San Francisco school board reminder prompts media to heed woke weariness: ‘Progressivism has gone wild’


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The crushing recall of three left-leaning San Francisco school board members last week has media across the country questioning the broader political implications and the potency of a voting bloc angry at parents in November.

Progressives Alison Collins, Gabriella Lopez and Faauuga Moliga lost their seats, with more than 70% of the vote in favor of removing them last week. Mayor London Breed, D., who backed the recall, is now tasked with replacing them, and debate now rages over whether their layoffs related to prolonged school closures, failed ‘woke’ efforts to rename schools named after figures like the Presidents of Mount Rushmore. , close ties to unpopular teachers’ unions, a ban on merit-based admissions to a high-performing high school, or their general ability to do their job.

President and founder of Parents Defending Education Nicole Neily said the results were well deserved, adding that they “fiddled while Rome burned” and noting that Lopez and Collins blamed “white supremacists” and “billionaires” for their eviction.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference on crime against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in San Francisco, California, United States, January 25, 2022.
(REUTERS/Nathan Frandino)

“San Francisco voters turned out in droves to evict a group of school board members who were more interested in imposing their will on others than listening — and if other elected officials across the country turn out to be just as deaf, so I’m sure voters will take that into account,” she told Fox News Digital.

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The resounding success of the recall captured national attention. Attempts to rename the schools after the likes of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, have drawn derision, and the board has also taken heat from the city’s Asian-American community for removing score-based admission to the prestigious Lowell High School, in exchange for a lottery system to combat “pervasive systemic racism”. Collins, one of the recalled board members, had previously accused Asian Americans of engaging in ‘white supremacist thinking’ with their desire to ‘move on’, and referred to them as with the racial slur “house n—-r”.

But perhaps the most salient issue was San Francisco’s lengthy school closures and what was seen as a lackadaisical effort to get students back into the classroom. The recall effort began more than a year ago as public schools remained closed even as private schools in San Francisco figured out how to reopen safely, and city officials ruled that it was safe for all children to return to in-person classes.

“What happened on Tuesday was more of a precursor shock, a warning – as if Democrats needed more – that November’s midterm elections could indeed be very bad, as parents unsettled two years of pandemic-related upheaval are venting their frustrations at the polls,” Mark Z. Barabak wrote in the Los Angeles Times.

Noting that it was hardly in a red zone of the country — San Francisco won President Biden by more than 70 points in 2020 — he wrote, “the results are remarkable precisely” because of their location.

“Parents of all political stripes have become one of the most powerful forces in campaigning and elections today, and woe betide anyone seen as standing in the way of their children’s education,” he said. he writes.

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“In San Francisco, the latest battle between Democrats over how far the party should go came to a resounding conclusion as voters this week fired three school board members who veered too close to the edge, even in a city ​​that is a bastion of liberal activism,” summarized the Washington Post.

Former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg warned: “Coming from the most liberal city in America, these results should translate to a 7 to 8 on the Richter scale, because the top three factors that prompted the recall are not specific to the bay. Region.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan linked the successful recall to Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in November in the race for governor of Virginia, centered on education issues. Youngkin narrowly won in a state where Biden beat Donald Trump by 10 points in 2020.

FILE - The San Francisco School Board dropped efforts in 2021 to rename 44 of the city's public schools, it says, honoring public figures linked to racism, sexism and injustice.  On the list were names like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

FILE – The San Francisco School Board dropped efforts in 2021 to rename 44 of the city’s public schools, it says, honoring public figures linked to racism, sexism and injustice. On the list were names like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

“[It] marks a continuation of the parent rebellion that surfaced in November’s upset Virginia gubernatorial election,” she wrote. wing of their party until the whole party loses big in the 2022 election. But Democratic voters on the ground aren’t waiting for permission. They take a stick to wake up whether the party leaders do it or not.”

“San Francisco’s notoriously liberal voters have found that even they have limits when it comes to progressivism gone wild… This isn’t the first time progressives have failed to keep pace with the national mood. They mistook widespread public outrage over police killings of unarmed black people as a mandate to defund and dismantle local police forces,” wrote the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On the other hand, the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle rejected the idea that the recall was “a broader referendum on progressive politics or hidden mandates or the evils of a hyper-abundance of revival”, saying that the vote was on “basic competence”. Autumn Looijen, co-founder of the Recall SF School Board campaign, also said on CNN’s “Smerconish” on Saturday that the vote was about “incompetence.”

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CNN left-wing analyst John Avlon in a “Reality Check” segment of CNN’s struggling morning show “New Day” cast it as some kind of victory for liberalism because it showed a Progressive stronghold like San Francisco hasn’t lived up to “right-wing stereotypes.”

“There’s something too extreme, and that’s good news, because our Democratic cities are no match for the caricatures created by conservatives,” he said on CNN, before pointing out the fixation. on “symbolic issues of social justice” that got board members fired.

File Photo - The San Francisco, California skyline showing the Transamerica Building framed by the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is pictured at sunset February 27, 2008. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

File Photo – The San Francisco, California skyline showing the Transamerica Building framed by the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is pictured at sunset February 27, 2008. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

San Francisco-based writer Gary Kamiya told The Atlantic that the truth lay more in the middle, but “closer to the conservative view”.

“At a minimum, the recall demonstrates that ‘woke’ racial politics has its limits, even in one of the nation’s most woke cities,” he wrote.

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The city’s teachers’ union, closely aligned politically with the left-leaning school board, adopted what Kamiya called a “maximalist closing line that infuriated many parents.”

“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that many San Franciscans have jumped off the woke bandwagon — or never been wholeheartedly on it. Again, the obvious voter rejection of the board’s incessant braying about racism, white privilege, and the rest is inextricably tangled with their anger that schools have remained closed for so long. But nationwide school closures are associated with Democrats, so it’s hardly a cause for gradual relief,” he wrote.

A California-based political consultant who works on education issues told Fox News Digital that the marriage between “woke” and more moderate Democrats seemed less stable day by day with these disturbing election results.

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“Traditional Democrats have tried to manage the progressive insurgency by bringing the radicals inside the tent and pretending they have something useful to offer,” he said. “But the election results in Virginia and now in San Francisco show what a bad idea that is. When even the liberals in San Francisco have had enough awakening, you know there’s trouble in heaven. [Democrats] will either find a way to get their revival problem under control, or the voters will do it for them. I’d bet on the latter.”

Fox News’ Hanna Panreck, Claudia Cowan and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.


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