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Shun the quack: The story of San Francisco’s dangerous DA

By Kevin Botelho

Aesop’s Fable of the Cat & the Birds: 

A Cat was growing very thin. As you have guessed, he did not get enough to eat. One day he heard that some Birds in the neighborhood were ailing and needed a doctor. So, he put on a pair of spectacles, and with a leather box in his hand, knocked at the door of the Bird’s home. 

The Birds peeped out, and Dr. Cat, with much solicitude, asked how they were. He would be very happy to give them some medicine. 

“Tweet, tweet,” laughed the Birds. “Very smart, aren’t you? We are very well, thank you, and more so if you only keep away from here.” 

“Be wise and shun the quack” 

After the summer of 2020, liberal district attorneys were voted into cities across the country promising reforms to the criminal justice system. Many of these district attorneys assured the public that they’d use data and an evidence-based approach to deter crime and stop mass incarceration. 

These district attorneys campaigned in cities across the country and told their citizens they had the cure for what ails them. San Francisco, a traditional liberal city, was no different. 

Now, they are suffering the consequences. 

As current San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin presides over a city in chaos, not many are aware of his life story. Like many of us, parental influence and those around us in our formative years have a lot to do with how we see the world. Boudin’s parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, and other important people in his life, were members of the Weather Underground. 

For those unaware, the Weather Underground was a radical leftist group born out of the social turmoil of the 1960’s. It followed the collapse of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a group who participated in violent acts across the country. Just think Antifa, but instead of playing the childish game of “punch a Nazi in the face” and then blog about it, the Weather Underground took their job a little more seriously. 

In the early 1970’s, the group placed bombs at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capital, advocated for urban guerilla warfare, and subscribed to an ideology that some might find eerily familiar today. You might call it the original COVID of woke ideology before it spread into its many variants.  

The Weather Underground supported the concept of “white privilege” and believed in the struggle between oppressed and oppressor. In fact, Bernardine Dohrn, one of the movement’s leaders once said, “White youth must choose sides now. They must either fight on the side of the oppressed or be on the side of the oppressor.”  

Boudin’s parents were members of the Underground for decades and were later convicted of murder when he was an infant for their role as getaway drivers during a Brink’s robbery in New York in 1981. This tragedy undoubtedly influenced Boudin and probably has contributed to his vision on criminal justice reform. 

In a recent article in the New Yorker, they wrote how Boudin’s experience without his parents shaped his worldview, writing, 

“The son of the infamous political radicals Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, Boudin grew up visiting his parents in prison, and began speaking publicly about the brutalities and racial inequities of the penal system when he was a teen-ager. Even by the standards of the criminal-justice-reform movement, he struck visionary notes in his 2019 campaign calling for decarceration” 

Boudin, sadly, grew up parentless and his main influence in his formative years were former members of the Underground who subscribed to Marxist ideology. Marxist ideology believes that personal property exploits the unfortunate members of society and those who hold property hold the power, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Boudin has taken a lenient approach to shoplifting. 

As thefts across San Francisco continue to increase, which has also led to many stores to close including Walgreens, Boudin has declared that his office will not prosecute low-level crimes which include shoplifting. 

Shoplifting is not considered a misdemeanor in San Francisco unless it is over $950. It didn’t take long for people to figure this out. You can at least credit San Francisco’s school system in providing shoplifters the skills of basic math as they quickly must calculate their yield before they run out of the store.  

Surveillance and cell phone footage has captured this zaniness and total disregard for societal norms. Many of these videos have become viral sensations on the internet. The “free if it’s for me crowd” look like they are competing in Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games.” But instead of grabbing loaves of bread and cheese, they’re stuffing their carriages with Air Jordan’s and Louis Vuitton bags. 

Stealing items for sustenance, they are not. In one of these videos, a man casually rides his bike into Walgreens past two employees, fills his bag full of goods, and calmly rides past them out the door. 

When asked about the rise of theft and shoplifting in San Francisco, Boudin responded by saying, 

“When I watch that video, I think about five questions that people are not asking that I think they should,” he said. “Is he drug addicted? Mentally ill? Desperate? Is he part of a major retail fencing operation? What’s driving this behavior and is it in any way representative, because it was presented as something symptomatic?” 

I will save you the time Mr. DA, it is question number three, and the answer is “yes”.   

To dig further into the life of Boudin, it is important to know about his time spent in South America. At the age of 18, Boudin collected and chronologized his travels in a book called, Gringo, A Coming of Age in Latin America

In the book, he documented the current politics of the time and the struggles of the oppressed while also idolizing South America’s revolutionary figures like former Venezuelan president Hugo Chaves. 

For a short thesis of this book, combine Stuff White People Like with The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Che Guevara. Once again, Boudin’s controversial stance towards drug dealers is unsurprising given his travels in South America. Because of them, he views dealers through an oppressed and oppressor lens. 

In a segment aired on “60 Minutes” in March 2021, Boudin was asked about the rise of fentanyl on the streets and how he should tackle the issue, 

“We need to do more than simply arrest street level dealers,” says DA Boudin. “If all you’re doing is taking a couple grams off the street, great. But it has never made a difference.” 

Boudin forgot to include that one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration website. So, getting one gram off the streets is important. 

Like any good liberal elitist politician who wants to play sleight of hand with the average person, Boudin has doubled down on his feelings toward these entrepreneurial pharmacists because, of course, he knows better than the average San Franciscan.  

At a town hall meeting earlier this year, Boudin was asked what could be done about drug dealers who prey on the addicted. Boudin replied that “many of the drug dealers have been brought to the United States by human traffickers—that they were, in a sense, victims themselves.” 

This is the liberal equivalent of Trump’s speech saying, “They’re bringing drugs; They’re bringing crime. And some, I assume, are good people.” But, according to the San Francisco Police Department Crime Dashboard, there has been only 26 incidents of Human Trafficking in the city so far this year. 

I would put my money on it that they are peddling humans, not fentanyl, on the streets. Boudin’s stance on this issue has led to drug dealers preying on the most vulnerable and have turned homeless encampments into open drug markets.  

Thankfully, the citizens of San Francisco have had enough of Boudin’s ways, and a recent recall effort has been successful, with the election happening in June. Boudin was voted into office by promising a new way to look at crime. A desperate city voted him in and now regret it. 

We could have saved the good citizens of San Francisco all this time and effort if they only knew the history of their current District Attorney and read the moral of the story of “The Cat & the Birds.” 

“Be wise and shun the quack.”

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Kevin Botelho

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