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Even Today, Historical Failures Stifle Diversity

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["What Message Does This Sign Send?" by jm3]

Here is a topic that may generate almost as many angry comments as our post comparing the Mission and Marina: according to the Christian Science Monitor (and pretty much everyone else), blacks are abandoning San Francisco. Er. Um. Yikes.

The evidence seems pretty much impossible to argue with: blacks make up 6.7% of the population, down from 13.4% forty years ago. Gavin went so far as to form a task force (a task force, people) a few years ago to combat "out-migration." The article goes so far as to interview an African-American hipster who had to move to Oakland to find the community that she wanted to find in San Francisco. Er. Um. Yikes.

This is super-hard for us to write about, because the development of the historically African-American neighborhoods is so very complex -- historically, politically, racially -- that it just isn't possible to talk about it without sounding like you have an axe to grind or money at stake or a suspect point of view. Of course everyone means well; but the city's ever-diminishing diversity is a clear indication of how far good intentions will get you.

But one reason this problem persists is that fear of addressing it. So what do we do? How can we do what's really right? Who knows. The best we can offer for now is a ton of links for learning more about what happened; and hopefully, one day, enough smart people can learn enough about about what went wrong that they can help us all turn things around.

· Blacks abandon San Francisco
· What's Really Wrong with the Lower Fillmore [SF Weekly]
· Black exodus emergency [SF Bay Guardian]
· Western Addition Displacement Reparations Bill Moves Forward [Beyond Chron]
· San Francisco communities fight racism, gentrification [Socialism & Liberation]
· Tackling racism and segregation in San Francisco schools [Chron]