San Francisco’s Monument to A Racist Past Hides In Plain Sight

The Polk Street Pol

jherman plaza Justin Herman Plaza badly needs to be renamed.

“There is no moral difference between the facts of life in Birmingham and the facts of life in San Francisco.” -James Baldwin, 1963

For progressive white people who live in liberal northern cities, there’s a persistent myth that racism is something that happens somewhere else and is perpetrated by other people. Racism doesn’t happen in San Francisco, California, it happens in Charlottesville, Virginia. Racism doesn’t come from well-meaning Democrats, it comes from hostile Republicans. It’s a false dichotomy, and it completely ignores the role of systemic racism in perpetuating inequality.

Is a Black person in Virginia more likely to have the N word yelled at them than one in Boston? Perhaps, though it certainly happens in both places. But even if you allow that overt racism might be more common and persistent in southern cities or in rural areas, it’s impossible…

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