So this guy is probably all down for redevelopment and gentrification in a bad way, and you gotta be wary of any white dude who says 'I've never been a racist', but I'm so glad to finally have the San Francisco Chronicle print something positive about Oakland, even if it is just a column, that I am compelled to post this here. I know a lot of people who feel the same way, or even more passionate, about Oakland.
I've been toying with the idea of starting a new blog about Oakland, mostly because of all the negative and extremely biased and racist press it's been receiving lately, but also because there are so many enlightening, lovely and poignant stories being lived and never told in this beautiful city that I want to help expose to the rest of the world. Oakland is not a perfect place, by any means, but it's also not the 'hell', 'scumhole' and 'wasteland' that I've heard so many people who don't live here (and who may have never even really spent time here) say it is.
Oakland has been my home for the better part of the last seventeen years, and it's the home of thousands and thousands of die-hard Bay Area folks who know no other haven. I wish the people that talk so badly about this place would remember that. And the fact that we love it in spite of, or in some cases, because of its flaws and imperfections and the way the people here rise above all those things, is a beautiful thing, something to emulate.