Calls for Santa Clara’s Watanabe Censure Continue After Apology

The public comment portion of this week's Santa Clara City Council meeting turned into almost an hour of community members and council members publicly airing personal grievances against Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe for the first time on Tuesday.

Watanabe has lost some local support since her March 31 “Stop Asian Hate” event’s fallout; more than 70 Bay Area leaders and residents submitted a letter to the city requesting the two-term representative apologize and be censured for denying Councilmember Kevin Park—the city’s only elected Korean American—a chance to speak during the event.

For just shy of an hour, the seven-member council rehashed the March 31 event in minute detail, offering their perspectives and opinions about the incident that turned a “Stop Asian Hate” event organized by Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Watanabe into a magnifying glass on council divisions.

While the councilors did discuss those larger divides—and years of shunning perceived political foes by Watanabe—much of the conversation devolved into quarrels about who showed up to the event when, which names were on the speakers list, how Park RSVP’d for the event and both parties’ culpability.

“It’s unfortunate that this event that highlighted how our community came together to support AAPI residents has become a controversy about Councilmember Park not speaking,” Watanabe read from a prepared statement, which she previously provided reporters. “There was no ill will on my part. I am sorry that I could not accommodate him. If possible, I would have done so.”

Watanabe ultimately offered the apology Silicon Valley leaders demanded. “I’m sorry that you were offended and I’ll apologize to all of you, if that's what it takes, because this has not been easy for me in a lot of ways,” Watanabe said.

But that apology, it seems, has not smoothed things over with the Silicon Valley leaders demanding the mea culpa. The groups who signed onto the letter—including the Asian Law Alliance, The Health Trust, Korean American Community Services, Silicon Valley NAACP, Working Partnerships and others—are still pushing for Watanabe’s colleagues to censure, or formally reprimand, the councilwoman.

“The underlying problem is that the Mayor and Councilmember Watanabe don't get it,” Richard Konda, executive director for the Asian Law Alliance said in an interview Thursday. “They don't understand what that refusal really meant and what it signaled. I think that her denial of Kevin Park’s request to speak was just outrageous and I think it calls for a censure by the council.”

Likewise, Park said Watanabe’s apology hasn’t cut it with many Asian American residents, a fact that has become abundantly clear this week as his phone has buzzed incessantly with people asking about his next move.

“The AAPI community—all minority communities—we need to take the cause back,” he said. “We need to make sure that it is not Caucasian politicians that are speaking for us. Here we have a City Council person basically saying ‘this is my event,’ trying to gate-keep a national and a global movement for an Asian community that I think she does know about, but I question if she actually understands.”

Park said he hasn’t settled on a position when it comes to censure because he’s trying to balance the desire for closure and recognition of the hurt Watanabe’s actions caused, while avoiding further politicizing and deepening the already gaping council divides.

Gillmor, meanwhile, is pushing for the council members to forgive and forget.

“Council member Watanabe apologized, and I think it's time for us to work together and try on a positive approach, as opposed to the negative with lessons learned from everyone here,”  Gillmor said during the meeting Tuesday. “There's always going to be people out there to point it out, and this is a good example of that—a very good deed that ended up going sour. The question is how do we make it better, work together, spread inclusion and love and everything else instead of divisiveness and hatred?”

Whether censure comes up again may depend on the residents, Park said, and specifically whether any will request the topic be put on a future meeting agenda.

“We need to make sure that Asians and the minorities in our community feel safe and supported, and a lot of them were not happy, and for good reason with what they heard at the city council meeting,” Park said Thursday reflecting on the meeting. “Censure is not about punishing anyone, but it's about sending a message to all of Santa Clara that this is what we stand for. I feel that we need to do something meaningful to record when we do things that are wrong.”

26 Comments

  1. Watanabe had one defender. Kirk “city subsidies” Vartan, a white guy with no sympathy for local Asian American leaders who vigorously attacked Konda and Park whenever possible. WATANABE THE PLANTATI9N LADY who demands free tickets for sporting events whose husband attacked minority football and soccer fans. It is always the same, the plantation lady patronizes whenever possible sipping gin and tonics snapping her fingers.

  2. you have a race hate problem and it can’t be paying any dividends in your life

    we are all God’s Children

  3. God is not my parent or grandparent.

    God had nothing to do with me being born.

    I am a fluke of the universe.

    I have no right to be here.

    And whether I can hear it or not,

    The universe is laughing behind my back.

    Just like all of us

  4. No one needs blessings,

    WE are just flukes of the universe.

    WE have no right to be here.

    And whether WE hear it or not

    The UNIVERSE is laughing behind OUR back.

  5. One side effect of the vigorous and foolish campaign to eradicate sex differences is that it’s left open and available for social use the role of the hypersensitive, quick to tear, anxious and in need of comfort neurotic. The absence of the conniving, crying-on-command female has created an opening ripe for exploitation, and given the irresistible allure of the vacuum and the tactic’s proven track record it’s no wonder so many are vying for its rewards. Nevertheless, it is a shame to see the public image of proud, accomplished groups of Americans, many of them new to this country, stained by the effeminate strategies of the kind generated in this much-ado-about-nothing campaign against Ms. Watanabe. The message they are signalling to their young is the message of weakness, otherness, despair. It is the message of the un-weaned welfare caste; the message that creates fatherless children, entitled parasites, and street thugs (like the kind mugging elder Asians).

    Allow the Asian Law Alliance to play politics with your children’s self-image and you invite them to mature into indolent political units and not self-reliant individuals.

  6. Phu Tan Elli,

    Yes lets fully endorse and protect the KKK, the Proud boys, QANON, and the NRA?

    But not the other side of the coin?

    ENABLING BOTH sounds like true conservatism to me, or is it just someone wanting to have EVERYTHING their way no matter who gets hurt in the process? That is either FASCISM or TOTATLITARIANISM isn’t it?

    Just a thought.

    And I have no faith in anything not SCIENTIFICALLY proven. Thus the Universe is STILL laughing behind OUR back.

  7. Anyone who understands science knows nothing is proven in science. Actually science is defined by its falsifiability, read Popper. Anyone who worships science as a way to understand the world is an adherent of Scientism. The limits of science are legion and come with a series of qualification and disclaimers for good reason. Any real scientist is loath to make conclusive statements other than when those conclusions have been shown to be false with experimental evidence, and even then they hedge in their language.

    There is no proving anything true without faith.

    It does not surprise anyone that a unemployed, nihilistic free-loader who thinks its fair to game to personally profit from societal protections designed to help poor people would make such a statements and believe in such religions.

    However, the survival of the species requires more faith than science, and that faith must be one that offers optimism not skepticism. The challenges to life are enormous and without an optimistic faith, unshakable biological imperative or some profit motive, no one would have children. Children have not been profitable for some time and our rationalizing mind has a way of loosening biological imperatives. So, thanks to the inherent selfishness of the current progressive culture and its lack of faith in optimistic religions, those genetically predisposed to self-select out of the gene pool have cultural protections to do so. Thus the free-loading nihilists are aging out and not replacing. Oddly enough conservative mindsets have been shown to be somewhat genetic and they are the ones having children and populating the future. Thus passing on more conservative outlooks than progressive.

    We can hope for the nihilistic free-loader, we can pray for the nihilistic free-loader, but we are likely at peak nihilistic free-loader.

    Gratefully.

  8. DEFINITELY NOT SJ KULAK you wrote:

    “Anyone who understands science knows nothing is proven in science.”

    Really, like there is no proof of anaerobic or aerobic cellular respiration, and photosynthesis? Or that 1 calorie increases the temperature of a gram of water 1 degree Celsius at 1 standard atmosphere. Boy you really don’t know SCIENCE. Granted SOCIAL SCIENCES are tricky,, but the NATURAL sciences are sable and reliable. You wrote:

    “Actually science is defined by its falsifiability, read Popper.”

    Popper says there is such thing as non-science theories, but they are like you said, unproven. SCIENTIFIC theories can be reliably PROVEN or DISPROVEN based on RELIABLE EXPERIMENTATION AND VALIDATION. You really need to do better homework. You wrote:

    “Anyone who worships science as a way to understand the world is an adherent of Scientism. The limits of science are legion and come with a series of qualification and disclaimers for good reason.”

    Actually, the REAL problem is that there is so much “pseudoscience” posted on the internet and people believe it. WHERE there is RELIABLE EXPERIMENTATION and VALIDITY is established, whatever “theories” or “laws” are hard to pass off as untrue. But you and your friends tend to purposely try to mislead the public. You wrote:

    “Any real scientist is loath to make conclusive statements other than when those conclusions have been shown to be false with experimental evidence, and even then they hedge in their language.”

    But at the same time there are THOUSANDS of “theories” and “laws” in science that no one questions anymore because of RELIABLE EXPERIMENTATION and VALIDATION. What you are saying is that many “so-called” scientists are either not doing the right experimentation so that they have no reliable result and no validation, thus they cannot put a solid theory together or back up their work. Right? You wrote:

    “There is no proving anything true without faith.”

    WRONG there is the “PROPOSITION” of TRUTH with faith. SCIENCE PROVES TRUTH.

    The rest of what you wrote doesn’t warrant any response.

  9. It is difficult to comprehend how you are a functioning person.

    Observing natural phenomenon and giving it a name is not proving anything, its arbitrarily creating conventions. Science is repleat with inevitably disproven theories and hypotheses. There is no proving anything in science, it is a process of hypothsis, experimentation, analysis, and refinement. The heros of science are the people who were able to show conventional thought was wrong.

    Math is provable as it exists only in Platonic Forms. Once you prove something in math, it is not longer required to check if the next one is true.

    Science is not so lucky, even if it profits from its adjacency with math. Newton was shown to be wrong, as has Einstein, there are whole classes on the subject. Darwins own criteria of falsifiability of natural selection has already been met, now they hand wave chunkyness and AI solving the alpha folding problem. Settled science, proven science, “the science” are all tells for the small brained, nothing about any of them is science.

    You fail even basic logic and knowledge tests over and over, yet you continue to word salad nonsense. Go make some money and give your too generous landlord a break.

  10. SJ KULAK you wrote:

    “It is difficult to comprehend how you are a functioning person.”

    Well that is a constructive conversation you wrote:

    “Observing natural phenomenon and giving it a name is not proving anything, its arbitrarily creating conventions.”

    Actually QUANTIFICATION is the SCIENCE of proving a theory or a law. But you hardly know anything about QUANTIFICATION. You wrote:

    “Science is repleat with inevitably disproven theories and hypotheses. There is no proving anything in science, it is a process of hypothsis, experimentation, analysis, and refinement. The heros of science are the people who were able to show conventional thought was wrong.”

    Any experiment that is performed whether it is “conventional” or in you’re case “SUPERNATURAL” leaves science out. You wrote:

    “Math is provable as it exists only in Platonic Forms. Once you prove something in math, it is not longer required to check if the next one is true.”

    Chemical formulas are not entirely MATH but everyone knows that when you add NaCL to H20- the formula of equilibrium is NaCl + H2O = Na(O) + (H2)Cl. Also 6(C)12(H)6(O) [Glucose] plus 6(O2) + 36 ADP + 36 P(i) turns into 6(CO2) + 6(H2O) + 26 ATP. THe reverse occurs in photosynthesis with the addition of UV radiation. These are among thousands of undeniable truth. But you can go ahead and have your “SUPERNATURAL” thinking. You wrote:

    “In fact there are so many ways to turn natural science theories into equations an validate them.”

    Actually they have done so much more, with scientifically validated and reliable equipment they have been able to actually measure the processes. So when you say they are only making things up, you forget the area of my first job CERTIFYING SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTATION. You wrote:

    “Science is not so lucky, even if it profits from its adjacency with math. Newton was shown to be wrong, as has Einstein, there are whole classes on the subject.”

    Really I know that anyone can make mistakes but Newtons mistake was he didn’t do an experiment where INFRARED light was discovered by accident. And also, there was no instrumentation to establish the nature of light being like a particle and a wave due to the “ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE” phenomenon. You are claiming that under the “lore” Einstein made an error in his “theory” BUT again he did not have any INSTRUMENTATION to prove it. Thus, that was also simply BAD TIMING. Science corrects itself where new TECHNOLOGY that can MEASURE the ONCE UNMEASURABLE is ready. You went on to say:

    “Darwins own criteria of falsifiability of natural selection has already been met, now they hand wave chunkyness and AI solving the alpha folding problem. Settled science, proven science, “the science” are all tells for the small brained, nothing about any of them is science.”

    Actually “Natural Selection” has been proven correct, so has “unnatural selection” like the 20,000 year development of the domesticated dog. BUT what he could not MEASURE or OBSERVE was DNA and how 2 sexual species reproduction introduces mutation into the species, thus causing another form of “EVOLUTION”. Then of course those that “SURVIVE” reproduce again. You keep on ATTACKING SCIENCE because it can PROVE itself, but “GOD” is a figment of our imagination.

    But thanks for playing.

  11. “everyone knows that when you add NaCL to H20- the formula of equilibrium is NaCl + H2O = Na(O) + (H2)Cl. Also 6(C)12(H)6(O) [Glucose] plus 6(O2) + 36 ADP + 36 P(i) turns into 6(CO2) + 6(H2O) + 26 ATP.” — Steven Goldstein

    Gotta agree. It was just the other day that I made that same statement, word for word, to my neighbor. I still don’t know why she turned the hose on me.

  12. Phu Tan Elli,

    You didn’t provide the CONTEXT of the event. For example did you do anything to her to antagonize her in the past? Have you been escalating animosity between you two. Remember it takes two people looking to start a fight, or one person looking to attack another no matter what.

    I need more information so understand the scene. Maybe a person with reasonable social skills would know how to de-escalate a situation. Like the majority of law enforcement officers. But to many are wrapped up in the psychology of the Stanford Prison experiment.

    In any event, the MODELING BEHAVIOR of political leadership in this country needs a LOT of work equally on every one of them. But then there is this case that is the Japanese proverb “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

  13. If we believe in science, and it sounds like we here all do, then we should pay particular attention to Charles Darwin who showed that species evolve so as to emphasize traits that allow them to thrive in their particular environment.
    By wielding the powers of government we have the ability to change and control the societal environment in which we live. That means our government policies dictate the “species” which will flourish.
    By enacting policies and laws that reward complaining and protesting and delusions of victimhood we are quickly creating an environment in which the resentment gene dominates and our noble and self sufficient species Homo erectus will soon be overwhelmed and subsumed by the better adapted subspecies Homo gimmemorus.

  14. JOHN GALT you wrote:

    “By enacting policies and laws that reward complaining and protesting and delusions of victimhood we are quickly creating an environment in which the resentment gene dominates and our noble and self sufficient species Homo erectus will soon be overwhelmed and subsumed by the better adapted subspecies Homo gimmemorus.”

    Well talking about educated, we are the Homo Sapiens and NOT Homo Erectus, except maybe you just let loose a Freudian slip.

    So sad.

  15. I’m thankful that from John Galt’s comment I came away appreciative of the witty creation, Homo gimmemorus, he used to better make his point and describe his alarm. And I’m relieved that my reaction to his comment was not to zero in on a minor factual error (easy to make when focused on creativity), and even more so that I didn’t correct him incorrectly, by capitalizing the first “s” in Homo sapiens.

  16. Phu Tan Elli,

    The problem with that kind of SCIENCE is that it has to be GENETICALLY distinctive of the parent species.

    Meaning it must have its own distinct Genome. John you are going to have to perform a genome project to SCIENTIFICALLY determine who is in the species of Homo Gimmemorus Versus Homo Sapien. Otherwise you are just making up a story, Right?

    Evolutionary science shows that our ancestor Homo Erectus, had a very different genome, and was in effect made EXTINCT.

    John time to go into the lab and prove your hypothesis, right?

    I for example am a member of the Homo SuperSapiens, and I have proof, I have MUTATIONS, like believe it or not 4 nipples on my body among other interesting differences. It makes me proof of EVOLUTION.

  17. I forgot to say this the doctors labeled my top ones FEMALE and the lower ones MALE due to scientific
    comparison

  18. Appreciate the response from both of you.
    I don’t think it’s necessary to show a genetic distinction. The process of Natural Selection can happen not just through genetic mutation but also within a social environment in which people can make the choice to alter their behavior in response to variations in risk and reward.

  19. John Galt,

    A REAL scientist would never make such a claim. Natural selection ONLY occurs upon mutation alone. You are discussing UNNATURAL Selection. You should watch the Cosmos episode regarding Dogs, it will point out that process.

    You can watch it right here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQHBmY6LbiA). And you can watch this too (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp2Wp6UI5lA)

    But that results in REAL genetic change, not a “social” behavior as you unfortunately are conflating.

  20. It is not ok for a white person to hate an asian, black, hispanic, mexican.

    BUT, IT IS OK NOW FOR AN ASIAN, BLACK, HISPANIC, MEXICAN TO HATE A WHITE PERSON.

    No double-standard there, is there?
    Hate to burst their bubble, but WHITE people built this country. Fought and died for this county. So, they could come here from their screwed up countries they refuse to fight for. Yet, come here, enjoy their freedoms and bitch about this country.

    How about going back home and fixing your country or origin, instead of coming here and screwing up what used to be the greatest country on the planet. Don’t bring your stupid culture here and screwup this country.

    Hate is hate, no mater if it’s white hating others, or OTHERS hating whites.

    How about we all shutup, get to work, and those that just want freebees, get out of this country. Those that want to work hard and give back to America, stay here and become Americans. Who o this great country. Quit being a bunch of crying bitches just taking from this country and destroying it.

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