This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 18, 2022:
In a remarkable fit of outrage, Gabriela Lopez complained on Twitter on Thursday about being unceremoniously ousted as president of San Francisco’s Unified School District board earlier in the week:
So, if you fight for racial justice, this is the consequence. Don’t be mistaken, white supremacists are enjoying this. And the support of the recall is aligned with this.
A twitter follower called her out for her extraordinary lack of awareness as to the real reasons why she and her two compatriots was booted:
Your tweet reflects a major lack of awareness. Over 70% [73.86%] of the [146,432 who voted in the recall election, or 108,148] voters chose “yes” on the recall, in a city already extremely diverse.
They can’t have all been mass-duped. Isolating and labeling these people as bigots or enemies of racial justice won’t help you out.
Washington Post journalist David Weigel, who has been following the recall effort closely, agreed: “The ‘yes’ vote for recall was racially diverse … the ‘white supremacist’ charge just didn’t convince anyone.”
Even the editor-in-chief of the far-left Mother Jones chimed in, claiming that her ouster had nothing to do with any “white supremacy” conspiracy funded by Trump supporters or conservative billionaires. It had everything to do with her incompetency. Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffrey reviewed the vast “array of irritants” that led to the ouster not only of Lopez but also board members Alison Collins (78 percent to 22 percent) and Faauuga Moliga (71 percent to 29 percent).
First, San Francisco schools stayed closed due to the pandemic far longer that most other school districts in the country. The board consequently spent little time planning on how to reopen them, dismaying parents with students being required to stay at home.
Second, rather than planning for reopening the schools, the board decided unanimously to rename 44 of them. Their ideological screen excluded any historical figure who had “engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human beings; or who oppressed women, inhibiting societal progress; or whose actions led to genocide; or who otherwise significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Those figures included U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Also included were two-time Secretary of State Daniel Webster, Paul Revere, and Francis Scott Key, the author of the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
This move so outraged even the liberal parents living in San Francisco that the board was forced to cancel its plans. Lopez made half an apology, claiming that the board’s plans to rename the schools began in 2018 “with a timeline that didn’t anticipate a pandemic. I acknowledge and take responsibility that mistakes were made in the renaming process.”
And then there was the kerfuffle over painting over a mural done in 1930 in one of the schools depicting snippets of George Washington’s life experiences. The board considered them racist and voted to paint over the mural. This so alienated art historians, the local NAACP, and other liberal elites that the board at first backtracked and then decided that rather than paint over the mural it would order that the mural be covered instead. The cost was $815,000 when the board was running a deficit in excess of $125 million.
The board decided to intervene in the admissions process of Lowell High School, one of the highest-rated public schools in the country. As Jeffery noted: “Admission was determined by ‘merit,’ i.e., GPA. Lowell was also overwhelmingly Asian American (the biggest group) and white.”
This the board couldn’t abide and voted to change Lowell’s admission practice to a public lottery instead, in order to make the student body more “representative” of the community, regardless of ability. What really set off the parents was that the board “rammed through [the] change without allowing for public input, apparently violating state sunshine provisions and triggering … lawsuits,” according to Jeffrey.
Back in April of last year an enterprising individual uncovered some “anti-Asian” tweets issued by one of those ousted on Tuesday, Alison Collins. One of them read, “Where are the vocal Asians speaking up against Trump? Don’t Asian Americans know they are on his list as well?”
The board issued a vote of no confidence as a result, and Collins filed suit claiming that her First Amendment rights had been violated. The suit was for $87 million. Happily, a judge threw out her lawsuit but only after the board had spent $400,000 of taxpayer monies defending themselves against it.
In June 2020, the district’s school superintendent, Vincent Matthews, tried to intervene and asked the board to bring in an outside consultant to help them deal with some of the real issues. But the board declined after learning that the consultant had once worked for a charter school.
As Jeffrey concluded, Tuesday’s vote had nothing to do with “white supremacy” but “a vote against incompetence.” Voters, she wrote, “felt like the board was playing politics, very ineptly.”
Mayor London Breed now has the opportunity to put the board back on track when she installs her own candidates to replace those booted on Tuesday. As for the other four board members? They won’t be eligible for their own recall vote as they haven’t been on the board long enough.