Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton (a Black man) was confronted by a Sheriff’s Office official last month after allegedly using a racial slur against a cadet (another Black man). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Walton was frustrated about having to remove his belt while going through a security check.
In a memo by Undersheriff Joseph Engler obtained by The Chronicle, Walton became angry with Cadet Emare Butler as he was going through a security check at City Hall. Per the report, Walton told Butler, “it is N- words like you that look like me that is always the problem.” Walton was also alleged to have called the security protocols some “n*gga s***.” Walton faces no punishment for the incident however he faced some backlash given his strong stance against racial slurs.
More about Walton from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Walton, one of the most powerful elected officials in San Francisco, has frequently used his post to call out racist language and actions. In 2020, he introduced an ordinance that would make it illegal to call 911 to make a racially biased and fabricated report. The Caren Act (Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies) was a reference to the slang term used to describe a white woman complaining about people of color.
Walton last week called for the resignation of a school board member, Ann Hsu, after she made a racist comment, saying one of the biggest challenges in educating Black and brown students was their “unstable family environments” and “lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning.” Walton said, “At the end of the day, this is probably reflective of how a person really feels.”
Walton admitted to using the slur against the cadet because he got frustrated. However, he told The Chronicle he was consistently being treated unfairly at that security checkpoint. Engler told Walton he doesn’t care what the situation is, he doesn’t approve of anyone using the slur, per the memo via The Chronicle.
Butler, on the other hand, was strongly impacted by the interaction. He said he felt the remarks were hypocritical and criticized Walton being comfortable berating him in front of his colleagues. He also alleged Walton threatened to “whoop his ass.” Since the incident, he’s been moved to another area of the building and sought guidance from his pastor, per The Chronicle.
Engler filed an incident report to Human Resources Director Carol Isen including a reprimand of Walton using “offensive terminology” because it created a hostile working environment for not only Butler but other employees. To me, Walton was just being arrogant because of his title and position. Issues can be resolved without cussing people out.