AP Photo/Alex Brandon

San Francisco Cleans Up Homeless Encampments Ahead of Chairman Xi’s Visit—and the Griping Has Started

Chinese leader – some would say dictator – Xi Jinping is coming to San Francisco next week to meet with the ever-more-befuddled President Biden. Reportedly, a topic of conversation between Biden and Chairman Xi might be the scourge of Chinese-sourced fentanyl pouring across the running sore that is our southern border, along with the increasingly provocative actions of the Chinese military in the West Pacific. No matter what platitude Xi utters in that conference, the actual reply in the form of actions on the part of the Middle Kingdom will be on the order of “get stuffed.”

In advance, host city San Francisco is rushing to spit-shine the streets prior to Xi’s arrival. They are even moving the many homeless encampments and open-air drug bazaars, and one would hope they are hosing away the human feces and urine puddles, along with picking up the discarded needles.

“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town.’ That’s true, because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months before APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit], we’ve been having conversations,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday at the unveiling of a new program to plant trees in urban neighborhoods.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the conference could help the city with an anticipated $53 million injected into the economy, according to FOX affiliate KTVU, adding that “tourism is our business here in San Francisco.” 

KTVU noted that the efforts to clean the city have created “noticeable” cleanliness to the streets but also far fewer homeless encampments on major thoroughfares. 

This is just too rich for words. Of course, the cleanliness is “noticeable” precisely because it’s so unusual. When I was working in the Bay Area in 2017, the city of San Francisco was already passing out the infamous “poop maps,” and things have gotten worse since then. But now that China is coming to town, things have to be cleaned up, although there is already predictable whining about the “displaced” homeless.

Marc Savino, who works in the city, told KTVU that “you just naturally start to wonder about houseless folks being displaced.” 

Emails obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle show that the city’s superintendent of Street Environmental Services Christopher McDaniels was “concerned about historical encampments that are close to priority areas.” 

A couple of observations here: First, you can’t “displace” homeless people who were never legally or legitimately “emplaced” to begin with. Second, what the heck is a “historical encampment”? The very term is specious; it grants these infestations of crime, prostitution, and drug sales/abuse a legitimacy to which they are not entitled. Next, whiners on the homeless advocacy circuit will be agitating to grant the people of these encampments some form of ownership or at least rent-free tenancy of the city’s sidewalks.

But not while Chairman Xi is in town, of course. No wonder Chinese media refer to San Francisco as a garbage city.

Some San Francisco residents, while appreciating the suddenly clean streets, are saddened that it certainly won’t last.

“They’ve cleared out the tents that were near the Moscone Center on Howard Street, which tells me the city had the capability to do this all along — instead they just do the bare minimum, community activist Ricci Lee Wynne told The New York Post

“Once APEC is gone, police presence will start to simmer down again, the tents will return, and it will slowly flare up again,” Lee said. “What we need is a permanent solution.”

Want a permanent solution? Vote out the lunatics that have been in charge of this nut colony for generations now.

In 1860, following the secession from the Union of his home state of South Carolina, the old Whig James L. Petigru remarked of his home state that it was “…too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” Of San Francisco, we can admit to the former, as it is clearly too small to be a republic. But that city seems determined to prove its status as an insane asylum.

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