Report: San Antonio officials got flood of angry messages following resolution condemning hate speech

click to enlarge Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Councilman Clayton Perry listen to a speaker at a recent council meeting. - Rhyma Castillo
Rhyma Castillo
Mayor Ron Nirenberg (left) and Councilman Clayton Perry listen to a speaker at a recent council meeting.

Turns out some people don't like being told not to be dicks.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and city council were barraged with "enraged, often hate-filled" comments among the 400 messages they received after the unanimous passage in May of a resolution denouncing hate speech, a KSAT investigation revealed.

City officials released 1,000 pages of records related to the resolution on Monday, some six months after the TV station requested them. Council passed the measure during the outset of the pandemic amid a reported rise in hate crimes against Asians and Jews.

The resolution denounced hate speech and the use of racially charged phrases such as “Kung Fu virus" and “China Virus” to describe COVID-19. It also acknowledged an upswell of antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jews had helped spread the coronavirus. 

Most of the 401 written comments sent to the city after the resolution's passage were a cut-and-paste “petition for freedom from government oppression,” according to KSAT. However, some used racist language to describe people of Asian descent. 

Also among the messages were threats to stop visiting San Antonio or cancel retirement plans here over council's approval of the resolution. 

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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