‘Segregated South’ bears no resemblance to Car Free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park

Liz Heidhues – Blog contributor-and Lee Heidhues 5.15.2021

To Shamann Walton – President San Francisco Board of Supervisors

What is your incentive for the lie that advocates of Car Free JFK practice the enforced separation of racial groups?

Concentrating on the systemic exclusion of blacks and people of color from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) staff and as exhibitors would be a most constructive use of your role as an elected official.

75% of San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museum’s staff is white. That’s in today’s accounting and not in the past’s.

The entire history of the De Young Museum not showing Black artists, its outrageous admission prices, its lack of people of color in its leadership positions, and its high priced 800 car parking garage must be held to account.

You allege that “JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park most definitely looks like the segregated South in the 1950s.”

60 JFK Car Free Colored Waiting Room 5.15.2021
Colored waiting room at bus station

To appropriate the pain and suffering of the civil rights movement as an argument to open up Car Free JFK to cars parks us on the slippery slope of ethics.

It is an argument that will lead San Francisco to major and ludicrous consequences.

The segment of JFK closed to cars serves the monied interests of the FAMSF. If the FAMSF is serious about the inclusion of people of color it would open its parking garage to all visitors for free.

59 JFK Car Free Back of the Bus 5.15.2021
Segregated bus in the Deep South of America

The movement to allow runners, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, roller skaters, skateboarders, dog-walkers, wheelchair users, meditators, and the underrepresented to use a part of JFK Drive as a car-free haven has been going on for decades.

  • Have you ever been doored when riding a bike by someone getting out of a parked car on JFK Drive?
  • Or had to weave in and out of cars in a traffic jam on JFK Drive and almost been hit by someone backing up?
  • JFK Drive is open to cars from Transverse Drive down to Ocean Beach.
  • You are way out of your league in opposing the tortuous baby steps of San Francisco in meeting its designation as a Transit First city!

I teach Citizenship to international students.

I need to convey to them abstract concepts embedded in the American civil rights movement. I use photos which we have attached.

Preserving a Park road for the freedom and joy of exercising and sociability instead of as a parking lot for cars fulfills the purpose of a “Park”.

When a decision-maker tries to deceive others by lying about the past, we can be led to bigger lies and increased rates of unethical behavior.

In the end, we are judged not by our behavior nor by what we intended to do, but by the impact of our behavior.

59 JFK Car Free segregated drinking fountains 5.15.2021.jpg
Segregated drinking fountain – For Colored Only

Top photo – Charles Moore (1931-2010) – Birmingham, Alabama. Notorious police chief Bull Connor’s cops turning fire hoses on black protestors.