San Francisco JACL Chapter Condemns Statements by SFUSD Vice President

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SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest national Asian American civil rights organization, strongly condemns anti-Asian statements made by San Francisco Board of Education Vice President Alison Collins.

Alison Collins (CBS San Francisco)

“The recent revelation of divisive rhetoric via social media was brought to light at a time when the AAPI community is most vulnerable,” the chapter said. “Accusing Asian Americans of using ‘white supremacist thinking to assimilate and get ahead’ and comparing us to a ‘house n****r’ can appear to perpetuate harmful and inaccurate stereotypes.

“SF JACL supports the civil and human rights of all communities who are affected by injustice and bigotry. Our elected leaders must be held accountable for their statements and actions. SF JACL stands with the mayor of San Francisco to respectfully request the resignation of Vice President Allison Collins.”

Patty Wada, regional director of the JACL’s Northern California-Western Nevada-Pacific District, also sent a letter calling on Collins to step down. “Your comments display a troubling ignorance of and disdain for the Asian American community — our community,” she wrote.

“Nothing is lost in translation here. Your tweets reveal the racist and stereotypic lens through which you view Asian Americans. That you would employ the racist descriptor ‘house n****r; when referring to Asian Americans is completely deplorable. Your comments served to divide communities rather than foster understanding between communities and build bridges to address the racism that touches us all.

“Your comments ARE your mindset and you do not deserve the privilege of representing a district where Asian students comprise 33% of the city’s student population. Any trust and faith we may have had in your leadership are gone. We call on you to step down. Our students deserve a representative who truly respects and embraces the wonderful diversity that is San Francisco.”

According to The San Francisco Examiner, two SFUSD board members, Faauuga Moliga and Jenny Lam, will introduce a resolution on Thursday to have Collins removed as vice president and stripped of all committee assignments.

The controversial tweets in which Collins criticized members of the Asian American community for a perceived unwillingness to speak out against anti-Black racism were made in 2016. The tweets used stereotypical terms such as “tiger moms” and accused Asians of actively promoting the “model minority BS.”

Collins, the only Black woman on the board, wrote on Saturday that her comments were taken out of context and apologized for the pain caused by her words.

Amy Chang, an SFUSD student who spoke at a board meeting on Tuesday, said, “Why these tweets were found does not change what was said or the pain that these tweets have caused. Those words show bias against Asian American communities.”

Collins is facing calls to resign from Mayor London Breed and almost the entire Board of Supervisors. Most school board members, while condemning her statements, have called for “restorative justice” rather than demanding her resignation.

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