Denise Sullivan

Author, Journalist, Culture Worker

Total Recall (San Francisco Edition)

If you are getting your news about San Francisco in the national mainstream media, you are understandably confused. Take last week’s recall of three members of our school board.

For anyone seeking actual answers as to how San Francisco was played in the outcome of its particularly San Franciscan recall, educational policy expert Kevin Kumashiro, author of Surrendered: Why Progressives Are Losing The Biggest Battles In Education, offered a streamlined and clear explanation to Ian Masters on a recent edition of Background Briefing.

Kumashiro has been following the nationwide dismantling of school boards in the wake of pandemic closures and the concurrent CRT debates, and breaks down how specifically GOP strategies, money and other forces came to bear on San Francisco’s maligned school board.

“This was about some people feeling the school board was putting too much of its time into ‘equity issues’ [renaming schools and admission policies], and not enough attention on reopening,” said Kumashiro. He further notes San Francisco reopened last fall like many other school districts, but the emphasis was placed on the slow action and competence of its three now-recalled board members who are, as you might’ve guessed, Black, Asian-Pacific Islander and Latina. Make no mistake: Kumashiro describes what happened in San Francisco as part of a larger plan to prey on national race anxieties that will ultimately be used to strike down affirmative action in the Supreme Court. This is cause for anyone with a pulse to feel alarmed. And yet, still not reading much real talk about this angle of the outcome of the recall in the press. Read my full report on the recall in Down With Tyranny which also links directly to the interview with Kumashiro.

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