Elon Musk Gives San Francisco a Second Chance

The billionaire was just acquitted by a San Francisco jury in a civil trial over his 2018 tweets saying he was going to take Tesla private and that he had secured funding for it.

What a difference a single decision can make. 

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is ready to give a second chance to San Francisco, a city he was still violently critical of until recently. 

The mecca of tech, Musk said, was the bastion of the woke virus that had become his number one enemy.

For the serial entrepreneur, the “woke mind virus” is made up of new progressive ideologies often symbolized by the left of the Democratic Party. This materializes through the promotion of ESG, and gender identity, or pronouns.

He believes that ESGs and pronouns are expressions of wokeism that lead to cancel culture, in other words, to intolerance and the dictatorship of thought.

Attacks Against San Francisco

ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance, while “pronouns” points to the gender identity debate. It means people have to stop assuming that gender is binary and to accept that everyone has the right to decide how they want to be referred to: he/his/him, she/hers/her or they/theirs/them.

San Francisco as the flagship tech city of the progressive state of California is therefore the center of this “woke mind virus,” according to Musk. As a result, at the end of 2021, the billionaire notably moved Tesla’s headquarters from California to Texas. He also left Silicon Valley and now lives near Austin. 

But the tech mogul was recently forced to spend more time in San Francisco after acquiring Twitter for $44 billion. He has been spending a lot of time at the headquarters of the platform in the heart of the city. He was quick to attack the municipality which is in the hands of the Democrats. 

“So city of SF attacks companies providing beds for tired employees instead of making sure kids are safe from fentanyl,” the billionaire posted on Dec. 6 with a link to an article about a dad who revealed that his 10-month-old baby suffered an accidental fentanyl overdose at a San Francisco playground. “Where are your priorities @LondonBreed!?”

Drugs are a silent epidemic in San Francisco. It is hidden in the back alleys of the city center and the hotel rooms for the destitute. The city’s medical examiner’s report released in January 2021 found that in 2020 drugs killed three times as many people as the covid-19 pandemic. Most of the overdoses recorded were linked to the consumption of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.

Musk’s attack came as San Francisco City Hall was investigating reports that the entrepreneur had beds set up at Twitter headquarters for employees he had asked to work long hours. The billionaire, who had laid off more than 5,000 of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, had decided to transform certain rooms into dystopian rooms.

‘The Wisdom of the People’

His distrust of San Francisco had pushed him, in January, to request, through his attorneys, for the transfer to Texas of his civil trial linked to tweets from 2018 which was taking place in the tech city.

“For the last several months, the local media have saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” Alex Spiro, Musk’s lawyer, wrote in a court filing, referring to the layoffs at Twitter.

“A substantial portion of the jury pool … is likely to hold a personal and material bias against Mr. Musk as a result of recent layoffs at one of his companies as individual prospective jurors — or their friends and relatives — may have been personally impacted.”

The request was rejected and the trial was well held in the city. The verdict was handed down on Feb. 3, and it cleared Musk of allegations of fraud that certain investors made against him related to the billionaire’s summer 2018 tweets about Tesla, which was then on the verge of bankruptcy. 

On Aug. 7, 2018, Musk had written that he was mulling pulling Tesla off the stock market at a price of $420 a share. In particular, he said that he had secured the financing for such a transaction.

The tweets sent shares of the electric vehicle maker soaring at the time, for a brief period. As a result, some Tesla investors said they lost millions.

However, the jury in a California court ruled unanimously, on Feb. 3, that Musk hadn’t defrauded investors with his bogus claim.

Musk was quick to react, hailing the wisdom of the people.

“Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!” the billionaire tweeted. “I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.”

Will Twitter Stay in San Francisco?

The mogul’s post was commented on by many Twitter users who congratulated him on this victory. One of the comments then pointed out to him that California and San Francisco in particular was not completely lost as Musk had been suggesting for months.

“See? there’s still hope for San Francisco,” the user commented. “They recalled the communist school board, the communist DA, and now look – doing the right thing in your trial.”

The Twitter user urged Musk to “take back” the city.

“Take back San Francisco and the woke mind virus fizzles out forever.”

“You’re right,” the billionaire responded.

The question now is what Musk intends to do. Will he, for example, leave the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco or move it to another city as some of his fans suggest? 

It is by this yardstick that we will see if the billionaire has given a second chance to the mecca of tech.

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