The Key to the Stadium Election Scam: Bayview-Hunters Point and Willie Brown's "Big Lie"

"Never mind whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked, later on, whether he told the truth or not. It is not Right that matters but Victory. Have no pity. Adopt a brutal attitude. . . . Right is on the side of the strongest." - Adolph Hitler

From the day it was proposed, the proposition to give a private company controlled by Edward DeBartolo, Jr. $100,000,000 in bond money and a 200 acre bay front park was widely unpopular among the citizens of San Francisco.

Yet, at 11:46 PM, nearly four hours after the polls closed, a reported surge of "Yes" votes from the southeastern precints of Bayview-Hunters Point, Excelsior, and Visitacion Valley gave the proposition a last minute, razor thin majority.

The key to the scam

The key to the 49er stadium/mall/entertainment center "victory" was the incredibly high reported voter turnout in the southeast precincts and the overwhelming percentage of people who were reported to have voted "Yes."

San Franciscans were asked to and did indeed believe that:

  • On a rainy day (notorious for reducing voter turnout), 5,600 residents from Bayview-Hunters Point came out to vote and over 80% of them voted yes. Contrast this with the last sports stadium vote in the fall of 1996 which was also a presidential election. 3,700 voted in that election and only 45% approved the proposition supporting the building of a new baseball stadium.

  • The reason Bayview-Hunters Point residents came out in such unprecedented numbers and voted overwhelmingly for the stadium/mall/entertainment center was because of their extreme poverty and desperate need for jobs.

  • Only hard-hearted racists would oppose the stadium/mall/entertainment center because it would bring a much needed economic boost to a low income, high unemployment, high crime. inner-city ghetto.

    Punch a hole is these three ballons and the whole scam comes unraveled.

    The first big hole in the story

    The media-supported "Yes" campaign's version of reality is only plausible if you seal off the reality of Bayview-Hunters Point from the rest of San Francisco.

    One little known fact is that the Willie Brown Democratic Club, based in the heart of Bayview-Hunters Point and named after the mayor himself, opposed the stadium bond. So did many long time residents, home owners, and community leaders.

    "Jobs" have been promised to Bayview-Hunters Point residents with every new development that has had a negative effect on the neighborhood, the PG&E power plant and the city sewage plant to name just two. The promised jobs never materialize. That's why community leaders pressed the mayor to put the promise of jobs in writing. He refused and they withdrew their support for the project.

    The 49ers have never gone out of their way to employ the African-Americans living in Bayview-Hunters Point, neither have any of the hundreds of other employers who operate warehouses and light industrial facilities in the district. There is no shortage of jobs in the community, just a shortage of employers willing to employ blacks.

    How the news media portrays blacks and black neighborhoods in America

    When Route 101 and 280 were constructed, they created a bypass which both diverted the flow of traffic away from Bayview-Hunters Point and cut it off from the rest of the city. Therefore, unless they have work or friends in the area, very few San Franciscans ever visit the neighborhood beyond the access roads to Candlestick Park.

    If you don't personally know an area, then your understanding of the area is dependent on what you hear about it from the news media. What image has the local media projected of Bayview-Hunters Point? It is strikingly similar to the image projected of African-Americans and African-American neighborhoods everywhere.

    There are only a limited number of ways of African-Americans are portrayed in the US news media. These are your possibilities for press attention if you are black:

    1. Big money, professional athletes
    2. Entertainers
    3. Politicians
    4. Victims of poverty
    5. Criminals

    That's it. You'll rarely see a black doctor, a black professor (unless he is spouting right wing philosophy), a black scientist, a black engineer, a black artist, a black businessman, or normal, everyday African-Americans studying, working, paying taxes, raising their families, and taking care of their communities.

    Parting the Route 101 Curtain

    Have you ever seen an urban black neighborhood portrayed as anything other than an "inner city ghetto" mired in drugs, hopeless poverty, and violent crime? What about Bayview-Hunters Point? What would you expect to see if you spent hours driving the streets there? Would you feel safe?

    In addition to failing to report the many Bayview-Hunters Point community leaders who opposed the stadium, the San Francisco media consistenly fails to report these facts about the neighborhood:

    * It has one of the lowest crime rates in the city
    * It has the highest rate of home ownership in the city
    * It is the home base to scores of businesses that employ many hundreds of people
    * It is the site of the city's biggest residential building boom

    What about the projects?

    There are public housing developments in many districts of San Francisco: the Mission, North Beach, Chinatown, Western Addition. In no other part of the city is the neighborhood judged by the public housing that is located in it. Only Bayview-Hunters Point gets that dubious honor. News about Bayview-Hunters Point is invariably news about one of the projects located there.

    The average San Franciscan - including the mayor and 99.% of the local media - has never ventured beyond Third Street, the district's so called "business center." And visiting Third Street is an absurd barometer for judging the health of Bayview-Hunters Point. It's like judging Manhattan by Times Square. When Routes 101 and 280 were installed, they killed the traffic that used to flow from downtown San Francisco to the pennisula along that road. That's the cause of the street's decline. It has nothing to do with the viability of the neighborhood.

    The Real Problem in Bayview-Hunters Point

    If Bayview-Hunters Point does have an economic problem, it's that city hall collects tens of millions of dollars in taxes from the residents and businesses there each year, but it is very reluctant to return services for the tax dollars it collects. All neighborhhoods consume services paid for by tax dollars. Some neighborhoods, like Bayview-Hunters Point, get ripped off in the transaction.

    Bayview-Hunters Point is not a hopeless "ghetto" that needs a handout from the beneficent white people uptown. If it needs anything, it needs its fair share of the tax fund it pays into and for PG&E, the Navy, the city sewage plant, and other criminal polluters to clean up the messes they've made. Instead of addressing these issues - which are consistently blacked out in the local media - San Franciscans were treated to a two month barrage of news stories about how badly Bayview-Hunters Point needs jobs and how a gift of $100,000,000 to one of the nation's leading proponent of legalized gambling will create them.

    (Speaking of environmental issues, Mayor Brown added a last minute proposition to the ballot that waived standard environmental reviews of the stadium/mall/entertainment center construction. The engineers of the election "victory" and the local media would have you believe that the people of Bayview-Hunters Point couldn't wait to vote "Yes" for that one too. To accept such a thoroughly unlikely occurrence as being true without investigating the facts is an insult to the intelligence of the residents of the area.)

    How could San Franciscans be so poorly informed?

    I began this report with a quote from Adolph Hitler. Here's another that bears directly on this case:

    "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously or intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to the big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."

    Hitler did not invent the "big lie" tactic, but he was the first to come out and describe the way populations are manipulated into believing falsehoods. The formula is simple: Tell a big lie rather than a small one because the existence of a well funded, carefully orchestrated campaign of deliberate lying is beyond the imagination of most people. Hitler attributes this blindness to the average person's "primitive simplicity." It can also be attributed to something Hitler and people like Willie Brown and Jack Davis seem to have little experience with: basic human decency.

    In order to steal the stadium election - and with it a 200 acre park and $100,000,000 plus interest - Willie Brown and Jack Davis, the two political "geniuses," relied on the careless and sloppy reporting of San Francisco's news media. They took an image of Bayview-Hunters Point that the Chronicle, the Examiner and all the television stations have been pounding into San Franciscan's heads for decades - that blacks and black neighborhoods are hopeless - and grafted onto it a fairy tale of "jobs" and "opportunities" and "miracle improvements."

    The people of Bayview-Hunters Point have never asked for a handout. What they have asked for and have had to fight for with near zero attention from the press and therefore the majority of San Franciscans is justice. Justice is returning tax dollars to the community. Justice is cleaning up the environmental disasters created by the Navy, the city, and PG&E.

    Lying to San Franciscans about the reality of Bayview-Hunters Point is not justice. Stuffing its ballot boxes and then "hanging" the wasteful stadium deal on the community's heads is not justice. Stealing public funds is not justice.

    Why would a black mayor do this to his own people?

    Willie Brown's "own people" are people who can provide him with large sums of money. It is an ugly fact of human history that it is rarely difficult to find people who will betray their fellows for a few dollars:

  • In the campaign to exterminate Native Americans, there were always Indian scouts who were available for hire to track and hunt down their "own people."
  • The Nazi's had little trouble recruiting Jewish prisoners to take over routine policing duties in the concentration camps. Their brutality was legendary and sometimes shocked even their German handlers.
  • During the so called "Potato Famine" 150 years ago when one million Irish peasants were starved to death and millions more lost their homes, the British Empire kept Ireland's food export machine well oiled with the help of Irish-born bureaucrats and managers.

    Understanding the pathology of such people is beyond the scope of this report. The fact is such people exist and good people need to recognize them for what they are.

    If you haven't yet visited the beautiful people and the beautiful community of Bayview-Hunters Point, take this tour now. Prepare to be surprised.

    All that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent.

  • If you don't know anything about the election fraud case, educate yourself.
  • If you don't know anything about Bayview-Hunters Point and the real people who live there, take the tour.
  • If you'd like see what's really behind the 49er stadium/mall/entertainment center, put in a quarter, pull on the lever and become enlightened.
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