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Milestones: The foolish faux pas! – Opinion

You could not have scripted a public gathering with a more poignant example of bigotry if you were a Ph.D. in Chinese sociology from Shanghai.

Council Member Kathy Watanabe and Mayor Lisa Gillmor arranged, directed, and produced a neighborhood rally to bring awareness to “Asian hate” in the community.

What was unscripted, unscheduled, unplanned and explosive was the end of the official program.


As the program was winding down and the scheduled speakers were done, Watanabe approached the podium and said she thinks she didn’t miss anyone.

Council Member Kevin Park, a Korean American, came forward and said, “I would like to say a few words.”

Watanabe was jolted. She glanced around looking for an answer and apparently found her cue in a quick glance at Mayor Gillmor. “No” she responded to Park. “This is my event.”

Watanabe’s unscripted faux pas proved to be a blatant demonstration of such bigotry it would even make Hannibal Lecter blush.

Folks, you can’t make this up.

Watanabe attempted a recovery, but the dynamite had been delivered and in one word she demonstrated the despicable reality of who she really is and what this event really was: A rally to promote and advance Kathy Watanabe’s and Lisa Gillmor’s futures in politics.

Watanabe harbors contempt for those who do not support her and the Mayor’s induced point of view. Her response to Council Member Park demonstrated with clarity the real purpose of this “community” event. Even though promoted as a community event to create awareness of malice against the Asian community, it was simply a disguised political rally.

Folks, it was an unfortunate flop.

Failing to find a moment to permit an elected official from the Asian American and Santa Clara community to announce publicly his support for such an event tells us all we need to know about Watanabe.

It may be that not all is fair in love, war, and politics. But common courtesy and civility are expected in a community forum. Particularly a forum intended to reflect inclusion.

In this passing moment of abrupt rejection, Watanabe uncorked the jug of exclusion containing, anger, disgust and vile. Her “No” was a painful picture portraying prejudice and pretense.

Park is one of three Asian Council Members in Santa Clara, reflecting for the first time in history, the City’s population diversity.

Santa Clara voters need to complete the refreshing replacement of a Mayor and Council Member who pretend to practice their politics of inclusion, while in reality, practicing exclusion as their primary priority.

And, while voters are considering the complete cleanup of the Council, we need to ask: Why is Santa Clara City Attorney Brain Doyle still employed?


  1. Mark Apton 3 years ago

    Kathy was asking if she missed anyone that was scheduled, Park was not scheduled. Your prejudice against the council members fighting the 49’rs takeover of the city is obvious in this hit piece by you.

  2. Erni Porter 3 years ago

    Whether or not, Council Member Kevin Park was a scheduled speaker is not the point. One might even ask why he was not asked to be a scheduled speaker, but that would only support the point that Mr. Barber is making. I believe Council Member Watanabe’s
    unscripted comment is a good indicator of her underlying reason for the event.

  3. Jim Irving 3 years ago

    This sounds more like political grandstanding to me: One person arranges stage and news time for themself, then doesn’t want someone else to steal their thunder.
    Was there any further context to indicate this was racially motivated? Is there known animus between these two representatives?

  4. Davy L. 3 years ago

    Councilwoman, Kathy Watanabe, needs to be censured by her associate councilmembers for her poor behavior and actions.

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