Calls for San Francisco School Board Member to Resign after Labelling Asian-Americans “House N-Words” in 2016 Tweets
The entire senior administrative staff of the San Francisco School Board has called for its Vice President, Alison Collins, to resign after tweets from 2016 surfaced in which she claimed Asian-American’s use “white supremacist” thinking to get ahead, calling them “house n*****s.”
On Sunday, 19 top administrators at the district's central office condemned a series of 2016 tweets made by the board's Vice President Alison Collins, calling for her resignation. In 2016, Collins, an African-American, explained over the course of a Twitter thread that she was seeking to “combat anti-black racism in the Asian community,” inspired by her daughter’s experiences at a school with a high proportion of Asian-American pupils.
In the tweets, Collins complained of “anti-black racism in the Asian community and at my daughter’s mostly Asian-American school.” Collins stated that Asian-Americans who she knew would not engage in “critical race conversations unless they see how they are impacted by white supremacy” before continuing to state in a series of tweets:
“I grew up in mostly [Asian-American] schools and know this experience all too well. Many Asian-Americans believe they benefit from the "model minority" BS
In fact, many Asian American Ts, Ss, and Ps actively promote these myths. They use white supremacist thinking to assimilate and "get ahead"
Talk to many @thelowell parents and you will hear praise of Tiger Moms and disparagement of Black/Brown ‘culture’.”
Collins then continued to ask “where are the vocal Asian speaking up against Trump?” before labelling Asian-Americans as “house n*****s”:
“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."
As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, an open letter to district staff and the school board from all 19 top administrators at the district’s central office condemned the tweets board Vice President Alison Collins posted in 2016. In the letter, the administrators said they agreed with board members Jenny Lam and Faauuga Moliga that the tweets “perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes and leave no room for nuance or potential misunderstanding.” The letter came as the city’s top elected officials, including the mayor, state legislators and nearly all supervisors called for Collins’ resignation.
However, as of yet, Alison Collins has not resigned from her position. In an article posted on Medium which she shared on Twitter, Collins expressed regret for the pain her words caused. However, she refused to identify her tweets as racist, insisting they were taken out of context, tweeting:
“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.”
In response to the article, several officials, including the mayor and Lam, said Collins did not take responsibility for her words with Lam labelling it a “non-apology.” Superintendent Vince Matthews sent a note to district staff Saturday saying “we have to band together and speak up when we see or hear racist actions or behaviours perpetrated against any member of our community.”
The controversy follows a series of others in San Francisco. Recently, the San Francisco school board was slammed for voting to rename 44 of the city’s schools that were alleged to have insensitive names. In January, the board voted 6-1 to strip the schools of their current names due to them honouring 'racist' figures from American history. For example, schools named after politicians including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln are now set to be rebranded in the coming months.
Additionally, a gay white father of a mixed-race child was denied a position on the San Francisco Board of Education's volunteer parent committee in February because his race didn’t meet the group’s diversity commitments.