What's happening in San Francisco goes far beyond 'shoplifting'
We're hearing a lot about the overwhelming number of murders and attempted murders in Chicago and New York. San Francisco has gone in a different direction. It seems to have become the "shoplifting" capital of America. This honor goes along with its long having been the capital of America for car break-ins. It's so bad that I know suburbanites who refuse to drive in the city.
The latest "shoplifting" video is an impressive one, showing a whole gang of thieves racing out of San Francisco's Neiman Marcus store on Union Square, clutching what appears to be thousands of dollars in handbags:
The man who took this video works nearby.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) July 6, 2021
He saw two suspects run in and immediately shut and locked the doors of the store he works at. He told me he then saw 8 more run in.
He says this happened to his store in the past it’s “traumatizing” to him & his colleagues.
A woman who has shopped the handbag department at NM for a long time told me a sales associate had to hurry customers to the back-- in order to keep them safe from the smashed glass from handbag display cases.— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) July 6, 2021
You'll notice that I twice bracketed the word "shoplifting" in quotation marks. I did so because what you see in that video is not "shoplifting" as we've traditionally understood it. Old-fashioned shoplifting is when a person skulks through a store, slipping merchandise into clothes or a bag, and then sneaks out, hoping not to be caught. What's happening in San Francisco is something much more extreme.
Stores can absorb traditional shoplifting as one of the costs of doing business. What they cannot handle is an endless hemorrhage of thousands of dollars of merchandise. And the losses are endless because the state of California has essentially decriminalized theft if the property stolen is worth less than $950. Meanwhile, San Francisco's district attorney has made it clear that he's in a war against not criminals, but the police.
Thanks to California's policies, Walgreens has closed 17 stores in San Francisco because of "shoplifting" losses, and Target is severely constricting its San Francisco stores' hours to try to offset its losses. (I have no sympathy for Target, which was woke about allowing mentally ill, so-called "transgender" men in women's bathrooms and then groveled before BLM.) How much longer will high-end stores such as Apple (which is routinely hit by smash-and-grab thefts) or Neiman Marcus put up with this?
And I'm not being racist, just observant, when I point out that whenever video footage emerges of this shoplifting, there's a strong likelihood that the actors will be Black. And why not? Blacks are being told that White people have stolen from them for centuries and that looting is a form of reparations. Moreover, in San Francisco, they know they'll likely escape punishment should they be caught. In other words, what they're doing is both righteous and safe. Their conduct is rational.
But what's also going to be rational is retailers deciding to pull out of Black neighborhoods as well as the cities in which, outside the Southeast, most Blacks live (as opposed to suburbs or rural areas). It will devastate Black communities if they become retail deserts.
As a native San Franciscan — although one who is very grateful not to live anywhere near it nowadays — I've been watching with deep sadness what's happening to my city. The Neiman Marcus theft has especially bothered me. This is not because I shopped there. (Indeed, I don't believe I've ever bought anything at Neiman Marcus.) Instead, it's because my memories of the city go back to the time when the space that Neiman Marcus now occupies was the City of Paris, a store that a Frenchman, Felix Verdier, founded in 1850 during the Gold Rush. The first building was destroyed in the '06 earthquake, but the second building, from 1909, was a beauty that survived until 1981 when Neiman Marcus demolished all but the lovely rotunda.
I remember shopping in the City of Paris, and, most especially, I remember the huge, gracious dressing rooms, which had large windows allowing women to see clothes in natural light. To go from the City of Paris to Neiman Marcus (a step down in my estimation) to a third-world level of crime is like watching San Francisco die.
What you need to remember is that this is what leftists do: they destroy civility, order, graciousness, and functionality. In their quest for equity, they level everything. Eventually, except for the nomenklatura — the inner circle that always acquires power and, usually, unimaginable riches — everyone lives in decay, squalor, and despair.
Image: Twitter screen grab.
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