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Squinty Eye Comment about Ed Lee Upsets Judge

Ed Lee
Photo by Dave Golden

San Francisco Chinatown came out Thursday night to honor Ed Lee its way.

Wednesday evening hundreds of mostly Chinese Americans came out for a candlelight vigil and to an indoor memorial earlier in the day to honor the first elected Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city.

Sunday’s memorial service was largely organized by San Francisco’s chief of Protocol and wife of former Secretary of State George Scultz, Charlotte Schultz.

No Chinese or Asian Americans were invited to eulogize Lee except for the mayor’s two daughters.

Retired Judge Julie Tang called out Schultz at Wednesday’s observance for a comment she made, according to ABC7 News.

“He had a wonderful laugh with those twinkly, well just like the picture, squinty eyes and that wonderful smile,” Schultz said at Sunday’s service.

“I was shocked,” said Tang about the “squinty eye” comment. “I said, am I hearing this correctly? I thought about it long and hard and deep in my heart know that Mayor Ed Lee would want something unjust against Chinese to be mentioned.”

Another retired judge joined Tang in condemning the comment.

“We felt uncomfortable when one person spoke about squinty eyes,” Lillian Sing told the crowd.

The Mayor’s Office of Protocol issued an apology on behalf of Schultz to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“This has been a very difficult time for her. Mrs. Shultz apologizes if any of her comments regarding the mayor — which were intended to be heartfelt and warm — offended anyone. Mrs. Shultz loved Mayor Lee very much and will miss him dearly.”

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