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Related Categories: San Francisco | Arts + Action | Government & Elections | Racial Justice
9/12/18 SF Board of Appeals Finally Approves Removal of Racist Statute
by Power to the People
Wednesday Sep 12th, 2018 9:49 PM
On September 12, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Appeals had a re-hearing on the appeal of Frear Stephen Schmid of the decision of the San Francisco Arts Commission to remove the racist statute depicting a Native American as subservient in San Francisco’s Civic Center. On 2/21/18, the Arts Commission had issued a Certificate of Appropriateness to remove this racist statue. Schmid appealed and on 4/18/18, this Board of Appeals granted the appeal 5 to 0! A rehearing was granted on June 13, 2018 to be heard on 9/12/18. It was the massive presence of Native Americans and their supporters, all speaking eloquently during Public Comment, that forced the Board of Appeals to rescind their unconscionable racist vote, thus allowing the racist statute to finally be removed in a 4 to 0 vote. (One seat is now vacant.)
On September 12, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Appeals had a re-hearing on the appeal of Frear Stephen Schmid of the decision of the San Francisco Arts Commission to remove the racist statute depicting a Native American as subservient in San Francisco’s Civic Center. On 2/21/18, the Arts Commission had issued a Certificate of Appropriateness to remove this racist statue. Schmid appealed and on 4/18/18, this Board of Appeals granted the appeal 5 to 0! A rehearing was granted on June 13, 2018 to be heard on 9/12/18. It was the massive presence of Native Americans and their supporters, all speaking eloquently during Public Comment, that forced the Board of Appeals to rescind their unconscionable racist vote, thus allowing the racist statute to finally be removed in a 4 to 0 vote. (One seat is now vacant.)

This issue on the agenda is described at Item 7, Appeal 18-035 at
https://sfgov.org/bdappeal/sites/default/files/BOA%20Meeting%20Agenda%20for%20September%2012%2C%202018.pdf

The names and biographies of the members of the Board of Appeals may be found at:
https://sfgov.org/bdappeal/board-members

The Vice-President of the Board of Appeals, Rick Swig, made quite a fuss about legalities. He has been sitting there long enough to know that all of the boards and commissions in this City, including the Art Commission, have to act within the law. He claimed to have received an education from the audience when he is old enough to have come of age during the 1960s-1970s, when all of the civil rights movements flourished, including the Native American movement, all of which have grown in size since then. He acknowledged his Jewish ancestry (from a very famous San Francisco Jewish family, owner of the St. Francis and Fairmount hotels), which is the same as this writer’s ancestry, but he and the rest of the Board of Appeals had originally voted to retain this racist statute! Perhaps it is a matter of class since Mr. Swig is from the ruling class, unlike this workingclass writer, and does not identify with the poor, dispossessed, disinherited and disenfranchised.

For the vacant seat, hopefully the mayor or the Board of Supervisors will appoint someone from a workingclass background, since it is clear that it is not ethnicity but class that is decisive. That racist statute should have been removed a long time ago!

As many speakers, including white European descendants stated, it is embarrassing and horrifying that there was any thought of keeping this racist statue in full view of all who live in and visit San Francisco.