Thursday, February 17, 2022

Racism: the all purpose boogeyman...


While many saw the recall of the three members as a victory for parental choice and a strike against mask mandates, Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton blamed voters with "conservative values" that were not registered Republicans.

“Trump’s election and bold prejudice brought a lot of that out, even in our Democratic and liberal city,” he said to the San Francisco Chronicledays before the election.

“There are a lot of people who do not want people of color making decisions in leadership, even though the voters said that is what they want," he added.

Walton's comments were at odds with what of some commentators who said the election was the result of more complex and nuanced forces specific to San Francisco.

Supporters of the recall said that they were animated by the incompetence of the school board that was more focused on changing the names of schools while parents were dealing with the pandemic lockdown.

“We got lost in renaming the schools," said recall volunteer Asheesh Birla, "all sorts of other agenda items, and didn’t take into account that schools are about education.”

Another issue that angered parents was the decision to permanently change the merit-based admission to one of the district's top academic high schools to a lottery system for the sake of ending institutional racism. 

Many saw the recall as the latest bellwether indicating the eroding support for Democratic candidates, even in a predominantly liberal city like San Francisco. 

Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, will replace the recalled school board members before the November election when new members will be elected.

“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 Breed, who supported the recall. 

The recall election was the city's first since 1983.

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