San Francisco ‘Tech Bro’ Complains to Mayor That He Has to See Poor People in Despair
Tech entrepreneur Justin Keller stoked San Francisco’s growing reputation for insensitivity to the misery of the impoverished by telling Mayor Ed Lee in an open letter that he is “outraged” that wealthy workers, who he says “have earned their right to live in the city,” have to see people in pain and despair.
“I am writing today, to voice my concern and outrage over the increasing homeless and drug problem that the city is faced with. I’ve been living in SF for over three years, and without a doubt it is the worst it has ever been,” Keller wrote on his blog. “Every day, on my way to, and from work, I see people sprawled across the sidewalk, tent cities, human feces, and the faces of addiction. The city is becoming a shanty town … Worst of all, it is unsafe. …”
“The residents of this amazing city no longer feel safe,” he continued. “I know people are frustrated about gentrification happening in the city, but the reality is, we live in a free market society. The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it. I shouldn’t have to worry about being accosted. I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day. I want my parents when they come visit to have a great experience, and enjoy this special place.”
At The Guardian, Julia Carrie Wong made this observation:
It’s a familiar story. A male entrepreneur (some might even call him a “tech bro”)—flush with the sense of self-worth and self-satisfaction that comes from living and working in a city and industry that treats him and his friends as the most important and intelligent human beings ever to grace a metropolitan area with their presence—takes a moment to think about homelessness. Not content to wrinkle his nose and move on with his day, he types those thoughts out. He publishes them on the internet. […]
While Keller is not alone in his frustration that there are nearly 7,000 people living in San Francisco without homes, his letter is distinctive for its total lack of sympathy for the plight of those in difficult circumstances, focusing instead on the discomfort the “wealthy” […]
Keller does not propose a solution to San Francisco’s complex and intractable civic conundrum, though he does seem to cite approvingly the controversial “sweeps” of the homeless during the recent Super Bowl festivities […]
Of course, Keller will likely only be the pariah of the internet for the next few days, while San Francisco’s homeless people are made to feel like the pariahs of the city every day.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Wait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.