Friday, February 09, 2018

The folly of playing the race card in San Francisco

Unless there's explicit racism involved, playing the race card in the city always makes the player look foolish. 

Hillary Ronen's over-wrought speech at the board of supervisors' meeting during which London Breed was unseated as interim mayor, is no exception, since Ronen, a white woman, played both the race and the gender cards. Both were irrelevant. 

Joe Eskenazi's account:

At the tail end of last night’s marathon meeting, Mission District Supervisor Hillary Ronen launched into a 10-minute stem-winder of a speech...Ronen praised Breed and her supporters — “I can hear the love in the room....I have to say it,” Ronen continued, “there are white, rich men, billionaires, in this city who have steered the policies of the past two mayoral administrations. If not more. They got us into this absolute mess we are in today, where poor people and people of color cannot afford to live in this city,” the supervisor continued. “It is absolutely ridiculous and outrageous and it weighs on me as a supervisor. I can’t sleep at night. I hate to say it, I wish it weren’t so, but those white men are so enthusiastically supporting your candidacy, London Breed. And what you haven’t heard because you’re not in this inside world we all inhabit in City Hall is that they’ve been threatening people. They’re all saying if you don’t support London Breed that people’s careers will be ruined...It is happening right now in this Board of Supervisors chamber..."

Conway denies threatening anyone, and none of the other supervisors corroborated her claim. Breed's supporters in turn shrilly accused those who voted to oust her of racism.

Ronen is in the wrong business if she expects people with money to support her brand of liberal politics. And what exactly are her politics? Aside from Conway's money, how does her brand of politics differ significantly from Breed's? After all, both are liberals---as is Conway himself.

I've blogged about playing the race card here in Progressive Land more than a dozen times since 2005, beginning with a post about some foolishness about a proposed Starbucks in Japantown.

Randy Shaw played the race card against the Bay Guardian: Playing the race card in San Francisco.

Rose Pak played the race card against white critics of the Central Subway project: Rose Pak plays the race card.

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