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San Francisco Thinks Preventing Imaginary Racism Is More Important Than Solving Crimes

Liberals love to gin up fears of racism. Remember the constant drumbeat of “Islamophobia” from the left after 9/11?

By Chris Queen

Within days of the attack, liberals began wringing their hands over fears of retaliatory attacks against completely innocent Muslims. We see it time and time again, where the left fears reprisals against minorities, and over and over their worst fears don’t come true.

This time, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), San Francisco’s transit authority, has refused to release surveillance footage of robberies that have taken place at BART facilities over the past few months. The reason? BART fears that the footage will foment racism. No joke.

April 22: Forty to sixty kids boarded a train at the Coliseum stop and robbed seven passengers, beating up two;

June 28: A group of four kids assaulted a passenger and made off with a cell phone at Dublin; and

June 30: A woman on a train with about a dozen teenagers had her phone snatched by one them before the group got off at the Coliseum stop*. Thankfully, a good Samaritan was on hand to retrieve the phone.*

So far, BART has refused to turn over surveillance video for any of these incidents.

A member of BART’s board told a local reporter that she was told the authority will not release the videos out of fear that the footage will create racial fears among ridership. Let that sink in a minute — one of the most liberal enclaves in the country is more concerned about hypothetical racism among its citizens than it is about solving crimes.

But wait: there’s another motivation behind the refusal to make the footage public. Get a load of this:

According to a memo distributed to BART Directors, the agency won’t do a press release on the June 30 theft because it was a “petty crime” that would make BART look “crime ridden.” Furthermore, it would “unfairly affect and characterize riders of color, leading to sweeping generalizations in media reports.”

That’s right, BART is worried about optics. “Crime? What crime? Move along; there’s nothing to see here.” (Oh, and the fears of fake racism are there too.)

A BART spokesman tried to hide behind statues that are supposed to protect juveniles to justify keeping the video under wraps, even though at least one of the perpetrators is 19 years old, but the spokesman added, “even if the faces of juveniles were blurred … watching the videos would be pointless gawking.”

Would any information that leads to the arrest of a group of criminals really be “pointless gawking”? Shouldn’t justice and the safety of BART riders supercede either concerns about racism or whether the system appears to be less than perfectly safe? You’d think the answers to both questions would be “yes,” but this is reliably liberal San Francisco, so the answers that make sense don’t always apply.

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