School board candidate in Missouri apologizes for resurfaced video referring to Asian woman as ‘panda’
A candidate for the Parkway School District Board of Education has recently apologized after a video of him making racist and derogatory comments about two women around seven years ago resurfaced online this month.
Ryan Kerr of St. Louis County, Missouri, who is running against six other candidates, uploaded an apology video to Facebook on Tuesday after several netizens told voters not to choose him in the upcoming April 4 election, citing a four-minute rant he filmed while purportedly drunk in 2016.
In the video, he calls an Asian woman a “panda” and “milk-fueled mule.”
“We don’t f*cking go around, talk about other people’s business. Ain’t no pandas in this car. We all don’t be like, ‘Hey, I’m sorry I get replaced by the f*cking panda. My bad, I’m white. She’s f*cking Asian,” he says at one point.
More from NextShark: Police Investigate Racist Graffiti on Chinese Restaurant as Hate Crime in the UK
“Let that Asian know what she’s worth. Apparently not much,” Kerr says at another point in the video.
In his recent seven-minute apology video, Kerr, 39, explains that the old video was reuploaded to YouTube on March 12 by the same person who previously shared the clip on Twitter in 2019.
Kerr, a registered nurse, provides some context for his controversial video, which was allegedly shared with just a “small group of friends,” and says that the people he was referring to in it had falsely accused him of assault.
More from NextShark: Nigel Ng Responds to Claims He ‘Bowed’ to China After Removing Mike Chen Video
“There’s a lot of context missing from the video, not that it makes the comments any better. While I said I apologized in ‘16, I apologized again in ‘19 and I apologized again last week, I also spent a lot of time doing therapy, a lot of time counseling,” he continues. “It wasn’t so much for the contents for that video, it was who I had, kind of, devolved into at the time.”
Kerr notes that at the time, he was suffering from mental health issues and a bad recovery following an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) snap.
“It’s one of those situations that was lashed out and I don’t recognize that person and I would not recognize that person today,” he states, adding that the incident happened before he had children, which served as a “big turning point” in his life.
More from NextShark: Former US Prosecutors and Over 70 Firms Are Uniting to Offer Free Legal Help to Fight Asian Hate
In a statement to KSDK, Kerr admitted that what happened was “a very isolated and targeted event,” reiterating that it all stemmed from a “false allegation of assaulting a female.”
“It wasn’t right regardless and there weren’t any excuses. I apologized very publicly, privately, and sought a counselor,” he wrote. “Over the following 4 years I would engage in several voluntary cultural DEI programs as well as start a 7-year journey to be the best human I can be. Amongst this journey I fell in love with Asian history and culture. We actually employ several behavioral/nutritional concepts of Chinese origin with our children.”
“While I understand the outrage as if this video is somehow new, I also caution the understanding of my journey and self-development through counseling, programs, and ongoing counseling,” he continued in the last part of his statement.
More from NextShark: Malaysian boy narrowly escapes crocodile attack over a week after infant killed by croc
Speaking to KMOV4, Kerr explained that he shot the video after drinking with his friends.
“I knew that I would have to explain it again, I knew that I was going to put myself under a microscope, but because it depends on my children’s future and not only mine but 17,000 kids in this district,” he told the network on Tuesday.
“I don’t regret the incident happening because it’s gotten me to where I am today.”
Heather Fleming of the Missouri Equity Education Partnership is not convinced of Kerr’s development through the years, telling KSDK that he has not learned his lesson and opposes diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs.
“I don’t understand why he’s now running on a platform that would deny students and educators the ability to have the same so-called learning that he states that he had in therapy,” Fleming said. “It just shows a disconnect between what he’s saying he learned and what he is actually showing me he learned.”
On March 13, Fleming tweeted the link to the YouTube reupload of Kerr’s rant and wrote, “This is @ParkwaySchools board candidate Ryan Kerr on a 4+ minute racist, sex- and body-shaming rant. Imagine voting this man into a position to represent and protect your children. Don’t. Our kids deserve better.”
Know Your Parkway BOE (Board of Education) on Facebook also slammed Kerr’s 2016 video, noting that while he has apologized for his actions, he has never apologized for “the ideas behind them.”
“In fact, he tries to justify his actions,” the Facebook page, which posts information about the board, said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “While we are glad that Mr. Kerr is making an effort to improve himself, he doesn’t belong on a school board. This video, and his response, speaks for itself.”