It's a crazy, ugly picture -- too much tech cash is chasing too little land and too little living space on a naturally gorgeous peninsula. No wonder people want to live here, but "here" is a rapidly changing, violently discriminatory, reality.
People who read this blog may know that I am also Walking San Francisco's 596 precincts, trudging both sides of every street and posting a smattering of snap shots from each small electoral area. I began in late 2012 and expect to finish by the end of 2021; I've completed 430/596 today. The photos are more focused on homeowner idiosyncrasies and architecture than on people, but I've met and photographed hundreds of San Franciscans.
And recently I've realized I'm experiencing what feels like an anomaly. I know well the historical description of Black displacement I've recited above. Yet in nearly every little electoral area I explore, I seem to see at least one Black person. Then I got a glimmer. Black people "stick out" because none of these places (except by the rock outcroppings under the projects in the movie; I've walked there) are Black communities. The remaining Black people in this city live "mixed in" among other San Franciscans.
The pervasive feeling of loss in this city is not just, or even primarily, an individual agony; it is communal. Feeling safe and at-home as an individual is a demographic privilege that accompanies knowing one has, somewhere, a community home-place. Whites enjoy it in this city most everywhere; some people of some Asian origins have it in some parts of the city; LGBT people of diverse "races" have it in some areas; Latinx people have it in shrinking locales and must live in fear of losing it; Black people can almost no longer claim it at all. Such is San Francisco today.