Sunday, September 30, 2007

What's wrong with San Francisco/Bay Area politics ex#3875: Don Santina: "Ethnic Cleansing in San Francisco"

In which Don Santina calls the gentrification of San Francisco "Ethnic Cleansing". Such self centered little idiots in the Bay Area political culture. Yeah, I'm sure the neglect of inner cities and the rise of developers interested in converting working class and poor areas into upper class condo neighborhoods is exactly the same as coming to a Bosian family's door, in a Serb town, and demanding that they leave or be shot on sight. What fucking arrogance. I was looking for some glimmer of hope that the use of the term in the title was some kind of very dark, sarcastic, humor, but no, this guy actually seems to think that the term ethnic cleansing is appropriate to describe San Francisco gentrification. Why don't we just call Mission District gentrification an attempt to commit genocide against the Hispanics of San Francisco while we're at it? Maybe after it's a done deal call the redevelopment the San Francisco Holocaust.

And this isn't an isolated incident. On Counterpunch very recently there was an article that objected to the press that the Jena Six have been getting by strenuously arguing that Oakland too has racial strife. No shit. We already fucking knew that, and to suggest that people are unaware of that is self centered narcissism taken to such an extreme that you can't tell your ass from a hole in the ground anymore.

I could literally go on and on with this, with articles by people who think that because Berkeley was one of the political centers of the 1960s and 70s that somehow the Bay Area has been baptized as something more important than the rest of the country, where everything that happens there is magnified in importance a thousandfold beyond what it otherwise would have.

Oh and I love how Santina dismisses talk about gang violence in San Francisco by suggesting that there's an insidious all white gang that's even more dangerous and that they're developers and politicos. Give me a break. While that may in some abstract way be a cute statement, anyone who has actually come in contact with gang culture in a major metro area will tell you that the Crips aren't exactly morally equivalent to developers. Saying that they are is typical pseudo-Stalinist moral equivocation.

This type of thing is one reason why I'm increasingly drawn to a heretical position with regards to California: like Los Angeles more than San Francisco. In comparison to all of the ink people from San Francisco spill writing about the Bay Area and its problems there's precious little online devoted to Los Angeles, which you could reasonably argue has things worse than San Francisco does. But L.A. doesn't have Berkeley! It's not as hip and cool as the Bay Area! Not quite as obviously fun to write about.


Anonymous said...

Well spotted John. I've found that by 'Topping-and-tailing' the anarchist narrative you lose a lot of data-smog at both ends. Then when you confirm what you hear in the middle of the crowd you have something reasonably concrete to work with.
Works the same in any country.
Hasta luego los solidarios

Alex Walker said...

O.K. Granted, "Ethnic Cleansing" is over-the-top, but what exactly is the substance of your objection to Don Santina's article? Did you actually read the damned thing? I honestly do not understand your volcanic over this particular commentary.

In a nutshell, he is blowing the whistle on the important fact that supposedly super-liberal Democrats Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi are literally selling out the interests of working people in San Francisco for filthy-rich corporate interests fixing to sell prime real estate to "Yuppies"

Notice I did say "working people." You call yourself a "Leftist." Are you on the side of big business against "working people" or are you one of those old, "Angry White Men" who think the only "authentic" working people are "White Ethnics" from Europe in the 1940s and "the coloreds" are all savage scum getting what they deserve?

If anything, Santina's article is a salutary antidote to this nonsense that the Democrats are the champions of "diversity" who "bleed" for the poor.

B.T.W. I live in Los Angeles and the same stuff is going on here. If we keep letting the powers that be -- both "liberal" Democrats and "conservative" Republicans -- continue to divide us and rule us by manipulating this idiotic "race" nonsense we'll all end up as Wal-Mart's bitches.