Op-Ed: San Francisco Just Cemented Its Place as the Most Dim-Witted City in America


Fearing for its position as the most dim-witted city in America, San Francisco has once again proven that when it comes to half-baked simple-mindedness, it has no peer.

The city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee has recommended compensating black residents harmed by slavery. This would be bad enough on its own lack of merit, but slavery was never allowed in old San Fran.

Out to prove the adage that “none of us is as dumb as all of us,” this brave little band of bureaucrats persevered to find a suitable punishment without the necessity of a crime.

The committee, using the most tortured and convoluted progressive logic, concluded that if the city wasn’t guilty of slavery, it must be guilty of something.

These woke warriors say the city imposed decades of racist policies that economically harmed black residents and thus owes them compensation. They decided reparations should be offered to individual black residents up to $5 million.

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The $5 million figure was arrived at, it seems, at random. The committee’s chair, consultant Eric McDonnell, says the number resulted from a “journey.” I don’t know where this journey started, but it might end up in the pockets of the city’s taxpayers.

“There wasn’t a math formula,” McDonnell told The Washington Post. “It was a journey for the committee towards what could represent a significant enough investment in families to put them on this path to economic well-being, growth and vitality that chattel slavery and all the policies that flowed from it destroyed.”

Giving money to people who have neither earned it nor suffered any direct harm from an act of government isn’t an “investment.” This is throwing open the city coffers to assuage someone’s guilty conscience.

The foolishness of the findings of the committee highlights how government can be deformed by a mindless preoccupation with righting past wrongs. Those wronged by slavery are all dead. No suitable reparations exist for those who have gone to their eternal reward.

Acknowledging the sin that was slavery, and the wrong of the racial discrimination that followed, in no way diminishes the suffering of its victims. Pouring money onto their descendants doesn’t either. In fact, the mere discussion opens old wounds for which money is no balm, and apologies can’t reach the ears of those directly affected.

Should reparations be given to descendants of slaves?

Providing public dollars to the relations of victims of slavery does not undo the harm done and doesn’t offer succor for imagined or real inequality. It’s another way of redistributing wealth based on the most contemporary of reasons — victimhood.

Even if the idea of reparations wasn’t logically bankrupt, the notion that the deliberations of a representative republic can be replaced by feelings is absurd. Feelings can be arbitrary, temporary and misplaced. Government should be none of these.

People whose government is guided by individual feelings, or a misplaced sense of guilt, are not free. Instead, they are tethered to whatever historical wrongs their government chooses to punish them for without hope of escape.

How can each of us enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” if we are harnessed to a government steering the ship of state by feel, eyes closed and head upturned, concerned about the “journey,” not the destination?

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When it comes to misbegotten progressive buffoonery, San Francisco has no peer. But it does have a pier, and I would suggest its more common sense-minded residents rush down to it and catch the first ship out of the City by the Bay.

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Steve Piccirillo is a husband, father and patriot. His writings have appeared in several publications. His first novel, "Evil Stalks the Emerald City," is now available on Amazon. He is a former police officer and small business owner. He is a twice-elected school board director and is active in local politics.