donate or subscribe
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

Black and thinking of moving to San Francisco? Don’t do it!

February 25, 2014

by Allen Jones

Another Black History Month with pomp, circumstance and countless hollow speeches has been taking place all over San Francisco. Does anyone notice it is only a matter of time until Black people living in San Francisco will become history?

Hunters Point Shipyard condo, town home construction 090413 by Michael Short, SF Chron
As construction begins on what the Chronicle calls “a handful of condos and town homes” at the Hunters Point Shipyard – now marketed as the “San Francisco Shipyard” – it appears the promise that at least half the jobs would go to Hunters Point residents is being ignored. – Photo: Michael Short, SF Chronicle
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 city’s 825,000 people.

Cost of living is blamed for Blacks leaving but, as a longtime 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.

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 city’s 825,000 people.

San Francisco has not changed from the city that rolled out the unwelcome mats for the great 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 Black out-migration study that resulted in a detailed report from 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 50 years of fighting against discrimination in the city.

According to my email inbox, in press releases from the HRC’s former chairman, he compared the work of the commission to the work of Nelson Mandela in one statement and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in another and reminded Blacks that this is Black History Month in a third – only fools, fools. Fifty thousand fewer 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 offer any hope for the future.

Fifty thousand fewer 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 offer any hope for the future.

On Jan. 1, 2014, the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce 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 all it takes is a few crumbs thrown at the Black chamber and they’d roll over and call the threat of boycott a success after hearing a take-it-or-leave-it statement from White business leaders. So far, however, they’re standing strong.

Finally, when you say Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, you think Black people. Bayview Hunters Point is the last stronghold 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 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 and killed or an elderly person who was robbed.

On Jan. 17, 2014, Mayor Ed Lee gave his State of the City address at the old 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, he must have known that less than three weeks later another change was coming concerning the Black residents of the city.

A developer selected by a former administration subcontracted the marketing of the redeveloped Hunters Point Shipyard with one major change. With no respect for what the name Hunters Point might mean to the longtime Black residents of the area, the subcontractor 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 for Blacks by city leaders, I say don’t do it!

Unless a Black person is willing to move to San Francisco and contribute to reversing the current trend of disrespect for 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.”

San Francisco writer Allen Jones, author of “Case Game: Activating the Activist,” can be reached at (415) 756-7733 or jones-allen@att.net. Visit his websites, at http://casegame.squarespace.com and http://sf49erfanrevolt.squarespace.com.

 

28 thoughts on “Black and thinking of moving to San Francisco? Don’t do it!

  1. Seamus

    It's too expensive. That's why all the hipsters are moving to Oakland. It works out well for us in Oakland because the hipsters are fixing up their houses in W Oakland and it's getting nicer/safer to be there.

    Forget San Francisco. Come to Oakland!

    Reply
    1. renaldoricketts

      Please move opff of fantacy island and take off the white suit -you and the midget -the plane the plane is never coming on your plain.

      Reply
      1. Seamus

        Okay. Just being inviting. Sheesh.

        My friends keep saying San Francisco is all hoity-toity now (pardon spelling) & just for rich people. It's a market econ & property value thing. I'm just saying Oakland has nice stuff, but everybody doesn't have their nose up in the air like is commonly found in SF.

        Reply
  2. renaldoricketts

    SF is a gentrified city, a euphemism for racism. The city planners had a plan for the last 40years to move Black people out of the city,and how did they plan to implement this racist policy . It was simple first we don't hire them, that knocks them out the ballpark.

    This city relies on tourism to keep it afloat ,the hospitality industry it brings in 20 billion a year and Blacks are excluded from it. When was the last time you had a Black waiter in a tourist locale? This is SF covert racist policies and plan to eradicate Black people from the city, some may say prove it, it's been proven look at the demographics,we're down to 3 % of the population down from 17% 30 yrs ago.

    This is the collective unspoken in racist SF simply don't hire Black people in he hospitality industry. We're ostracized in the arena of employment this is our SF treat and it ain' "rice a roni" -it's more like we smile and we're phoney.
    The jive has hit the fan,and they are simply fanning the flames of racism as they continue to move Black people out of this city for the yuppy white middle class, the last bastion of Blacks is Bay View Hunter Point and the whites have taken it over slowly but surely. The facade of this being a liberal city has been exposed as a cruel joke ,we're decreasing exponentially.

    Reply
    1. shesays

      James says:
      “If the Africa American community been in the bayview for 40 plus years… How come it did not thrive?!!! Other communities seems doing fine. Immigrants came here less than 40 years seems to be doing just fine. Seems like too much blame games here.”

      This pretty much sums it up for me as well.

      Reply
      1. shesays

        To elaborate, if the African-American community is so strong and has earned the right to be a part of this larger society, why did they not teach each other trades, build a supplemental education system, organize events and promote business directed towards tourism, etc.? It seems we have a lot of complaints and not a lot of action toward Self-Improvement and Positive Community. It’s getting pretty ridiculous watching the same old shit while fingers are being pointed every which way.

        Reply
  3. John Mulligan

    Let's discuss crime Renaldo. A couple weeks back, a 17 year old black girl was shot by her 14 year old brother. The 17 year old had a 3 year old child. The 14 year old also had a baby. The 14 year old shot his sister for a laundry mistake. This didn't even make statewide news, let alone national. It's too common to stand out. Their dad was on parole, just got out of prison, said they were both good kids; normal. Normal? 14 year olds having babies? Who's on the corners in the Tenderloin, being loud and aggressive? Who's beaten Asian senior citizens to death? Before you bring up slavery and Jim Crow, let's just talk about the last 30 years. Every single article on this website is geared towards freeing prisoners, stopping gang injunctions and crying racism. In effect, it's a flat denial of what is painfully obvious in the black community to every single other person in the City. Why do you think no one cares that the Bay View is changing?

    Reply
  4. Roy

    You know, I say that blacks should make a migration back to San Francisco and stand strong. I bought a house here and of course, I was looked at differently by whites as well as my own. We are not failures and we have just as much right as anybody else to own property and live where we want. Of course, a better education will help but that’s exactly what they want is for us to throw in the towel. Blacks need to not give into the modern day “Willie Lynch” and realize that no matter where we go, be it here, Oakland, or Los Angeles, there will always be racism. We need to stand strong and not give in because I won’t be ran out of this city.

    Reply
  5. James

    What does this have to do with racism? Why is the race card being throw around so easily. If the Africa American community been in the bayview for 40 plus years… How come it did not thrive?!!! Other communities seems doing fine. Immigrants came here less than 40 years seems to be doing just fine. Seems like tol much blame games here.

    Reply
  6. plague rodent

    nothing stays the same as regards where people live “”” change “”” it happens constantly in society .. people should live in regions that they can afford

    .. period …

    Reply
  7. Roman

    There are two reasons why the black population in San Francisco is dwindling. 1) The culture. The bay area culture is one where frivolity reigns. Just watch any prime time TV show, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a white culture, where stupid quips, cornball conversation, hollow, shallow relationships exist as the norm. Quirkiness, zaniness, weirdness, anything-goes behavior is not the same as class, substance, character, depth, and true tolerance and inclusion. The later is what defines black people. It’s akin to a black person wanted to be among the main characters in the show “Friends”. It’s not that the black person is not witty, funny, and likeable. It’s that he/she doesn’t fit in with the absolutely stupidity that underlines the show and defines the foundation of the main characters. In this culture, Asians exist by focusing on the STEM subjects, practicing severe separatist behavior, and sticking to their own while pretending to be a part of the overvall culture of superficiality and frivolity. Hard for a black person to remain dignified and professional among the “land of the larks”. 2) The needs of the uneducated must yield to the needs of the educated. Such a beautiful city is going to be in demand, and if you don’t focus on high educatoinal achievement, you’re going to have to leave, while those who do, are able to get jobs and afford it. Black people as a whole don’t embrace high educational achievement. Medical schools, law school, PhD programs in the STEM subjects, should be flooded with applications from black people, not just Asians, Indians, and whites. There shouldn’t be 2 black graduates in engineering per 100 graduates. There should 70-80. Less than 1% of the black population shouldn’t be embracing high educational achievement, 99+% should. These are the people who have a chance of making it in SF.

    Reply
  8. D fat one

    Is it racism or that SF is getting too expensive for the poor? This Mission district of the '60s was predominantly hispanic. There's a huge influx of whites now. The Fillmore was largely black and a no-go zone for non-blacks back in the '60s. It's a lot different today as Pacific Hts. residents have been moving in. Property in SF is expensive. That's hardly racism. The poor move to more affordable locations like Antioch. The Po' (Potrero Hill for you non-San Franciscans) is shrinking too as half the hill is middle class now (just don't walk your dog at night).

    Is it racist that some folks refuse to improve themselves? I've met blacks who couldn't write their name. They won't learn at school and in so doing they stack the economic deck against them. Whose fault is that? Certainly there are smart blacks and I've worked with them. One of the smartest guys I've worked with who happened to be black was both a MD and a lawyer. I told him he would be the nation's first Atty-Surgeon General.

    Rather, that simply scream racism, which is a cop out in my opinion, I'd point my finger at the welfare system that encouraged the break up of the black family structure. I'd blame the system of dependency whether it is EBTs, public housing, Sect. 8 housing and other government sponsored dependencies that encourages victimhood among blacks and every other race. I blame the degenerating culture that is promoted by Hollywood too. It's cool to be ghetto. Yeah. How's that work out when you're middle aged and penniless?

    Reply
  9. sfresident

    blacks in san francisco are getting what they deserve. i remember going to middle and high school with these people and omg they are worthless. because of that experience i would let my children be near them.

    Reply
    1. Future SF resident

      Your vast generalizations present your ignorance and synonymous nature to the people you speak of during your middle and high school years. If you don't learn anything else in your life, please do not generalize people. I do not know your ethnicity, but I am 100% sure someone who looks like you have committed a plethora of heinous crimes. Do you think it is right for someone to group you in the category with criminals birthed with the same skin color or ancestral history as you?

      Reply
  10. SFCbuscompany

    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

    Reply
  11. Arc Condos

    No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.

    Reply
  12. artistsalleyvip

    He who travels much has this advantage over others – that the things he remembers soon become remote, so that in a short time they acquire the vague and poetical quality which is only given to other things by time. He who has not traveled at all has this disadvantage – that all his memories are of things present somewhere, since the places with which all his memories are concerned are present.

    Reply
  13. Jimmy McCoy

    Dalas, San Francisco … after last week, I think that the situation will be almost the same. No matter where you are moving, you should expect tense atmosphere.

    Reply
  14. fc buscompany

    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements