San Francisco Apologizes to Chinese Americans for History of Racism, Discrimination

San Francisco formally apologized to Chinese Americans for its racist and discriminatory actions in the past, becoming the fourth city in California to do so,

In a landmark unanimous vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to apologize for its “shameful history of structural and systematic racism and discrimination against Chinese immigrants and the Chinese American community.”

Supervisor Matt Haney introduced the resolution after three current and former San Francisco public school students brought its substance to his attention — Lowell High School senior Dennis Casey Wu, University of California Berkley junior Drew Min, and Stanford University sophomore George Tilton-Low.

The resolution cited numerous instances of racism against the Chinese community from the mid-1800s, including the violent three-day riot that targeted Chinese Americans in 1877, which resulted in four deaths and extensive damage to property.

The resolution also acknowledged the ongoing racism and violence against the Chinese community, and the Asian American and Pacific Islander community as a whole, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“An apology for grievous injustices cannot erase the past, but admission of the historic wrongdoings committed can aid us in solving the critical problems of discrimination and racism facing San Francisco and the broader United States today,” the resolution stated.

Under the resolution, the Board of Supervisors “commits to programs, policies, and investments that can educate the public about this brutal history of discrimination and their ongoing consequences, as well as provide for redress and restoration.”

The cities of Antioch, San Jose, and Los Angeles passed similar resolutions last year.

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