Tour guide’s racist Chinatown tirade sparks Lee’s ire

YouTube.comA woman on her last day of work for a tour bus company went off on Chinatown and its residents recently

A tour guide who went on a racist tirade on her last day of work has drawn the ire of Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor David Chiu, among others, after the event was posted on YouTube and went viral this week.

The video shows the guide on the top level of a tour bus with a microphone in one hand and a bottle in the other, although what is in the bottle is not clear.

Instead of showing off the gates of Chinatown and other local attractions in the neighborhood, she proceeds to slam everything about Chinatown and its residents – dropping numerous F-bombs along the way. The video ends with the guide getting the tourists to join along on a chant with her of “F— Chinatown, f— Chinatown.”

The tour guide, who says she is originally from Los Angeles, said Chinatown's residents should “assimilate a little bit, OK?” She also said Los Angeles' Chinatown is cleaner and nicer. The guide's identity is unknown at this time.

Mayor Ed Lee said the video was “disgusting” and that society should be past racism like this.

“My first thought is, we're over this. We're supposed to be over it,” Lee said, who noted that his father often recounted tales of the racism he encountered during his job as a cook in Seattle-area restaurants.

“We have generations of people who don't have the education and experience that we've gone through in our lifetimes,” he said. “They need to be educated … not just in school, [but] at homes, when parents talk to our kids.”

Of the tourists joining in on the chant and some can be heard laughing or clapping, Lee said he wasn't necessarily surprised.

“Sometimes that doesn't surprise me that they take it as a joke,” he said, noting that Asians in America have often been made into “caricatures we didn't appreciate.”

KTVU reported that Supervisor David Chiu wanted the tour company, City Sightseeing San Francisco, and the tour guide to come forward with an apology.

The company's CEO Christian Watts released a statement Thursday apologizing:

“I deeply apologize to the residents of Chinatown and San Francisco, for the conduct of a former employee.”

She continued: “Comments made by this former employee on her last day of employment are absolutely not a representation of how much we love and support Chinatown, and every other community in San Francisco. Due to this unfortunate incident, we have added additional training processes to ensure that each tour is up to our rigorous standard.”

Mayor Lee said the company's apology was not enough.

“There's no way they can just say, 'Sorry,'” he said. “They have to demonstrate that they have to train their employees better.”

S.F. Examiner Staff Writer Chris Roberts contributed to this report.

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