Thursday, November 15, 2007

Intolerant San Francisco

Stereotypes of whole cities and entire regions can be just as ridiculous and ill-founded as those based on race or gender. There are Southerners who aren't friendly and easy going. There are New Yorkers who aren't tough and resilient. There are Midwesterners who aren't boring and naive. There are also Northern Californians who aren't accepting and open minded:

Half a century ago, in a city called one of the most liberal, diverse and open-minded in America, a great baseball player found himself unacceptable . . .

. . . Throughout the summer of 1957, the move of the New York Giants to San Francisco and the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles was a foregone conclusion. Official announcement came on Oct. 8. Mays, and his then wife, Margheurite, came west and sought a residence. Their choice was a three-bedroom home in Sherwood Forest, a neighborhood among elite St. Francis Wood, Miraloma Park and Mt. Davidson . . . Mays, according to reports, offered owner Walter Gnesdiloff, $37,500 cash for the home at 175 Miraloma Drive which had views of the Pacific. Gnesdiloff accepted. Willie Mays, then 26, was not accepted.

Martin Gaewhiler, who lived a few doors away, told reporters, "I happen to have a few pieces of property in the area, and I stand to lose a lot if colored people move in."

There's much more to the story. Read the whole thing.

No comments: