San Francisco Shipyard.”
Unless a Black person is willing to move to San Francisco and contribute to reversing the current trend of disrespect of Blacks by city leaders, I say don’t do it!
Benjamin Franklin said, “Experience is a dear teacher and a fool will learn no other way.”