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Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign - By - July 19, 2016 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Hate Speech Throws Fuel on Fire of Recall Ed Lee Campaign

Protestors pushing for the recall of Mayor Ed Lee shout at supporters of the mayor outside the steps of City Hall on July 15.

Something went down at last Friday’s rally to recall Mayor Ed Lee, but what exactly happened is up for debate - unless, of course, you’re allied with the mayor himself.

In that case, the Recall Ed Lee group has a bigoted and racist member among it. Proof of this can allegedly be found in a video posted to YouTube by Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition, formed, in their own words, “to oppose an extremist effort to foist a $3.5 million, taxpayer-funded recall election on the City of San Francisco.”

The video shows supporters of the ambitious, if not misguided, recall effort chanting their intentions outside City Hall on Friday when an unidentified woman appears and silences the crowd by twice saying, “Go back to China.” She later makes a few more disparaging remarks, including, “You take your Chinese asses back where you came from.”

The woman’s statements can be heard clearly enough in the 29-second clip. And there’s no denying that her words are the antithesis of constructive criticism. However, what’s unclear, and somewhat baffling, is why supporters of the mayor are now claiming this woman is part of the group pushing for a recall. Watch the video and it seems quite apparent the recall folks, and everyone else present, are as shocked as anyone to hear such hateful speech.

Nevertheless, the Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition issued a news release Monday condemning the Recall Ed Lee group, complete with reactions from prominent city figures:

“It is shocking and deeply offensive to hear such openly hateful language used against Chinese Americans - and on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, of all places,” Assemblyman David Chiu is quoted as saying. “I urge every San Franciscan to join me in opposing this divisive recall effort.”

“San Franciscans now finally see the hate that stands behind the proposed recall of Mayor Ed Lee: anti-Chinese sentiment that has no place in the City’s political debate. I call on every San Franciscan to oppose this wasteful recall and denounce these racist comments,” Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization, is quoted as saying.

The Stop the Wasteful Recall Coalition held its own rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside City Hall to address the woman’s statements.

There’s no denying her words were offensive, but condemning the entire group based solely on the video is a reach. However, it does paint the Recall Ed Lee folks in the worst light possible, which might be enough to quash their intentions. We smell political maneuvering at work here.