In San Francisco, Getting Your Car Broken Into Isn’t a Crime — It’s an Experience!

Former San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki should consider forgetting his Twitter password. He would thereby spare himself public humiliation incidents such as the one he brought upon himself on March 19 when, in reply to tech reporter Snehal Antani’s tweet regarding a break-in of an associate’s car in San Francisco, he wrote this exercise in textbook tone-deafness.


Um, yeah.

Ah, but there’s more.

I’ll repeat that for the people in the back.

Interesting. Would getting your car window broken and some stuff stolen leave you “scarred forever”?

Is this what the suburbs do to you? Shelter you from basic city life experiences so that when they happen you are broken to the core?

I’ve had my window broken 2x when I was living paycheck to paycheck. It sucked financially, but it had zero impact on my sense of public safety.

I can’t even imagine the world one must live in where this would be the most traumatizing incident in their life.

Again, not to say it doesn’t suck. But maybe city life just isn’t for you. It’s not the suburbs. There is crime.

I’m grateful most of it is property crime instead of violent crime. But I’ve always felt safe in San Francisco, even after being on the wrong side of violent crime.


See, it’s not a bug — it’s a feature! Yay, city life! Doubtless, the San Francisco Tourism Bureau is working overtime to add this into its sales pitch to potential visitors: “Come see the sights of The City by the Bay! Golden Gate Bridge! Fisherman’s Wharf! Coit Tower! Human waste on the sidewalks! And now … remnants of shattered car windows!”

When asked for clarification, Hamasaki doubled down.

“We don’t see beautiful sunsets going viral, so do we really want this to define what San Francisco is? I don’t think it should, and we should push back to show how beautiful the city is, and the positive aspects of the city.”

And. It. Gets. Better.

SFGATE: Aren’t there people who argue that the city is beautiful and has many good things, and that’s why we have to address property crime, so that it’s not a blight?

Hamasaki: I don’t see that messaging becoming prominent. I see, “This is what liberals have done, liberals are ruining San Francisco, we can’t leave things in our cars.” That’s most of what I’ve seen. I see posts that go viral nationally, and everyone from the right wants to believe San Francisco is a hellscape because it’s supposedly a progressive city. Everyone from Fox News to Ted Cruz likes to push forward this dominant narrative of San Francisco.

I’ve been a victim of a host of crimes in San Francisco; I’ve had my windows broken four times. It’s unfortunately a crime that’s commonly committed, and we shouldn’t have to stand for it or tolerate it, but I don’t think that should define the city.


But wait — there’s more!

SFGATE: Progressives in San Francisco are pretty unambiguously losing the crime debate. Chesa Boudin got recalled, and you lost to Brooke Jenkins last year. Do you think your tweet speaks to a larger messaging issue on your side, where proponents of more carceral policies, instead of having to show those policies work, can instead say, “Well, our opponents are telling you to just suck it up and accept car break-ins”?

Hamasaki: Well, I wasn’t saying to suck it up and accept car break-ins. We shouldn’t have to suck it up and accept them. One of the things I’ve been remarkably sympathetic with the police on is how it’s impossible to investigate piles of broken glass. I realize how difficult it is to investigate car break-ins. I don’t think people should have to suck it up and take it, but it shouldn’t define the city either.

Wow, dude. Just wow.

This is where I diverge from the usual “San Fransicko is a progressive cesspool, no one in their right mind would want to set foot in it, let it rot” mindset. I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. Aside from a brief stint in rural Indiana, I’ve lived here my entire life. This is home. Not San Francisco itself, but the area is my home. It’s a place of beauty when humanity doesn’t get in the way.

I used to love walking around San Francisco, mostly the Financial District downtown and neighboring areas. There was a palpable vibrant energy in the city. It was a place like no other, and not all in a wrong way. You felt the threads of the city’s weird and wonderful history. Outsiders probably thought they had just set foot on Mars, but to me, it was part of my home experience.


I’ve avoided San Francisco like the plague for the past few years. The last two times I was there, the vibrancy was gone. In its place was having to be on constant high alert, everyone within view eyed with suspicion and plans to fight or flee made on the spot. The energy was gone. The life was gone. All that was left was the form of what had once been. The substance was no longer present.

This is what progressives and their policies do. They are the embodiment of Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” weeping and sympathizing over the oysters even as they eat every last one. Progressives believe that an entity in and of itself — a city, a state, a country — has the sufficient inherent strength to be bled dry yet still have more than enough lifeblood coursing through its veins to absorb any and every inanity politicians can conjure. Progressivism is a leech gorging itself on the work that has come before while decrying and despising that same work. It is not conservatives pointing out the obvious that is San Francisco’s problem. It is the city’s present reality as progressives drag it further into the sewer, destroying what once was great. San Francisco suffers from far more than broken car windows. It suffers from a fractured philosophy that can only end in utter ruin.



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