Allison Collins -- San Francisco School Board Member Stripped of Position over Anti-Asian Tweets

(Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

The vice president of the San Francisco school board was stripped of her title and committee assignments Thursday in response to a 2016 tweet thread that many community leaders deemed racist and anti-Asian.

In the tweets, board member Allison Collins referred to Asians as “house n****r[s],” and accused Asians of using “white supremacist thinking,” praising “Tiger Moms,” and disparaging “Black/Brown ‘culture.’”

During a special meeting Thursday, five of the board’s seven members voted for a resolution of no confidence in Collins’s leadership, according to the school district. But Collins, who was elected in 2018, did not resign from her position as some community leaders had called for.

The no-confidence resolution was authored by commissioners Jenny Lam and Faauuga Moliga. It came after a parent group attempting to recall three board’s members, including Collins, unearthed the series of tweets she published in December 2016. Critics said the tweets “perpetuate gross and harmful stereotypes,” and adopt a “false narrative” about Asian Americans.

In the tweets, Collins wrote that she was attempting to “to combat anti-black racism in the Asian community at at [sic] my daughters’ mostly Asian Am[erican] school.” She wrote that she once attended a “mostly Asian Am[erican] school” and knows “all too well” that many Asian Americans “believe they benefit from the ‘model minority’ BS,” and use “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.’” She noted that on Facebook, her former high school peers’ timelines are full of whites and Asians, and yet “No recognition #BlackLivesMatter exists.”

She demanded to know where “are the vocal Asians speaking up against Trump? Don’t they know they are on his list as well?”

“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.”

Collins and Gabriela López, the board’s president, were the only members of the school board to vote against the resolution. Attempts by National Review to reach Collins for comment Friday were unsuccessful. She released a written apology last weekend, entitled “What matters most,” in which she claimed her tweets had been taken out of context. She also said they were written at a time when then-president-elect Donald Trump “had just won an election fueled by division, racism and an anti-immigration agenda.”

“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,” Collins wrote. “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.”

Autumn Looijen, a leader of the Recall the SF School Board effort, said she was disappointed that López voted in support of Collins. “But we were glad to see the rest of the board finally hold one of their own accountable,” she wrote in an email to National Review. “That said, Collins is still on the Board of Education, and we’re going to proceed with the recall.”

Several prominent San Francisco community and school leaders have urged Collins to resign because of the tweets, including Mayor London Breed, most of the Board of Supervisors, the chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, at least three former school board presidents, and at least two Asian American members of the state assembly.

The San Francisco school board has been a lightning rod for controversy, particularly over the last few months. The board received national attention in January when members voted to rechristen schools named after 44 historical figures who “oppressed” people, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California. The board eventually delayed that effort to focus on reopening schools. In February, the board spent hours debating whether a gay, white dad brought enough diversity to a volunteer parent committee made up entirely of women.

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Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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