Democratic Party official and former San Francisco Supervisor Angela Alioto is facing heavy scrutiny and possible removal from her current position party position for her repeated use of the N-word during a public meeting last month.
The April 24 San Francisco Democratic Country Central Committee meeting was for African-American members of the Service Employees International Union1021 union to “highlight racism, retaliation and longstanding pay inequity” that they have encountered while working for the city.
Their goal was to “demand action on the part of local, state and federal officials,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
At the meeting, Alioto used the racial slur six times responding to a remark from an African-American woman in the crowd about hearing the term in the workplace.
“Full disclosure, I’m a civil rights trial lawyer. It’s what I do,” Alioto told the woman before citing the term six times while recalling the instances where she had encountered it, according to Fox News.
“It’s the law that the word n—– in the workplace is racial harassment and racial animus. It’s a direct animus,” Alioto said, speaking the full word in a room full of African-American union members, according to Fox.
“You very rarely have direct evidence of discrimination. You very rarely have, ‘I’m not going to work with this n—– I’m not going to work with that n—–,’” she added.
Alioto also talked about her experience finding a book titled “How To Kill A N—–” in a cafeteria.
After her sixth use of the racial epithet, according to Fox, the crowd asked her to stop. San Francisco Party Chairman David Campos jumped in during her speech after the members became perturbed.
“You can say ‘the n-word’ without saying the word, because I think words matter,” he told her, according to the Chronicle.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to say the word,” Campos said, according to Fox. “As a person of color, if anyone actually said a word that’s derogatory to my kind, I think hearing it has a certain effect.”
From a portion of a video of the meeting, it was clear that Alioto’s audience did not like her use of the word.
In #SanFrancisco former supervisor Angela Alioto is apologizing for her repeated use of the N word at a committee meeting. She says “What I did was too much” and explains the context. “Dont say it” and “We’re good” are the shouts from the crowd. pic.twitter.com/OUQXFZNk4A
— Christopher Jewett (@sfnewsman) May 6, 2019
Republicans in the local area quickly condemned Alioto’s use of the N-word while criticizing Democrats for not being more vocal about the issue.
They called her use of the slur “tone-deaf.”
“When it comes to racism in their own party, they remain quiet,” Jason Clark, chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, told Fox News. “If this had been a Republican, the Democrats would be outraged.”
On Sunday, KPIX reporter Joe Vazquez announced that someone had thrown eggs Alioto’s home — possibly in response to her use of the racial epithet.
BREAKING: Somebody just egg-bombed the home of Angela Alioto, @AngelaforMayor former mayoral candidate, supervisor and civil rights attorney. This, just days following a meeting where she used a racial epithet to describe some of the language used against her clients. pic.twitter.com/38QCJH9nDb
— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) May 5, 2019
The Democratic central committee is expected to take up Aliota’s case at its May 22 meeting, the Chronicle reported Monday.
The San Francisco GOP released a statement on Monday demanding her removal.
“The San Francisco Republican Party is disgusted by Angela Alioto’s choice of insensitive and racist words,” the statement read. “There is no place in our city, nor anywhere in America, for such insensitive and brazenly racist language, which goes squarely against San Francisco’s values of inclusiveness and social justice.”
The statement later called on Democrats to “do the right thing and remove Ms. Alioto from her committee position without delay,” arguing that her “outburst” and “such racist rants” are “grounds for discipline and dismissal.”
On that same day, Alioto apologized for her use of the racial slur, calling it a “passionate” display of her examples of “pervasive” discrimination in the San Francisco area.
“I went too far, and I am profusely sorry that I offended anybody,” she said, according to Fox. “I feel so horribly that any person, especially any African-American woman, was offended.”
However, Alioto defended her use of the word by claiming that, “My clients say the word. ‘The n-word’ doesn’t mean anything.”
“You do not sugarcoat or whitewash that word when you’re in litigation mode,” Alioto added.
She also said she was in a “teaching zone” during the meeting and trying to contextualize the ugly effects that the word has in a work environment.
Phelicia Jones, an SEIU 1021 member and worker in the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, disagreed with Alioto’s response.
She said that, regardless of the context, Alioto “should know better” as a civil rights attorney.
“You know what this word means and what it has done to our race and what it continues to do to black people,” she said.
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