San Francisco school board member criticized for racist tweets in 2016 aimed at Asian Americans | #Education


A civil rights group founder, political leaders, parents and alumni called Friday for a San Francisco school board member to resign after critics highlighted a series of racist tweets she posted in 2016 about Asian Americans, who have been targeted in a surge of violent acts in the Bay Area and across the country.

Board Vice President Alison Collins, elected in 2018, said in a thread of tweets on Dec. 4, 2016, that Asian Americans had used “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.’” Collins explained in the thread that she was seeking to “combat anti-black racism in the Asian community” and “at my daughters’ mostly Asian Am school.”

A tweet thread by SFUSD Board Vice President Alison Collins from Dec. 4, 2016

Twitter screenshot

Later in the thread, Collins singled out Asian Americans in recounting an incident she said had occurred in the past. She wrote that her “mixed-race/Black daughter heard boys teasing a Latino about ‘Trump, Mexicans and the KKK.’ The boys were Asian-American. … She spoke up when none of the other staff did. The after school counselor was Asian.”

A group of parents mounting a recall effort against Collins, who is Black, as well as two other board members, uncovered the tweets and posted them late Thursday.

Diane Yap, a San Francisco native and 2002 Lowell graduate, said her discovery of the tweets was “distressing,” given Collins’ use of a racial epithet and reinforcement of a stereotype that Asian Americans aren’t politically active enough.

“I don’t think this sort of rhetoric is acceptable from any elected officials, especially given today’s climate and the violent attacks that are happening against Asians now,” she said. “I absolutely see how her words about us can breed resentment and maybe be the seed that causes somebody to act violently against us or our elders.”

Yap called on Collins to step down.

Based on the tweets, the Lowell Black Student Union removed Collins as a panelist at a Women in Leadership event Thursday evening.

“The Lowell Black Student Union stands with the Asian community and condemns all acts of anti-Asian hate,” organizers said in an Instagram post.

Mayor London Breed also strongly condemned the posts, but did not directly call for her resignation.

“All of our young people in our schools need to feel respected and supported, and you simply can’t use words like that,” she said in a statement. “Asian people in this country have long faced very real racism, including here in San Francisco, and you can’t just broad brush their experience in a way that is so harmful and offensive.

“Any elected official serving in our schools needs to recognize that, or they shouldn’t be representing our kids.”




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