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San Francisco Supervisors Advance Resolution Apologizing To Chinese Community Over Past Atrocities

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee on Wednesday has advanced a resolution offering a formal apology to Chinese immigrants and their descendants over past atrocities.

In a unanimous vote, the resolution introduced by Supervisor Matt Haney was approved by the board's Budget and Finance Committee. The full Board of Supervisors is expected to consider the measure next week.

"The Chinese community in San Francisco has a deep and rich history but we have to acknowledge the harmful wrongs that our City has committed against this community," Haney said in a statement.

According to Haney, the resolution was written in partnership with former San Francisco Unified District students.

"The Chinese community has a deep history in San Francisco. Additionally, today we are over 23% of the city's population," said Lowell High student Dennis Casey Wu, who testified at Wednesday's hearing. "San Francisco must issue an apology for historical wrongdoings in order to make progress in solving the critical problems of discrimination and racism facing America today."

In the resolution text, numerous instances of racism against the Chinese community dating back to the 19th century were listed, including the SFUSD's closure of Chinese schools between 1870 and 1885. The resolution also apologizes for an infamous three-day riot in 1877 that targeted the Chinese community, in which four people died and dozens of Chinese-owned laundries were destroyed or looted.

Along with past persecution, the resolution also acknowledges ongoing racism and violence against the Chinese communities and Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This public acknowledgement of our city's history of systemic racism against Chinese immigrants is timely as we urgently work to stem the latest tide of hate and violence against Asian Americans," said Supervisor Gordon Mar. "As a City that values inclusion and equity, facing our past mistakes head on is an important step towards healing, safety and justice."

Along with the apology, the measure also pledges budget investments in the Asian Pacific Islander community.

Two other Bay Area cities, Antioch and San Jose, have also issued apologies for persecution against the Chinese community.

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