Ministers from several Bayview neighborhood churches stood on a Muni platform Monday morning and bought fares for more than 200 passengers to help residents that struggle to afford Muni. This in response to the SFPD's actions over the weekend after officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect who evaded paying his fare on the T-Third Street line. It was later determined the suspect shot himself and was not killed by the SFPD.
KTVU rode the T-line Monday and found that fare evasion strikes a deep nerve in The Bayview, including Jamil Patterson. "It's a buildup," Patterson said. "I've seen eight police officers come to arrest one young man for not having a transfer."
Muni records show the T-line also has the highest number of fare evasions, assaults and robberies in Muni's entire light rail system. Which begs the question, if the T-line has the highest numbers of all crimes in the system, then why are Bayview residents feeling harassed when the SFPD steps up enforcement on that same line? Because that's all they've ever felt is harassed.
|A negative attitude has become commonplace|
Underneath the issue of fare evasion lies even harsher realities within the black community. Entrenched multi-generational poverty, nearly constant marginalization, and the impending threat of retaliation have always been the disgusting hallmark of being black in America.
The scourge of government welfare that ravaged an entire generation of parents and children, the Kennedy drug laws that filled our prisons with black fathers, and the loss of the church as the communities emotional core have combined to produce a generation of young people with a warped, individualistic nature and a casual attitude toward violence.
On a daily basis I encounter aggressive and boisterous black youth on Muni trains and buses, disrespecting drivers and passengers alike. Children raised without adequate role models, or simply those born to disengaged parents, are more likely to become disenchanted and disenfranchised adults that feel there is no other option than violence. We've paid the price as a nation for disregarding and marginalizing black people. Bitterness and anger is at the core of the black community, and for good reason.