Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Eternal return

When I first set out to explore my new city twenty years ago by walking down Market Street from the Castro to the Embarcadero, I discovered, to my surprise, that from Van Ness to Powell Street was largely an urban wasteland, a bit like the old Times Square pre-Giuliani. Yesterday I did a reprise of the 3.5 mile hike, and nothing has changed. The same lowlife in the midsection. And although SF's Black population is now only 7%, --half of what it was two decades ago--the majority of the street riffraff are Black. They overflow further into downtown, but the regular folks who work or shop outnumber them there.

(Oh, and for the sake of racial balance, I passed by the few tattered remnants of Occupy SF: a few die hard old white hippies and a bunch of white bums).

As I waited to cross one of the downtown streets, a silver sedan turned right off Market against a red light and, were it not for their leisurely pace, would have run into the two dozen pedestrians just stepping off the curb. They pulled back, but it was very close. Someone banged the car with a fist. The driver jammed on his breaks and stopped in the middle of the street, got out and turned around yelling at the crowd he had almost run down that he would whip the ass of the motherfucker what hit his car.

I have no hope that the race issue in America will ever be over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it. 8 May is the sort-of feast day of Julian of Norwich, who argued convincingly that "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

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