[guest post by Dana]
Boy, if this isn’t a wake-up call for Democrats (especially progressives), I don’t know what is. When something like this happens in the bluest city in one of the bluest states, you better believe it’s a BIG deal – especially when an overwhelming majority of residents voted “yes” to recall three eligible school board members:
San Francisco voters have recalled three school board members who spurred a parental backlash for pursuing the renaming of schools and other progressive policy changes as classrooms remained empty during the coronavirus pandemic.
Initial returns Tuesday night showed that voters overwhelmingly voted “yes” to recall Alison Collins, Gabriela López and Faauuga Moliga, three of the board’s seven members — 79 percent voted to remove Collins, 75 percent to remove Lopez and 73 percent to remove Moliga. The early results were dramatic enough that backers quickly declared victory and Moliga acknowledged his apparent defeat
If you recall, last year the San Francisco school board came under fire for prioritizing – during a pandemic – the renaming of 44 city schools because they found them offensive. Said schools included those named after former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Go figure that parents, already frustrated by COVID-19 school closures and struggling with online learning and the accompanying challenges, became enraged at the board as a result. So much so that they determined it was necessary to recall the board’s eligible members.
Also, ousted member Alison Collins had already come under fire for making racist comments targeting Asian Americans. She was also pushing to eliminate merit-based admission standards at Lowell High School where the majority of students are Asian American:
The vice president of the San Francisco Board of Education once wrote a long Twitter thread accusing Asian Americans of using “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead,'” and comparing them to a “house n****r” (she added the asterisks and did not spell out the word).
Collins wrote that she was “looking to combat anti-black racism in the Asian community at at my daughters’ mostly Asian Am school,” because “Many Asian Ss and Ts I know won’t engage in critical race convos unless they see how they are impacted by white supremacy.”
“Many Asian Am. believe they benefit from the ‘model minority’ BS,” and “many Asian American Ts, Ss, and Ps [teachers, students and parents] actively promote these myths. They use white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.'”
It’s not a stretch to assume that Collins’ comments galvanized Asian American voter turnout. Collins had filed a ridiculous $87 million lawsuit against her fellow board members when they voted to strip her of her vice-president title and committee involvement after her offensive comments became known to them.
Mayor London Breed, who backed recalling the three members, commented on the recall election results:
“The voters of this City have delivered a clear message that the School Board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who supported the recall, in a statement. “San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of big ideas, but those ideas must be built on the foundation of a government that does the essentials well.”
Board of Supervisors president Shamann Walton had slammed the recall effort as being pushed by “closet Republicans and most certainly folks with conservative values in San Francisco, even if they weren’t registered Republicans”
Rationalizations like this will only continue to hurt Democrats. It makes them look weak and whiny, and without any awareness of the devastating impact their misplaced priorities had on all parents – left, right, and center – during a pandemic. Personally, I tend to believe that parents of every political stripe want to see their children receive the best education in the best setting possible. Spending precious time doing dumb stuff like renaming schools during a pandemic when children are being adversely impacted by school closures, only reinforces the urgent need to recall any eligible board members. It’s good to see that so many voters in San Francisco agree that children should be the priority, not the political fancies of its school board members.