September 8, 2007


San Francisco hopes to reverse black flight (John Ritter, 8/26/07, USA TODAY)

African-Americans are abandoning this famously progressive city at a rate that has alarmed San Francisco officials, who vow to stop the exodus and develop a strategy to win blacks back to the city. In June, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed a task force to study how to reverse decades of policies — and neglect — that black leaders say have fueled the flight.

Black flight can alter a city's character. "It's important for a city's future that it be a diverse place, and San Francisco is drifting toward being an upper-middle-class city," says Ed Blakely, director of Katrina recovery for New Orleans.

According to Census estimates, the number of blacks here shrank from 13.4% of the population in 1970 to just 6.5% in 2005 — the biggest percentage decline in any major American city.

...and then wonder where the normal people went?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 8, 2007 1:48 PM

Our Diversity, who art in Diverse regions,
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy Diverse Kingdom Come
Thy Diverse will be done,
In Diversity, and in Diverseness on Earth
Give us in our Diversiveness our daily Diversity
And deliver us from non-diversity
and forgive us our racism (If we be non-pallored)
Lead us not into non-diversity
and deliver us from.... um... non-diversity, too, I guess...
For thine is the Diversity
And the Diversiveness
And the abscence of undiverse-ocity
For ever and ever.


Posted by: Andrew X at September 8, 2007 4:06 PM

What a crazy idea, to think that Black people would choose to live and raise their families among grungy street critters. Of course Black people move to safer, more pleasant environments as soon as they can. That's the whole point of spacial mobility, to get away social pathology. Get a good education, work hard, save your money, and your children won't have to go to school with maggots, as you did.

Now gross economic success may seem unfair as a determinant of fitness to locate in a safer place to live, but we cannot come up with a better.

San Francisco is a special case. Queers, and other childless perverts, bid up real estate prices, giving normal people even more incentive to bail out.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 8, 2007 4:17 PM

There's a long history in SFO of the "community" distrusting white liberals ... especially those white activists trying to "help". Sounds like it's worse now than when I was a regular visitor some 30 years ago.

Posted by: ghostcat at September 8, 2007 4:31 PM

When our son first moved to SF and found an apartment in Pacific Heights with a view to die for, we were thrilled. Then we visited. Drunks lying on the sidewalks swaddled in cardboard, and the views couldn't make up for the smells. Awful.

When we took our little grandson to Golden Gate Park, he run off the pathway chasing something and when we went after him, we came upon a homeless enclave. I don't know who were more startled them or us.

It was surreal.

Posted by: erp at September 8, 2007 5:27 PM

Ed Blakely, director of Katrina recovery for New Orleans

Who knew the "recovery" had direction? And more importantly, who would want this guy's opinion?

Posted by: AC at September 8, 2007 6:58 PM

Thomas Sowell writes often on this issue and is fond of pointing out that another contributing factor is the environmental regulations embraced by the demographic OJ calls out that makes it all but impossible to build new housing in the city and forces not only the propogating of sprawl but also Black flight.

Posted by: Qiao Yang at September 9, 2007 6:38 PM