Combine a controversial district attorney with a parade being held in a neighborhood where he is not terribly popular, and you get Chesa Boudin getting booed along Saturday's Lunar New Year Parade route.
A Twitter thread about “working hard” for the AAPI community and a brief “Happy Lunar New Year” video with a little Mandarin and Cantonese thrown in did little to save recall-dogged San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin from what was likely inevitable on Saturday night. Doing the standard ‘elected official riding in a convertible and waving during a parade’ thing at Saturday's Lunar New Year Festival and Parade, Boudin was booed as the parade made its way through Chinatown. Boudin was also followed by roughly dozen sign-carrying recall advocates who made sure he did not forget there is an effort afoot to recall him.
As you see in the two videos above, there was definite audible booing of Boudin, though this was far from the most savage booing of a politician in recent memory. That distinction still goes to Ed Lee and Mark Leno getting booed off the stage at the 2016 Trans March (you can relive that magic in this KTVU video.)
Chesa Boudin gets booed and jeered at the Chinese New Year Parade. pic.twitter.com/O4Bs0BrTeI— Asian Crime Report (@activeasian) February 21, 2022
Here we see another Boudin boo video from Saturday, where the boos and “You suck” are hardly overwhelming, but they are certainly more grief than other elected officials got. And someone… gives Boudin a little red prize envelope, and a thumbs-up gesture? Who knows, maybe the envelope has a little “Fuck you” note inside.
Boudin’s convertible also had roughly a dozen sign-carrying recall advocates following his car throughout the parade.
I have never heard San Franciscans boo a politician before.— Michelle Tandler (@michelletandler) February 20, 2022
This was the Chinese New Year’s parade. https://t.co/9k1wy4Wyw5
There was plenty of peanut gallery coming from both sides of the debate, though, particularly in the responses to the above widely retweeted claim that “I have never heard San Franciscans boo a politician before.” Come on, people, Mayor Ed Lee was booed at his own inauguration in 2016 and in pretty much every public appearance during his second term.
But Chesa Boudin has unique issues with Chinatown and the Asian-American community. They were probably never going to be thrilled with him after he defeated DA candidate Nancy Tung, who would have been the first Chinese-American DA in the city’s history. Whether fairly or not, Boudin is blamed for attacks on Asian-Americans, though similar attacks are plaguing Oakland, and really, the whole country. But Boudin stands out for having a high-profile lawsuit against him from the Alliance for Asian American Justice, which has plenty of AAPI celebrity support, through the suit’s shocking claims might not withstand scrutiny.
So showing up for Saturday’s parade was probably a no-win situation for Chesa Boudin. If he shows up, he’s certain to get booed, and he gets unflattering headlines like the one on this post. If he does not show up, he will be further labeled as ignoring or ducking Chinatown.
Boudin took the first of two bad options and attended the parade celebrating the Year of the Tiger. We'll know more on the June 7 recall election whether the Chinatown boo birds were the sound of awakening a sleeping tiger, or whether their loud support of the recall was more of a paper tiger.
Image: @chesaboudin via Twitter