All this backlash against Google and other tech companies and their employees invading San Francisco is getting ridiculous. This sense of entitlement that San Francisco locals have in regards to the places they rent needs to stop. When news articles state that “people are being evicted out of their homes” this is a misnomer. You can’t be evicted out of your own home if you OWN IT. What’s happening is that renters are being priced out of their living quarters in favor of higher salary workers. Just because you are a long time renter in one particular place does not make it YOUR home. If the bratty Peter Pan Syndrome suffering locals want to be mad at someone or something and start yelling and protesting, they should stop and think about the situation first and reevaluate their way of thinking. Maybe then they would come to the realization that all things change. It’s simply socio-economic displacement at work. In other words, gentrification. It’s a natural process and happens everywhere all the time and to think that it can’t or won’t happen to you is foolhardy.
Now if there’s one thing San Franciscans like to do it’s protest. They will protest practically anything and anyone. A related protest that happened recently was in regards to tech companies paying the city of San Francisco to use bus stops to pick up their employees. In my opinion, this is a fantastic program. It helps reduce the amount of traffic congestion, pollution, and adds $1.5 million over 18 months to the city’s pocket book. Why would locals want to poo-poo that? Oh, that’s right. Tech people are taking over and we can’t have that! Get off my land!
Another recent incident of backlash was an act of theft and destruction of an individual’s personal property. That piece of personal property? Google Glass. The incident may have spurred from the recent events of gentrification backlash. The victim did his best to try and understand why it happened and justify its occurrence but it doesn’t change the fact that in reality this was a criminal act of theft and vandalism. Gentrification is not justification to act like snot-nosed bratty children that don’t get their way and it’s certainly not justification for criminal acts.
Gentrification is not a bad thing. Yes, the people who have to move are angry and upset (and yes it sucks), but maybe if they took a moment to reflect on the recent changes they’d realize tech companies aren’t the enemy. The enemy is their own false sense of entitlement to live in San Francisco. The enemy is thinking that the status quo is static and will never change. If you rent you should realize that you may have to move at any time and you are not entitled to staying simply because you’ve stayed in that same place for a few years. You do not have the “right” to rent a place for as long as you want at the price you want. Hey, San Franciscans, grow up and stop acting like whiny children. You just might learn some valuable life lessons in the process.
San Francisco used to be a place that promoted change and now that change has come home to roost it’s suddenly a completely different story. I, for one, applaud this change. I believe it will help improve the city’s image from that of a place of a consequence-free environment where you can act as childish and immature as you want to a place of innovation, maturity and respect. If the locals can’t accept this than maybe it’s time for them to move to the kid’s table where they belong.