Amid the controversy ginned up over SF School Board Vice President Alison Collins' 2016 social media comments — which evoke “racist, anti-Asian” beliefs — Mayor Breed and other elected officials have called for her immediate resignation.
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has been embroiled in racist scandals as of late. Between school renamings and reopening protocols, the public school district has become a regular fixture on newsreels. And now, reflamed strife has been fanned over past anti-Asian comments made by the school board's vice president, putting the SFUSD back in an unflattering spotlight.
“We are outraged and sickened by the racist, anti-Asian statements tweeted by school board Vice President Alison Collins that recently came to light,” say nearly two dozen current and former elected officials in a statement Saturday, per the Chronicle. “No matter the time, no matter the place, and no matter how long ago the tweets were written, there is no place for an elected leader in San Francisco who is creating and or/created hate statements and speeches."
Earlier this month, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews announced he was stepping down from his post at the end of June, citing the "ongoing reopening battle" was the reason behind his exit.
Collins, however, has remained silent on such a decision.
In fact: As of this evening, Collins has yet to delete the posts and, intead, chose to issue a statement to the Chronicle Saturday, saying the tweets have been taken of context — nevermind the fact that she used asterisks to replace letters used in racial epithets that her tweets contained.
“A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted,” she said in the statement to the newspapper. “They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place. I acknowledge that right now, in this moment my words taken out of context can be causing more pain for those who are already suffering. For the pain my words may have caused I am sorry, and I apologize unreservedly.”
Regardless of the apology, nearly two dozen officials — among them being Mayor Breed and State Assemblymembers David Chiu and Phil Ting; SF Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar have also came forward to condemn Collins' rhetoric — released joint statements denouncing the school board official’s social media commentary.
“We are outraged and sickened by the racist, anti-Asian statements tweeted by School Board Vice President Alison Collins that recently came to light,” the statement reads. “No matter the time, no matter the place, and no matter how long ago the tweets were written, there is no place for an elected leader in San Francisco who is creating and/or created hate statements and speeches.”
Mar told KPIX that he managed to speak with Collins on Friday; Mar was also disappointed in the statement that she released Saturday; Mayor Breed, too, called for Collins’ resignation — and doesn’t consider her weekend statement an adequate apology or rightful course of action for her past social media posts.
Collins' resurfaced comments come in light of recent attacks on Asian Americans, particularly aimed at the elderly, sparking further conversation on conditional racism — perhaps our society's most dangerous "pre-existing condition."
Image: An aerial view of the empty schoolyard at Francis Scott Key Elementary School on March 18, 2020 in San Francisco, California. As millions of Americans shelter in place in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, schools across the country are being closed. Nearly 99 percent of the schools in California are currently closed and it is unclear if they will be able to reopen before the start of summer break. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)