Joe Rosato Jr.
NBC Bay Area photographer Robert Wellington catches the attention of a group of people on a Tenderloin street corner.
A San Francisco-based chief executive of a tech startup decided to post about the city being overrun
by its underclass: its poor, its homeless, its dropouts and "trash."
Greg Gopman, the founder and CEO of AngelHack which calls itself
a "premier developer marketing agency," wrote a tirade on Facebook about how he's tired of the poor, homeless and other unattractive members of the city showing up in his part of town. Fresh from traveling and back in San Francisco, he wrote:
Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. . . . The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it's a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests. And that's okay.
Gopman continued in this vein for a while, eventually saying, "There is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. It's a burden and a liability having them so close to us."
That's pretty harsh stuff, and apparently he thought so, too, because Gopman took down the posts and apologized
. However, his followers or friends seemed to support him. “It isn’t like you said anything many others in the startup community aren’t saying," one said.
Another posted, “I agreed with you Greg. The city has created an unfortunate situation where they rely on it for handouts vs rising above and creating their own value and contributing to society. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t base my company there and do not live there full time.”
While one can look at this as a strange anomaly, the reality is that it's illustrating a very real and distinct class divide in San Francisco between the techies and --- well, the rest of us. Unless you're pulling down a healthy six figures and have nice clothes, you may be considered a blight on SOMA.