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San Francisco school board member Alison Collins is attacking former President Trump in an apology letter as she faces mounting backlash to anti-Asian tweets she posted in 2016.
The tweets, which surfaced last week, described Asians as “house [N-word]” and accused them of using “white supremacist thinking” to get ahead. Collins, who is facing a recall effort and widespread condemnation, apologized on Medium while repeatedly calling out Trump for allegedly fueling societal racism.
“A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted,” she said.
“They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place. President Donald Trump had just won an election fueled by division, racism and an anti-immigration agenda. Meanwhile one of my daughters had recently experienced an incident in her school in which her Asian American peers were taunting her Latinx classmate about ‘sending kids back to Mexico’ and the KKK. It was a time of processing, of fear among many communities with the unknown of how the next four years would unfold,” Collins said.
Fox News hasn’t confirmed this incident, which purportedly spurred Collins’ tweets.
“And here we are today. Anti-Asian racism is not new, but the recent uptick in violence and bigotry against Asian-Americans is clearly connected to Trump and his racist tropes,” she claimed.
She added: “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 and siblings are experiencing. Words have meaning and impact. Trump showed us that clearly with his sowing of hate and pitting communities of color against one another for political gain. 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.”
All of the school district’s top 19 administrators condemned Collins’ tweets in a letter Sunday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“As public servants, we work for the Board of Education through the superintendent, but we serve the students and families of San Francisco,” said the administrators.
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“Although we believe it would be inappropriate for us to call for the resignation of an elected official who is part of the governing body of our district, our silence should not be interpreted as complicity or approval. We condemn Vice President Collins’ statements in the strongest possible terms.”
Prior to that, top city officials, including Mayor London Breed, called for her resignation.
School board member Jenny Lam reportedly derided Collins’ post as a “non-apology” and said Collins didn’t take responsibility for her words.
Collins has found support, however, from some in the school district who signed on to a Medium statement denouncing the “opportunistic targeting of Commissioner Collins [that] distracts from the national conversation around addressing Anti-API[Asian and Pacific Islander] and Anti-Black hate.”
“Furthermore, we want to highlight and remember how API and Black communities have historically and are currently working together in solidarity with each other against white racism,” it adds.
“We continue to grieve even as we support Commissioner Collins, and we call on all San Francisco leaders to focus on healing and deepening efforts to address systemic racism in our schools.”
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