To Those Attempting to Justify Hate Speech Through Campaigns:
Alice has not yet taken any positions on candidates or measures before voters in November. We have our upcoming processes for providing recommendations and endorsements coming in the fall. As our new Co-Chair I have made it my mission to remain neutral on partisan matters before us and simply help to proffer and oversee appropriate systems of management to allow for thoughtful discussions and consensus-based outcomes.
All that said, I will not stand idly by for the next 6 months of political campaigning on a ballot measure related to circumcision and not speak out against the blatant use by proponents of the measure to utilize racist concepts in order to win their campaign (Read here for more on these despicable tactics.). I never thought I would see the day in liberal San Francisco when such anti-semitic campaign literature is readily being bandied about and accepted as part of the political discussion solely because it’s related to an upcoming ballot measure. Any other type of use for such materials in our community would rightly be called out and roundly vilified.
However, seemingly because these concepts relate to a political campaign some people are giving it credence as part of the campaign discussion. Let me state very clearly, I do not accept any justification of such tactics simply because it’s part of a campaign discussion. This type of literature, campaigning, and general promotion in our community is unacceptable. Do not think that simply because there is a campaign in front of your ballot measure that you are then allowed to showcase such anti-semitic hatred around our community and assume it is justified. It is not.
I worried when this measure was certified to be on the November ballot that we would be in for 6 months of insipid debate and mockery. Until this week, perhaps naively on my part, I never thought we would face an even lower type of debate on this matter. When the proponents of this ballot measure come before Alice to promote their cause in August, my first question to them will be this: “How are you working to promote your cause without devolving our entire community into supposedly justifiable political discussions similar to those from Nazi Germany?” My second question will be this: “And how are you working to stop such anti-semitic and racist tactics by fellow proponents?”
Look, I know that politics can sometimes bring out the worst in us, but I also believe strongly that politics can bring out the best in our humanity. That occurs when we come together to promote a great social cause, advocate for support for our neighbors, work together to solve a health crisis, educate our children, and fight for love. One of the reasons I went into public policy as a bright-eyed young student was to dedicate my life to working for the betters in our society and to fight the battles above-board, without devolving into the worst of humanity.
San Francisco can and must do better. We must, as a community, speak out unequivocally, despite any possible partisan differences, that racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, religious intolerance, ageism, and other discriminatory ism’s and tactics will not be tolerated and will not be given justification through campaigning.