San Francisco joins atonement train, apologizes to black residents for past sins

Amid an epidemic of crime and sex trafficking, San Francisco officials have taken the time to issue an unrelated apology to black people.

Specifically, San Francisco’s 11 supervisors all voted in favor of a resolution Tuesday to formally apologize to black people for decades of alleged racism and discrimination, according to the Associated Press.

“On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors offers its deepest apologies to all African Americans and their descendants who came to San Francisco and were victims of systemic and structural discrimination, institutional racism, targeted acts of violence, and atrocities,” the resolution reads.

San Francisco joins another major U.S. city, Boston, in issuing an apology. Nine states have formally apologized for slavery,

According to the resolution. nine states have formally apologized for slavery. San Francisco joins one other major U.S. city, Boston, in issuing an apology, according to NBC News.

The apology resolution was one of over 100 reparations-related proposals that were made to the committee. Another proposal that didn’t pass called for every black San Francisco resident to receive a $5 million lump-sum payment and a $100,000/year guaranteed income.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, the only black member of the board and reportedly a “chief proponent” of the resolution, was happy with the vote, though he cautioned that more must still be done for black people.

“We have much more work to do but this apology most certainly is an important step,” he said.

Many black people appear to agree about the need for additional “work,” judging by the responses on social media:

Incidentally, the desire for wrongs to be righted has put the city supervisors in a position against Mayor London Breed, who herself is black.

According to the AP, Breed supports two measures, “including one to screen welfare recipients for drug addiction and another to give more powers to the police department.”

While these seem like positive measures, supervisor Dean Preston complained about them.

“People want an apology, but they also want a commitment not to repeat harms,” he said.

Cheryl Thornton, a black city employee, is another critic who wants “reparations in health care” because black people evidently have shorter lifespans.

“That’s why reparations is important in health care,” she complained. “And it’s just because of the lack of healthy food, the lack of access to medical care and the lack of access to quality education.”

Interestingly but weirdly enough, none of the supervisors nor city employees had anything to say about the crime and sex trafficking epidemic that’s been plaguing the city and ALSO affecting the quality of life for its black residents.

The trafficking has been especially bad in the city’s Mission District, where residents recently launched a petition demanding the city install 16 license plate readers in the area to discourage additional sex trafficking.

“San Francisco is failing the Mission District and its less privileged, mainly BIPOC constituents,” the petition reads. “The City has no consistent plan in place to prevent rampant and brutal sex trafficking infiltrating and degrading the neighborhood.”

“The situation is further exacerbated by reckless driving by the Johns which has resulted in countless hit and run accidents and violent traffickers who have vandalized homes and cars in the neighborhood. The overall impact is immeasurable harm for trafficked women and girls and for the Central Mission neighborhood, families and businesses. The city of San Francisco, due to its decades long neglect of the situation, is responsible,” it continues.

Just how bad is the problem? One anonymous resident told The San Francisco Standard that the trafficking has become “pretty overt.”

“We had a guest on her way back from visiting us, and she was approached as if she was a working girl,” the anonymous resident said. “My 18-year-old son has been accosted by a sex worker who asked him, ‘Do you want some p—y?’ Everyone is blatant. It is not discreet at all.”

“I’ve had my car sideswiped twice,” another resident said. “I’ve had sex workers go inside my yard and have sex on the side of my house.”

A third resident added that the Johns coming to buy sex tend to not give a damn about the people who live there.

“If you were to go [through the neighborhood] on any given night, the people who are driving have no regard for the safety of the people who live here,” the resident said.

“The way they drive, it seems like they are intoxicated. If I were walking when this activity is out, I wouldn’t feel safe on what is supposed to be a slow street,” they added.

Vivek Saxena

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