Places like San Francisco and San Jose have become the economic and cultural equivalent of the Southern California phenomenon most loathed by good progressives everywhere: the gated community. The cities of Silicon Valley are not organized around golf courses, tennis courts, and clubhouses on the traditional gated-community model, but that is merely a difference in taste and recreational interest. The barriers between them and the water-starved California inland — or the poor sections of Oakland — are not physical, but they are nonetheless ruthlessly patrolled, a fact not lost on Silicon Valley’s less-well-off, who recently have taken to breaking the windows of the hated “Google buses,” the private coaches that spare California’s tech royalty the indignity of a ride on the BART. The vandals’ manifesto reads: “You are not innocent victims. You live your comfortable lives surrounded by poverty, homelessness and death, seemingly oblivious to everything around you, lost in the big bucks and success.”
San Francisco, the world capital of progressive piety, has a population that is barely 6 percent black, but its population of persons arrested for drug felonies is 60 percent black. More than 40 percent of those arrested for homicide are black. In this bastion of well-heeled progressive governance, about half of the black households make less than $25,000 a year. And this isn’t in Laramie, Wyo., where you can rent a three-bedroom home for less than $800 a month. This is less than 25 grand a year in one of the most expensive places in the country.