San Francisco School Board Member Refuses to Resign After Anti-Asian Tweets Are Revealed

Alison Collins / YouTube screenshot
March 22, 2021

The vice president of the board of the San Francisco Unified School District refused to resign this weekend despite facing criticism for a series of anti-Asian tweets.

San Francisco mayor London Breed (D.) and other officials called on school board vice president Alison Collins to resign this weekend after 2016 tweets surfaced in which she called Asian Americans "house n*****s" who "use white supremacist thinking to assimilate and 'get ahead.'" In a Medium blog post, Collins said the tweets were "taken out of context." She has not resigned as of Monday morning.

Collins said in the series of tweets that she was "looking to combat anti-black racism in the Asian community" at her daughter's high school. Asian Americans "won't engage" in conversations about critical race theory "unless they see how they are impacted by white supremacy," Collins said. She also chided Asian Americans for not speaking up against then-president Donald Trump.

"Do they think they won't be deported? profiled? beaten?" Collins tweeted. "Being a house n****r is still being a n****r. You're still considered 'the help.'"

This is the second time in recent months that Collins has been at the center of controversy. In October, Collins called parents "racist" for opposing a move to abandon the merit-based admissions process at Lowell High School, the district's elite, STEM-focused magnet school.

"I'm listening to a bunch of racists," Collins said on a hot mic during a school board meeting, referring to parents—many of whom were Asian American—who opposed the change.

The school board in February voted to eliminate Lowell's entrance test after students and others claimed the system perpetuated white supremacy. While Lowell is often criticized for lacking diversity, students of color make up more than 75 percent of the school's population. Asian Americans account for more than half of the school's students.

A group of parents launched a recall petition against Collins and two other school board members after some of the board's recent decisions. In addition to abandoning Lowell's admissions test, the board voted to rename 44 schools with allegedly racist namesakes. Parents are also upset at the district's lack of effort to reopen schools, which have now been shuttered for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have spiked in many major American cities during the coronavirus pandemic. But many educational institutions have been given a pass on their discrimination against Asian Americans.

Lowell High School is one of several magnet schools that have abandoned merit-based admissions practices in favor of processes that achieve specific racial quotas. Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology recently adopted admissions practices that would slash the number of Asian American students in the incoming freshman class by 42 percent.

The Justice Department this year dropped its lawsuit against Yale University, even though it found that Yale's admissions practices disproportionately hurt Asian American students. Black students were up to eight times as likely to be admitted to Yale as their equally well-performing Asian peers. The Supreme Court may soon take up a similar case filed against Harvard by a student group.