See related article in the Washington Post.

May 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in us, confirming the heroic status of our first responders and making heroes of janitors and grocery store workers. Sadly, due to continued discrimination and racism, we are also seeing the ugly side of America.  Recently, all over the United States mandatory social distancing orders began to be enforced, while some states slowly began to reopen. From mandatory facial coverings to social distancing on beaches and in stores, more Americans are adjusting to a new way of life.  Unfortunately, the same old problems are still with us.

Over this past week, the NAACP San Diego Branch has become greatly concerned about what appears to be racial discrimination by law enforcement in enforcing the social distancing mandate.  In San Diego, we reviewed a video of an African American female aggressively detained by police officers while walking her dog on the beach—while other beach goers with their dogs were allowed to enjoy their day. My own elderly father was accosted for walking alone in a park, while crowds of white protestors were left alone. In Santee, a resident wore a KKK hood for a facial covering to a local store and was allowed to shop. The NAACP San Diego Branch calls on the San Diego Chief of Police and the Santee Chief of Police to investigate both incidents and provide a full report to the community and a procedure moving forward to eliminate racial discrimination and harassment in the enforcement of social distancing.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch