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San Francisco Officials Demand School Board VP's Resignation Over 'Racist, Anti-Asian' Tweets

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Mayor London Breed was among a group of elected officials Saturday who were demanding the resignation of School Board Vice President Alison Collins after several "racist, anti-Asian" Twitter posts came to light.

The firestorm over Collins 2016 social media comments is just the latest involving the embattled leadership of San Francisco schools.

The city has a pending lawsuit against the board, seeking a court order to speed up the reopening public schools that have been shut down for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews announced he was stepping down from his post at the end of June amid the ongoing and contentious reopening battle.

The announcement came just days after the district reached a deal with teachers' union to reopen schools for K-5 students in April. Middle and high school reopenings have not yet been determined.

Collins wrote the tweets, in her words, to combat anti-Black racism in the Asian community.

She wrote "many Asian Americans believe they benefit from the 'model minority' BS. Many Asian American (teachers, students, and parents) actively promote these myths. They use White supremacist thinking to assimilate and 'get ahead.'"

"Talk to many (Lowell High School) parents and you will hear praise of Tiger Moms and disparagement of Black/Brown culture."

She continued, "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?"

As of Saturday evening, Collins had not deleted the posts. She issued a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle saying the tweets have been taken out of context.

"A number of tweets and social media posts I made in 2016 have recently been highlighted," she said in the statement. "They have been taken out of context, both of that specific moment and the nuance of the conversation that took place. 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."

In a statement released Saturday, nearly two dozen officials including State Assembly members David Chiu and Phil Ting and San Francisco Supervisors Connie Chan and Gordon Mar joined the growing chorus in calling for Collins resignation.

"We are outraged and sickened by the racist, anti-Asian statements tweeted by School Board Vice President Alison Collins that recently came to light," the statement read. "No matter the time, no matter the place, and no matter how long ago the tweets were written, there is no place for an elected leader in San Francisco who is creating and/or created hate statements and speeches."

"Regardless of how these tweets came to light and when they occurred, they must be reckoned with and acknowledge the trauma they have created among our AAPI community and our public school community."

"Alison Collins' words inflict deeper wounds on our AAPI community," the statement continued. "These words, though written several years ago, are part of a public record and broader history of anti-Asian, anti-immigrant sentiments, violence, and laws in our City and our country. And now, in the City of San Francisco and in the year of 2021, we are faced with a public official that has given contemporary voice to this shameful history."

The statement said the tweets perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes.

Mar told KPIX 5 that he did speak with Collins on Friday and was disappointed in the statement that she released on Saturday.

He did not know about the tweets until this week. He had endorsed and voted for Collins. Now he and many others want her to resign.

"I think the Tweets are very racially insensitive by painting most Asian American families in such a harmful and negative way, and really inaccurate way as well," Mar said.

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