Since the video of the disgruntled tour guide shouting "f**k everything" about Chinatown started going around yesterday, SFist has seen a whole lot of comments both defending and castigating this unidentified woman. We've also gotten several emails from other journalists and community leaders trying to figure out who she is and who she works for, but no one has been able to figure this out yet there are a number of companies that run open-air double-decker bus tours of the city, including Big Bus Tours, City Sightseeing, and Gray Line of San Francisco, and more than one of them have red-shirt uniforms. Now Supervisor David Chiu has come out demanding an apology from the woman and the driver of the bus (presumably for not shutting her mic off), but it would help if the tour company in question were identified first.
As CBS 5 reports, Chiu says, "At first we saw it and thought it was a joke. We’re all incredibly saddened and disappointed that in 2014 someone would utter these stereotypical and racist comments." Also, he's disturbed by the applause that comes from the tourists aboard the bus at the 1:00 mark. "I hope that we learn that they didn’t understand what she was saying if they were not native English speakers."
Update: As of 4 p.m. today Supervisors Chiu and Malia Cohen were having a rally in Chinatown, at Portsmouth Square, in protest of the tour guide's "hateful speech." The release from Chiu's office identifies the tour company for which she worked as City Sightseeing. It's unclear if that means that the company, or Chiu's office, has ID'd the tour guide herself.
Reactions have been varied among our readers and among YouTube commenters, who, as should not be shocking, can be quite racist! Just sticking with the SFist audience, here's a brief selection:
- "You know what is really so SF about this? That an amusingly harmless rant such as you might hear in any bar is elevated to a hate crime."
- "she didn't express a simple personal preference, she expressed the belief that an entire culture should not be allowed to exist here on the basis of their cultural traditions, despite the fact that that culture has had a presence here for essentially the lifetime of the city, whereas she moved here what... a few years ago? then she didn't just express her preference but tried to work a crowd up into a xenophobic frenzy. this is how lynch mobs get started."
- "It's all good training for Republican tourists who want to learn all the things to hate about San Francisco so then can go back to their red states and spread the news."
- "Preach Sister. She should be applauded for giving the tourists a real local's viewpoint. You can't get mad at her for telling the truth. Everyone's thinking it but most of you are just too uptight & PC to say it."
- "I'm Chinese and I was born and raised in San Francisco. I can barely speak Chinese and when I do, I sound like a white guy with yellow fever trying to pick up on an Asian chick at a club... Anyhow, I get what she's saying. I find it racist but it doesn't really offend me much. I've heard this kind of stuff my whole life. Every time I step out of the bay area, I still hear it. A lot of white people either think it's not a big deal or they take way to seriously. I tend to take the middle road and just say 'you ma'am can suck a d*ck.' With that said, I actually rather enjoyed her rant. I've found myself saying some of the same things myself while at china town. However, instead of attacking an entire people with retarded banter, she should have done a bit of research so at least her argument was somewhat valid and had no holes. I.E. Listen B*tch, people in the south (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, etc) love to eat the shit out of frogs AND turtles."
- "She is racist. Just because I don't like wearing a turban doesn't mean middle eastern folks should stop. I think it's disgusting to eat lamb so I should blast them for that too? It's their culture. They have the freedom here to do as they please. Last I heard, America was a free country."
- "It's debatable whether you would call this xenophobic vs. racist, but it's not because she says she likes LA's Chinatown. That's like saying, 'fuck these watermelon eating African Americans. Back in my hometown of Atlanta, we have way better soul food restaurants.' Think about how the second part of the sentence actually makes the first even worse."
- "You know what? I'm Chinese and I also say 'Fuck Chinatown.' Chinatown is small potatoes. Who wants that crap? Real overachieving Chinese want to buy up the really good property and erect gigantic mega malls. Also, we want to buy up real estate where there are actual jobs. And fuck tour guides. Who the fuck do they think they are pointing at things and telling us about them? What the fuck is wikipedia for then? And fuck assimilation. The Chinese population is enormous compared to America so who should assimilate who? And fuck LA. Why is she even up here if it's so fucking special? The reason there's not so many people in LA Chinatown is because it sucks the fuck up. Go back to da hood. And fuck you not wanting to wake up at 6, you lazy fuck. Go GIANTS!"