The ugliest scene yet in the San Francisco mayor’s race went down this weekend, when a joint campaign appearance between Sup. Jane Kim and Mark Leno was interrupted by shouts and racist slurs from supporters of Sup. London Breed. Kim’s question-and-answer session was brought to a halt when rowdy Breed advocates shouted down anyone else attempting to speak, with one protester calling Kim a “skinny-ass rice-eating motherf*cker.”
There is no evidence of direct involvement by Breed’s campaign. But a Breed-supporting community group put out a press release the night before the event encouraging people to “gather peacefully outside the venue at 12:45pm to voice concerns regarding the motives of Mark Leno and Jane Kim.”
The 12-minute video above, taken by activist Brad Joseph Chapin, captures the speech and incident in full. Kim gives a four-and-a-half minute intro about her housing policy, then opens the floor to a Q&A that is quickly interrupted by an audience member who yells, “Don’t start that sh*t for these white people!” at the 4:55 mark of the video.
The same disruptor never yields the stage. “Up in here acting out for these white folks, you better remember where you’re from homie,” he says. “This is London Breed’s house, f*ck what you’re talking about.” (The event was at Origin Boutique Nightclub, which is not Sup. Breed’s house. Breed represents District 5, where the club is located.)
“You got this skinny-ass rice-eating motherfucker coming up in here, what’s she going to do in Fillmore?,” he says at the 9:30 mark, at which point this event is officially off the rails.
“You all are very disrespectful!” yells another spectator holding a Breed sign, while shouting down anyone else trying to speak, before repeatedly shrieking “Go home!”
The person who asked the first question, also African-American, never got his question answered. The event was brought to a close as organizers were unable to restore order.
Yesterday, an unfortunate incident, was caught on video at a venue in Fillmore. I do not take it personally *and* I’m not going to let this divide our city, no matter who you support for mayor. My statement is below: pic.twitter.com/s6sOL5VRF2
— Jane Kim 金貞妍 (@JaneKim) May 13, 2018
Kim posted the above statement to Twitter the morning after the event, saying, “We cannot allow our communities to get pitted against each other. We are better than that.”
I absolutely agree. We all need to stand together to say that racism and this type of language have no place in our society or this campaign. https://t.co/bAh50E3EZA
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) May 14, 2018
Breed also chimed in on Twitter, and tells KGO, “I don’t tolerate racism of any kind and you know it was really unfortunate some of the comments were made and I just don’t tolerate that.”
As seen in the comments of the Facebook Live video there are allegations that Breed’s family members and campaign staff were involved in the incident. Further, one individual has posted an online apology taking responsibility for the slur, saying, “I said some things the other day that were very negative, derogatory, very hurtful, I shouldn’t have said it. So I’m going to apologize to the Asian community.”
Update: SF Weekly has confirmed that person is not Sup. Breed’s brother, as has been alleged on social media. Additionally, someone claiming to be executive director of the New Community Leadership Foundation — which put out the press release encouraging opposition to the event — has also posted an apology in the Facebook Live comments, saying, “New Community Leadership Foundation would like to offer our sincere regrets that such an ugly episode occurred much less occurred in the district we love and call home.”
SF Weekly has reached out for further confirmation of these identities, and we will update this post with any additional information.