What will change in San Francisco with Chesa Boudin gone?

Happy Juneteeth, everyone! Last year, a reader pointed out that this is a holiday that celebrates white saviors so let’s look at Chesa Boudin, who became the ultimate white savior as the San Francisco District Attorney who wouldn’t prosecute anyone because prosecution is inherently racist. (Comment: “Juneteenth is the ultimate holiday for White Supremacy — it signals that blacks were incapable of independently securing their own freedom. They needed white men to fight other white men to free the hapless blacks from slavery.”)

California friends have been talking about “How San Francisco Became a Failed City” (Atlantic), timed to coincide with Chesa Boudin being recalled. Here are some excerpts from the article:

On a cold, sunny day not too long ago, I went to see the city’s new Tenderloin Center for drug addicts on Market Street. It’s downtown, an open-air chain-link enclosure in what used to be a public plaza. On the sidewalks all around it, people are lying on the ground, twitching. There’s a free mobile shower, laundry, and bathroom station emblazoned with the words dignity on wheels. A young man is lying next to it, stoned, his shirt riding up, his face puffy and sunburned. Inside the enclosure, services are doled out: food, medical care, clean syringes, referrals for housing. It’s basically a safe space to shoot up. The city government says it’s trying to help. But from the outside, what it looks like is young people being eased into death on the sidewalk, surrounded by half-eaten boxed lunches.

A couple of years ago, this was an intersection full of tourists and office workers who coexisted, somehow, with the large and ever-present community of the homeless. I’ve walked the corner a thousand times. Now the homeless—and those who care for the homeless—are the only ones left.

Do we blame Chesa Boudin, though? Why not the Covidcrats that mostly shut down the city with no plans for a restart? It wasn’t Chesa Boudin who made it illegal for a person to be an office worker or for a tourist business to operate. What do the health stats look like when a city follows Science?

San Francisco saw 92 drug deaths in 2015. There were about 700 in 2020. By way of comparison, that year, 261 San Franciscans died of COVID.

How about the stats on redistribution of wealth?

About 70 percent of shoplifting cases in San Francisco ended in an arrest in 2011. In 2021, only 15 percent did.

Immigrants are working hard in San Francisco’s best-known retail sector:

[Chesa Boudin] has suggested that many drug dealers in San Francisco are themselves vulnerable and in need of protection. “A significant percentage of people selling drugs in San Francisco—perhaps as many as half—are here from Honduras,” he said in a 2020 virtual town hall. “We need to be mindful about the impact our interventions have … Some of these young men have been trafficked here under pain of death. Some of them have had family members in Honduras who have been or will be harmed if they don’t continue to pay off the traffickers.”

The author, who is generally hostile to the direction that San Francisco has taken, follows this paragraph by stressing her agreement with the principle that all migrants must be cherished:

Of course there is good in what Boudin was trying to do. … No one wants immigrants’ relatives to be killed by MS-13.

Being 2SLGBTQQIA+ is not sufficient. A person must be 2SLGBTQQIA+ and of color in order to be selected:

One night in 2021, the [school board] meeting lasted seven hours, one of which was devoted to making sure a man named Seth Brenzel stayed off the parent committee. Brenzel is a music teacher, and at the time he and his husband had a child in public school. Eight seats on the committee were open, and Brenzel was unanimously recommended by the other committee members. But there was a problem: Brenzel is white. “My name’s Mari,” one attendee said. “I’m an openly queer parent of color that uses they/them pronouns.” They noted that the parent committee was already too white (out of 10 sitting members, three were white). This was “really, really problematic,” they said. “I bet there are parents that we can find that are of color and that also are queer … QTPOC voices need to be led first before white queer voices.”

San Franciscans came up with a good name for the University of Xbox:

In February 2021, [school board] board members agreed that they would avoid the phrase learning loss to describe what was happening to kids locked out of their classrooms. Instead they would use the words learning change. Schools being shut just meant students were “having different learning experiences than the ones we currently measure,” Gabriela López, a member of the board at the time, said. “They are learning more about their families and their cultures.” Framing this as some kind of “deficit” was wrong, the board argued.

New York City collapsed financially and from a quality of life point of view back in the 1970s. But Wall Street generated so much money that eventually NYC got it back together. The city government couldn’t waste every dime. San Francisco also has near-infinite money so presumably it should be able to recover from any missteps (even if the children who were denied a year of education will never fully recover from that).

What does the recovery look like, though? And what are our criteria for determining if a recovery has occurred? No more tents on the sidewalks? No more open-air drug markets?

My prediction is that the current residents of the city never recover from the mess that they’ve made for themselves. They never learn that all of the stuff they’re complaining about is actually stuff that they voted for. What happens is that they get replaced. Not only the Honduran drug dealers mentioned in the article move in, but also young nerds to slave away for the tech companies. The replacement process takes 7 years and then maybe it takes another 3 years for the city government to change. So the things that today’s white Progressives in SF complain about are mostly gone by 2032.

Readers: What do you predict?

(photo: Good Mong Kok Bakery, 2012)

24 thoughts on “What will change in San Francisco with Chesa Boudin gone?

    • 70% of SF residents are tenants and about half of SF residential units are rent-controlled. Only old age and death are going to make them go away. I know people who don’t live in the city but keep renting their cheap rent-controlled apartment because it’s cheaper than paying for a hotel the few days in a year they visit the city.

  1. I predict that you’re correct, or very close to it, but for slightly different reasons. I read the article and I disagree with this assessment: “The author, who is generally hostile to the direction that San Francisco has taken…”

    I didn’t read her tone that way at all. Instead, she struck me as *desperate* and the article was a *lament.* One long “sigggghhhhhhhh….but…but…” In other words, she only objects to the direction because it’s so IN-YOUR-FACE inescapable that it can no longer be swept under the rug. There’s no way to argue with scores of people twitching on the ground in terms of abstract idealism.

    As I read her though, she deeply *desires* for it to work. She still wants what Chesa Boudin was offering in the abstract. Next time, for sure! In fact, as soon as the acute problems are moderated a little, they’ll go right back to them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIBdVkJ9L-k

    Every left-liberal I’ve ever met has, at one time or another, been forced to temporarily admit that their ideals are currently unattainable, variously destructive or disastrous – but they *ALWAYS* think that Paradise is Just One More Try Away – and if only we could eradicate greed, capitalism, property rights, and all the rest, everything would fall into place.

    • The places where they are most successful at constructing a Socialist Paradise are certain university campuses – with all the attendant subsidy and everything else they entail, including all the new proposals to eliminate student debt by either making College free or forgiving all student debt until the taxpayer just pays for everything from one end to the other. You’ve done all the homework about the cost of a university education since the 1970s and ’80s, so you understand the arguments here very well. In fact, I think most Universities should be incorporated as their own cities now. We should just call big parts of Boston: “HARVARD” and big parts of Baltimore: “JOHNS HOPKINS.” But I don’t know how well the latter would go over – he’s a Dead White Male.

    • In fact, (sorry for the MPs) I once had an idea about how cities like SF could deal with their homeless/theft/drug problems: simply add Physician Assisted Suicide to the mix of services being offered at places like the Tenderloin Center, and train the social workers to offer it and promote it for anyone who has been sufficiently destroyed that their prospects for life going forward are “slim to none.” Then just give them the syringes full of Propofol and whatever else they use for PAS in other places dealing with chonic, end-of-life management. Combine Harm Reduction with Affirmative Removal.

    • It is said that politicians have three hats: One for throwing in the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of.

    • @randall g: And that is not a bad first-approximation assessment. I think we’ve all just graduated from a summer semester at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 🙂 The real trick is to understand which one they’re using at any given time.

  2. The Atlantic was among the first publications last year (around December) that started manufacturing consent for the Great Covid Reversal Policy in March.

    Now we are seeing consent manufacturing for more classic liberal policies, written gently so the elites will not have nervous breakdowns. The Party members will follow until The Party decides to change course once again, perhaps after the midterms.

  3. “My prediction is that the current residents of the city never recover from the mess that they’ve made for themselves.”

    This, I agree with.
    “young nerds to slave away for the tech companies. The replacement process takes 7 years and then maybe it takes another 3 years for the city government to change. So the things that today’s white Progressives in SF complain about are mostly gone by 2032.”

    I do not see any indication that the brown Progressives in SF are any better than their white comrades, if anything they are pulling even more leftward, and I do to anticipate any recovery from the situation the city is in in 30 or whatever years, therefore,

  4. The 7 year attrition is a phenomenon. No-one comes here because they like engineering or redwood trees. They want to get rich in a startup & get the hell out. They vote for stuff they have no intention of being around to pay for. All the coworkers from 2014 are gone. The group from 2000 is retired unless they invested absolutely terribly like lions did.

  5. Is San Francisco particularly unique as an American city? I can say that the symptoms that bedevil it seem to bedevil every city in the US, at least up and down the west coast. The disease it suffers from also afflicts Seattle to San Diego.

    • San Fran non-uniqueness in this respect is a rather weak consolation. However, there’s something special about the San Fran malaise in comparison to the others that I cannot quite put my finger on.

    • Luckily red states have no cities afflicted by poverty, homeless or drug addicts.

    • The answers are in The Atlantic article, which I think was an accurate and poignant lament from someone who believes deeply in the ideals of letting people kill themselves if they want to. Nothing can be done!

      “I learned you had to let your strangeness breathe.”
      “It was always weird, always a bit dangerous. Once, when I was very little, a homeless man grabbed me by the hair, lifting me into the air for a moment before the guy dropped me and my dad yelled. For years I told anyone who would listen that I’d been kidnapped. But every compromise San Francisco demanded was worth it.”
      “It’s so goddamn whimsical and inspiring and temperate; so full of redwoods and wild parrots and the smell of weed and sourdough, brightly painted homes and backyard chickens, lines for the oyster bar and gorgeous men in chaps at the leather festival.”
      “Stepping over people’s bodies, blurring my eyes to not see a dull needle jabbing and jabbing again between toes—it coarsened me. I’d gotten used to the idea that some people just want to live like that. I was even a little defensive of it: Hey, it’s America. It’s your choice.”

      And on and on and on. It’s just a temporary hymnal to Leftist ideals, which need to be temporarily shelved to stop all the people from twitching to death on the ground and embarrassing the shit out of them in front of the cameras.

    • Everyone should really read the article, which makes me want to vomit.

      “If and when the vulnerable person dies, that was his choice, and in San Francisco we congratulate ourselves on being very accepting of that choice.”

      It just keeps repeating itself: “We totally accept your destruction of yourself, and we also are too high-minded to do anything to stop you. Have a nice time killing yourself!”

      Then, when it gets a little too embarrassing, these assholes decide to write an apology for it. Next time, for SURE! Look, the money will keep flowing. The people who aren’t twitching in the street will be the administrative recipients.

    • The chick who wrote that atrocious article wouldn’t be troubled to spend a single moment of her life trying to save someone else’s, I’ll bet. If her own children decided to become heroin addicts, she’d just shrug her shoulders, tell them to “go on welfare” and then, if they died, it was “their choice, to be celebrated.”

      What kind of fucking death cult is that? It’s bigger than Jim Jones and more lucrative!

      https://www.thoughtco.com/the-jonestown-massacre-1779385

    • And I’m sorry to be this blunt, perhaps I shouldn’t be, but what big cities are doing, for the most part, is institutionalizing death cults. They don’t want to solve these problems! They “can’t” solve the problems with all their Michelin 3 star restaurants, but keeping them going is a huge “bleed” that requires more money, and more money on top of that, while they breathlessly lament and apologize for their temporary ugliness. Enriching the administrators is always the most important contribution, and I expect that to continue and grow as our economy gets worse.

      Everyone knows that once you wind up in Tenderloin Clinic, you’re already dead.

    • Alex: what is the Right’s answer to this problem, some kind of War on Drugs?

    • “Luckily red states have no cities afflicted by poverty, homeless or drug addicts.”

      Sure, they do. Texas certainly has (I live in Austin). However, all these cities have one thing in common – the city and county governments where poverty, homelessness and open drug use are evident are invariably controlled by Democrats.

      The difference is… even in San Francisco-light (aka Austin, TX) the bums aren’t trying to accost passer-bys aggressively. Unlike in San Francisco. I guess constitutional carry laws (and non-negligible percentage of population which does exercise their 2nd Am. rights) have something to do with it.

    • “Luckily red s̶t̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ cities have no cities afflicted by poverty, homeless or drug addicts.”
      Fixed that for you.

    • @sam ““Luckily red cities have no cities afflicted by poverty, homeless or drug addicts.”

      Do attempt to be coherent, or at least speak English?

  6. “What will change in San Francisco with Chesa Boudin gone?”

    Nothing. Another leftist will take his place.

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