London Breed‘s time as San Francisco Acting Mayor has sadly come and gone. Breed, the city’s first African-American mayor, was unseated after a 6-3 vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night, reminding folks of that old Jim Crow pattern of pushing back the progress of Black folks.
A White male was selected to replace Breed, who was elected after former chief Ed Lee’s death in December. Mark Ferrell, a well-off venture capitalist won the office, CBS News reported. Breed’s short-lived moment was over, and Black women in the room who had witnessed the moment were outraged. As several Black women, including Senator Kamala Harris and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, have risen to offices across the nation in spite of racist odds, Breed’s ousting wasn’t taken lightly. The end of her less-than two months stint, ending before the city’s June mayoral elections, set off racial fireworks.
“The optics here are so bad they border on evil,” described Mission Local‘s Joe Eskenazi of the chaotic scene at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Breed’s incensed supporters shouted down the proceedings for a good 10 minutes; the room was cleared and, after the meeting was subsequently curtailed, the supes were escorted back to their offices by sheriff’s deputies. The deputies offered to escort the legislators back to their cars as well.”
The dustup peaked with protests from largely Black women supporters, denouncing the unseating as racist and regressive. Breed, who was also board president, had “worked her way from public housing to City Hall” to get a seat at the table only to lose that seat. Doesn’t that pattern sound familiar?
Breed’s ousting will arguably be another racial flashpoint in San Francisco’s history. Why does a step forward lead to a step back?
In spite of losing the mayor’s seat, Breed is still #Blackexcellence. Stay queenin’.