Alison Collins San Francisco School board member refuses overtures for her to quit over anti Asian tweets she previously posted, claiming that the posts have been taken out of context.
‘Play stupid games, win stupid prizes….’ The black vice president of the San Francisco school board known to be outspoken for ‘politically correct’ issues has declined overtures for her to resign amid backlash over a series of ‘racist’ tweets she made rebuking Asian Americans in 2016 – including that they use ‘white supremacist thinking’ to ‘get ahead.’
The school district’s entire senior staff on Sunday denounced vice president Alison Collins, saying she hasn’t adequately taken responsibility for the tweets, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The city’s top elected officials including its mayor, nearly all city supervisors and the area’s state legislators all called for Collins to resign – but she hasn’t.
The school officials said the tweets ‘perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes and leave no room for nuance or potential misunderstanding’.
Their statement addressed Collins’ tweets that she shared on December 4, 2016, where she claimed Asian American teachers, students and parents had used ‘white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.’’
The most offensive part about Alison Collins’s tweets wasn’t the racial slur, which was somewhat coherent given her warped worldview.
The big offense was the suggestion that studying and working hard to get ahead are somehow products of white supremacist thinking.
— Brian Wang (@brianmwang) March 21, 2021
Did anyone notice the silence this week by the The New York Times, CNN, NBC, and Politico regarding the school board anti-Asian racism controversy in SF? Their silence, which is intentional, is the type of thing that enables people like Alison Collins.
— James Lindsay, top expert in sexiness (@ConceptualJames) March 22, 2021
Justifying special brand of racism
Collins explained that she was seeking to ‘combat anti-black racism in the Asian community’ and ‘at my daughters’ mostly Asian Am school.’
Her posts also contained racial epithets, including a reference comparing Asian Americans to ‘house n—-s.’
‘Where are the vocal Asians speaking up against Trump? Don’t Asian Americans know they are on his list as well? Do they think they won’t be deported? profiled? beaten? Being a house n****r is still being a n****r. You’re still considered “the help,'” she tweeted at the time.
In one tweet, Collins described a situation in which her daughter ‘heard boys teasing a Latino about ‘Trump, Mexicans and the KKK.’ The boys were Asian-American,’ KGO reported.
On Saturday, Collins expressed regret over the ‘pain the previous tweets caused’ — while insisting her tweets were not racist and were taken out of context.
‘A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted. They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place,’ she said in a tweet.
‘But whether my tweets are being taken out of context or not, only one thing matters right now. And that is the pain our Asian-American brothers and sisters are experiencing. Words have meaning and impact,’ she said.
She’s a Black woman culturally appropriating Chinese characters while attempting to justify her demonstrable anti-Asian bias and while using her powerful perch to enact explicitly anti-Asian policies. Why should any AA person feel safe under her leadership?
— Chris Johnson (@christrangeloop) March 21, 2021
Out of context?
‘… 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,’ Collins said.
Come Sunday, all 19 top administrators at the district’s central office — including deputy superintendents and department heads — said in an open letter to district staff and the school board that they are ‘united’ in a responsibility to share the ‘grave concerns’ of their colleagues and the community.
They said they agreed with board members Jenny Lam and Faauuga Moliga, as well as former board members and city officials, that Collins’ tweets ‘perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes and leave no room for nuance or potential misunderstanding.’
On Saturday, Mayor London Breed and other top elected officials and several community groups called for Collins’ resignation, according to the Chronicle.
Schools Superintendent Vince Matthews declined to address Collins’ tweets specifically, but sent a note to district staff saying, ‘We have to band together and speak up when we see or hear racist actions or behaviors perpetrated against any member of our community.’
Meanwhile, board president Gabriela López defended Collins, saying she appreciated her colleague’s apology.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
For the past yr, SFUSD School Board VP Alison Collins tried to cancel important historic figures by renaming schools. Even worse, she cancelled merit-based admissions to Lowell High.
Now she is getting cancelled for racist tweets from 2016. https://t.co/TMpD9I55d6
— Adam N. Mayer (@AdamNMayer) March 19, 2021
The liberal left recoiling
Several of the tweets were published by the recently formed Recall SF School Board group, which was founded by two school district parents who have launched a campaign to recall Collins along with two other board commissioners, KGO reported.
‘It kind of seemed to be judging Asian Americans for wanting to like study hard and work and give the kids an education,’ Siva Raj, who co-founded the recall group with Autumn Looijen, told the outlet.
The controversy comes as San Francisco’s school board came to be condemned recently for voting to rename 44 of the city’s schools that were alleged to have insensitive names. The person in charge of the renaming effort admitted he researched the topic on Wikipedia and didn’t consult historians. Backing the move was Alison Collins.
In January, the board voted 6-1 to strip the schools of their current monikers because they honor ‘racist’ figures from American history. Schools named after politicians including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln are now set to be rebranded in the coming months.
Collins’ tweets resurfaced just days after eight people, mostly Asian women, were shot dead in Atlanta, Georgia, last week.
The shootings have stoked fears among those in the Asian American Pacific Islander community, which has reported a spike in hate crimes since March 2020 when Trump began referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China virus’.