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NAACP San Diego branch condemns racist remarks after man calls Public Health Officer 'Aunt Jemima'

Posted at 3:17 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 18:22:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's NAACP branch says it strongly supports members of the city's Board of Supervisors and disapproves the racist and vitriolic comments that targeted them during a meeting earlier this week.

The San Diego County Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2 was focused on the County's vaccine mandate for new employees.

RELATED: Community calls for anti-racist comment policy after man calls Public Health Officer 'Aunt Jemima'

A man who identified himself as Italian American stand-up comedian, Jason Robo, said he was against the mandate. He began his public comment time with an offensive tirade against Supervisors Nora Vargas, Terra Lawson-Remer, and Nathan Fletcher.

Robo called Vice-Chair Nora Vargas "fat," suggested Chair Nathan Fletcher commit suicide, and said, "Lawson-Remer, you're a little monkey. I'd like to see you hang from a tree," trying to catch a laugh from the crowd.

"Wooten, you're [expletive] Aunt Jemima," Robo said about the County's Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten, who is Black.

The NAACP released a statement Thursday, condemning Robo's racially-charged comments.

We stand in support of Dr. Wilma Wooten, County Public Health Officer, who was compared to Aunt Jemima during a verbal assault during public comment this Tuesday.

The use of racist analogies and derogatory name-calling is not an acceptable practice during public comment. Rather, this type of behavior offends us all. NAACP San Diego Branch supports and defends the First Amendment right to free speech.

However, Tuesday’s display of hatred should be condemned by the residents of this region.

Even PepsiCo and Quaker Oats recognized the offensive and historical stereotype of the Aunt Jemima symbol and introduced new packaging for their product without this offensive picture, which they had used for 130 years. Comments like these add nothing but hate to public discourse and do not contribute to the greater good of the people of San Diego County.

We urge you to join us in condemning this racist and offensive behavior.

Shane Harris, President of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, announced Wednesday that he is submitting a policy proposal to the County to prevent future racial comments, and make what Vice-Chair Vargas did policy.

ABC 10News reached out to Robo for comment on this story but did not receive a response.