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Why London Breed Chose The Police Over The Pride Parade

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Photo by Gage Skidmore

San Francisco is a city of symbols. We’re iconic for a bunch of shit we don’t really live up to. The current situation London Breed has found herself in relation to the LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade is emblematic of the issues facing San Francisco itself

If you’ve been following national media at all in the last few years, you know that San Francisco has been rebranded. The City by the Bay used to be regarded as a quirky, progressive tourist spot where everything was gay, high tech and expensive. Picture matching with Mark Zuckerberg on a premium Grindr account, now take that experience and expand it into a city. That’s kind of how outsiders used to view San Francisco. 

Fox News and other major media outlets have fucked up San Francisco’s tourist friendly image. There are now daily stories about how San Francisco is a crime ridden dystopia. To be fair, San Francisco is kind of a dystopia, but not because of crime… And this change in public perception, along with remote work emptying San Francisco’s big gleaming office buildings that sit mostly empty, serving no other purpose than to remind us that capitalism’s success in a city is best measured by how many dicks it can dot the horizon with, is taking a massive chunk out of the city’s delicious revenue. 

London Breed had to do something.

London Breed had to do something. She is the Mayor after all. And what did she do? She featured in the Matrix movie and went to Europe… She also took a shit on Chesa Boudin – a man whose name sounds like a fancy dessert that you could order from a secret menu at The Cheesecake Factory.

Chesa was voted in to address inequities and abuse in the criminal justice system. It should also be pointed out that he wasn’t just some guy who saw Dangerous Minds and got an erection followed by a white savior complex. Chesa’s parents actually went to prison. So to him, the fight for criminal justice reform is likely very personal.  Also a result of his progressive approach to law enforcement, any time anyone as much as stubs their toe in San Francisco, the media basically rebrands San Francisco as Gotham, but a gay, high tech and expensive version. Picture matching with Joaquin Phoenix’s rendition of the Joker on a premium Grindr account, now take that experience and expand it into a city. See where I’m going with this? 

Guess what every desperate politician in San Francisco says when their back is against a wall? They say it’s time to clean up the Tenderloin. The Tenderloin remains anything but tender.

So, how did London Breed take a shit on Chesa the Cheesecake Boudin? She vowed to clean up the Tenderloin. Did she mean we’re going to provide housing for everyone? No. She basically did her best (pre-Trump 1990s) Rudy Giuliani impression and said the word “shit” for street cred during a prepared speech.

By the way, I hate to tell you, but cleaning up the Tenderloin without adequately addressing the housing shortage is unlikely. Even before gentrification became synonymous with the Bay Area, the Tenderloin was rough. I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life and the Tenderloin has been rough my entire life. You wanna know how long the Tenderloin has been rough? My mom is well into her sixties, guess what? When she was a kid, the Tenderloin was rough. Guess what every desperate politician in San Francisco says when their back is against a wall? They say it’s time to clean up the Tenderloin. The Tenderloin remains anything but tender. 

Let’s just say San Francisco isn’t in love with law enforcement. So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Pride Board has forbidden uniformed officers from marching in the parade. 

London’s idea is that if she rebrands herself as a tough on crime politician, she can make the tourists and techies feel safe again while simultaneously ingratiating herself with Chesa’s growing opposition which includes the Police Union. The only people trying to openly placate the police in San Francisco, at least in popular culture, are politicians. Let’s just say San Francisco isn’t in love with law enforcement. So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Pride Board has forbidden uniformed officers from marching in the parade. 

Credit: @HamasakiLaw

Another interesting aspect to consider is SFPD officers won’t get paid if they’re not in uniform. This may not be about politics, but about money. According to former SFPD commissioner John Hamasaki. SFPD can participate as civilians, but not as cops. The idea around officers not marching in uniform is not an entirely new one. Cities like New York and Toronto have similar policies

London had a choice to make. She either would stand with the Pride Board’s decision, or she would stand with the Police Union. To further elevate her tough on crime approach, she chose the cops and opted out of the parade.

Time will tell if this strategy pans out for her, and if it does, what does that mean for San Francisco? 

Will San Francisco follow New York’s lead in the 90s and elect a Rudy Giuliani type figure? It’s hard to say. But one thing’s for sure, San Francisco’s iconic fog is literally (the City is less foggy as a result of climate change) and metaphorically diminishing. As a result, we can see San Francisco more clearly, but what do we see? Do we see a city that will withstand the heat of a changing world or one that is filled with people who are utterly full of shit?

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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, BrokeAssStuart.com. His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground will be available early 2022.

7 Comments

  1. Dino
    May 24, 2022 at 9:08 am — Reply

    Breed stood with Police and the Fire Dept because the LGBT community didn’t want them to wear their uniforms in the parade. That was an exclusionary policy and an ironic one at that. It’s not very difficult to figure out, especially since she’s the Mayor and works with these vital agencies everyday. As far as Boudin goes, the dramatic increase in car break-ins and the brazen looting in the city falls on his door step. 51 lawyers have left the DA’s office during his short tenure. Repeat offenders are repeating at epidemic rates and getting a get out of jail free card from Chesa. Some people do belong in prison.

  2. LS
    May 24, 2022 at 10:01 am — Reply

    London Breed has showed us time and again that she’s fake as they come. Her allyship to any given community is only skin-deep. It’s all about money to her and always has been. When she was running for Mayor, it was clear that she had no real plans to help San Franciscans – her whole platform & subsequent win was a bunch of BS identity politics. People say SF is progressive but I’ve never really seen that to be the case at all, definitely not in politics. Most politicians are moderate dems… And too many boring rich conservative types live in this city (see above comment smh)

    • Syd
      May 24, 2022 at 11:49 am — Reply

      well put

  3. May 24, 2022 at 4:53 pm — Reply

    …and nothing of value was lost.

    I went to the 2020 post-George Floyd event at City Hall where Breed said she’d hold SFPD accountable for the violence they inflict. https://www.flickr.com/photos/buddyl/albums/72157714678091362

    Since that event alone, she’s been as pro-establishment with cops (https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Nothing-says-holiday-cheer-like-San-Francisco-s-16707991.php ) as she has with businesses during the not-over pandemic (https://48hills.org/2022/03/london-breeds-big-covid-failure/ ).

    As was said before her election: “London Breed doesn’t care about Black people.” Or LGBTQ people.

  4. Sebra Leaves
    May 26, 2022 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    Interesting how few politicos are following Breeds lead on this one. Only one outstanding voice so far. There are so many rumors running around about this. You must be right about the money because I can’t believe there are not a lot of creative cops who can come up with an unofficial costume if they want to march. Possibly some will.

  5. May 28, 2022 at 9:42 am — Reply

    As for Chesa Boudin’s name that might be a “fancy dessert” boudin means “blood sausage” in French…

  6. June 8, 2022 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    I’m glad to see that London Breed is supporting SFPD and standing up to the LGBTZQYZ I&+ Bullies. And Cheezy Boudin’s recall is something to celebrate!

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