San Francisco Hostile to Black People?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. red states rule

    red states rule Senior Member

    May 30, 2006
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    How can this be? The nations meca of liberalism hostile to blacks?

    Where is Al and Jesse on this?

    What will San Fran Nan do to solve this problem?

    Tasked with turning the tide

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    SAN FRANCISCO officials are putting together a task force to develop a strategy to preserve the city's rapidly declining African-American population, and possibly attract new African-American residents. This is a laudable goal, but at this late date -- San Francisco's black population has dropped from about 13.4 percent of the city to 6.5 percent over the last 25 years -- is there anything the city can really do? If so, are other San Franciscans likely to be as enthusiastic as are their officials?

    The mere fact that city officials feel the need to put together a "task force" to stem the bleeding of African-American residents to other communities reveals how far this ship has already sailed past the horizon. San Francisco likes to bill itself as a diverse city, but the numbers -- 53 percent white and 33.5 percent Asian, mostly Chinese -- expose its relative homogeneity in comparison with other cities, such as Los Angeles or New York. San Francisco has the lowest proportion of black residents of any large city in the United States -- even lower than Seattle or San Diego. Demographers have also noted that the African Americans who move out of San Francisco tend to be more upwardly mobile -- so that the few black residents who are left constitute a poorer underclass. Certainly the isolation of these residents -- about one-third of San Francisco's African-American population lives in the Bayview district, which is so separate from the rest of the city that it resembles a South African township -- underscores San Francisco's uneasy feelings toward them.

    It's this last point that truly underscores the difficulty city officials will have if they are serious about turning the tide. Yes, housing is expensive in San Francisco -- as it is in New York and Chicago, both cities that have had little trouble retaining their African-American residents. It's also true that San Francisco, and the West Coast in general, lacks the rich troves of African-American history that cities in the South, and east of the Mississippi, have to offer. It doesn't help that when San Francisco bulldozed the Fillmore District in the 1950s, it destroyed not only a vibrant community, but also the city's chance to create a repository for its own African-American history. That event, in fact, points to the real problem -- San Francisco's attitude.

    Want proof? Well, a number of complete strangers -- movers and shakers in Atlanta, a city where the African-American population has swelled over the last two decades -- enthusiastically shared their opinions with us on this issue, but former Mayor Willie Brown was too busy to call us back.

    What the Atlantans had to say about their city was that the city went out of its way to promote and embrace African-American leadership. "When we have a project here, I specifically call up the smaller businesses and the black-owned businesses, not just the big agencies," said Sonya Moste, director of marketing and public relations for the Atlanta Development Authority. "And it's not specific to me -- there's a culture here of looking to support people who're working hard, especially if they've been disadvantaged." According to advertising executive Sarah Lattimer, that civic culture, or what she calls a "non-divisive" atmosphere, has a snowball effect when it comes to attracting and retaining African-American residents. "There are so many of us who are doing well here, that we want to stay so that our children can have people to look up to," she said.

    We hope that this task force will give San Francisco the opportunity to prove that it can be equally open-minded. But given this city's history, we won't be holding our breath.

    This article appeared on page E - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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