Author Archives: Staff

“Assault” on a “Peace” Officer in La Mesa

May 28, 2020

Chief Walt Vasquez of the La Mesa Police Department has this to say:

The La Mesa Police Department works with our community to protect life and property while striving to enhance the quality of life of all our residents.

We are curious as to which of these laudable goals is in evidence in this facebook video:

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What we see is one not very peaceful officer shoving around a citizen who, while justifiably angry over his disrespectful and violent treatment by the officer, makes no resistance.  We wonder whose life or property was threatened by this citizen?  Whose quality of life was enhanced by shoving him around?

Then, after all that aggression from the officer, he has the gall to arrest this poor man for “Assault on a Peace Officer.”  Seldom has so much irony been packed into such a little code as “241-C.”

We see four failures here.

Failure to de-escalate:

We must dismiss our need for immediate resolution to all kinds of resistance. — Harry Hammer, Inside the Art of De-Escalation.  Officers must learn to de-escalate situations, and not insist that citizens instantly comply with their every whim.

Anger management:

Hand in hand with de-escalation is that officers must learn to manage their own anger.  Officers should not be shoving people around.  We shudder to think what might have been done had there been no video cameras around.

Failure of Other Officers to Intervene

Several times we see a female officer step in to help restrain the innocent citizen who was the subject of this assault.  NEVER do we see or hear her or any of the other four officers on-scene attempt an intervention with the Officer who is the aggressor.  We are continually told by law enforcement that it is only a few officers who are “bad apples.” The point of a “bad apple” is that it spoils the whole bunch.  When officers intervene when one of their fellows are losing it, they protect both the citizen and that officer.

Of course, some officers are simply too violent and too dangerous to be helped, and must instead be terminated.

Community Relations

What none of our local law enforcement agencies seem to understand is that there is no number of softball games and toy giveaways that can improve their relations with the community when there are interactions like this caught on video.  Yes, we want to meet the chief and we’re glad when they are generous and helpful.  However, all of us in the African-American community know that if we put one single foot one single inch wrong, we may be thrown around, beaten up, have our necks knelt on, and then arrested to add insult to injury.  Assuming, of course, we even live to tell the tale.

When the City of La Mesa gets serious about improving the quality of life for its citizens, and gets serious about protecting its citizens FROM its police officers, the NAACP San Diego Branch stands ready to help.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

NBPA on George Floyd

Like all people of good will, we at the NAACP San Diego Branch are horrified at the wanton murder of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department.  We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and we hope justice will be done upon the killers.

We received a statement from the National Black Police Association regarding the incident.  We find it very telling that African-American police officers, some of whom are members of our Branch, see Mr Floyd’s death much the same way we do:

Follow the Money — In YOUR Community

COVID-19 has upended all our lives and all our budgets, and the governments in our region have been upended as well.  All our cities are scrambling to deal with the loss of tax revenue that has come from the need to suspend so much activity.  No matter what city or town or village you live in, decisions are being made right now that will drastically affect the services you rely on.

Now, more than ever, you need to be informed and make your voice heard.  We know that those communities who are not heard will be the ones hit hardest by the cuts.  Furthermore, affluent communities are always heard; we must not let their voice be the only ones heard.

In the City of San Diego, a report was recently issued by the Independent Budget Analyst discussing the effects of some of the proposals for budget revisions.  If you live in San Diego, you need to read this document!  A similar document for Chula Vista is here. If you don’t live in one of those two cities, you need to find your city’s equivalent, and read that.

You can make a difference by being informed and speaking up!

(By the way, please do the NAACP San Diego Branch a favor; if you dig up information on your City’s plans, please email it to us at [email protected].)

Redistricting in the City of San Diego

One of the most important things that happens after the census (you have filled out the census, haven’t you?  If not, visit my2020census.gov) is redistricting.  Nothing affects our political landscape more than how our districts are drawn; they group voters together and split voters apart.  This can make all the difference when it comes to which communities are actually represented and which ones are not.

We invite you to read about and apply to the City of San Diego’s Redistricting Commission; it is one of the best ways you can serve your community!

ACT-SO Results to be Announced

ACT-SO had its first day of competition on Saturday, May 23rd, over Zoom, with both Humanities and Performing Arts competitions. We’re excited to say that $2400 in scholarship prizes were earned that first day alone! You’ll have to attend our announcement on Sunday at 5pm to find out who earned which prizes.

ACT-SO’s 2nd day of competition will be May 30th, again over zoom. We will be doing Visual Arts and STEM on that day, and are looking forward to providing even more scholarship money to our hardworking competitors.

We’d like to give a big thanks to last Saturday’s competitors, Sherwin, Loba, Tracee and Eryn, and last Saturday’s judges, Buki, Darwin, Ryn, Tomas, Shardie and Daniel.

More to come on Saturday, and the results on Sunday!

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Westview High, Slavery, and Racism

May 25, 2020

Last week, Westview High students expressed their wish that the Confederate States of America had won the war to preserve slavery, so that they would have personal slaves to do their work.  Here is the text of an exchange on social media:

god i really f – – – – – – wish the south won the civil war. i wish i had a f – – – – – – slave to do my work for me.
same.

We know about this thanks to Westview senior Nena Lockhart, who has had enough of the racism that persists in our society.  She took to social media to say: “This is not funny and age is not an excuse for this kind of behavior.  We cannot go around believing that racism doesn’t exist or only exists in the Deep South, because it still exists everywhere.”

We cannot agree with Ms Lockhart more, and want her to know that we support her wholeheartedly.

Such comments display an utter indifference to the practice of kidnapping, torture, rape, imprisonment and murder that has been the lot of African-Americans.  That injustice continues today in the form of segregated neighborhoods and schools, racial health and wealth disparities, racially biased policing and racially disparate outcomes of our “justice” system; not to mention the continued presence in our communities of racial hatred, such as the Klan hood and swastikas recently on display in Santee.

These are not problems with one-time solutions..  They require sustained, focused efforts to make our students understand the true nature and horror of racism, recognize its continued danger to human beings and society, and speak and act with compassion.

African-American students have suffered long enough from their uneducated and ill informed peers.  We call on Westview High School and the Poway Unified School District to show the same courage and initiative Ms Lockhart did in bringing this matter into the open.  We call on them to take this matter every bit as seriously as it deserves.  We call on them to do their duty to educate students properly regarding issues of race, and to:

  • Institute an ongoing program of implicit bias training to students, teachers and staff.
  • Teach history according to a curriculum that gives proper weight to both the contributions and the suffering of the African-Americans who laid the foundations of a prosperity they were not allowed to enjoy.

Should they fail in this, we call on the Poway community to make their school board members pay a heavy price in the November elections.  It’s time to truly heal our racial divide, so we can move forward together to address the problems our nation faces.

We stand ready to aid the school and district, if it stands ready to take meaningful action, and root out the ugliness, not just paper it over with soothing words.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Donation of Face Masks

May 25, 2020

Andy Gonzalez
Mad Engine LLC
6740 Cobra Way
Ste #100
San Diego, CA 92121
www.madengine.com

Dear Mr Gonzalez,

We give our most heartfelt thanks to Mad Engine LLC for your gracious donation of 100 face masks for the safety of the members of the NAACP San Diego Branch and our community.

You may be sure that we will make good use of them, as we continue to encourage our members and community to take the public health orders seriously, for the protection of all.

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Setting Up Zoom

for NAACP San Diego Branch Meetings

The NAACP San Diego Branch, along with other units in the Southeastern Region of the California-Hawaii State/State Area Conference, has decided in order to protect the integrity of our meetings, to require that all participants and guests in our Executive Committee and General Membership online Zoom meetings meet the following criteria:

  • Have a (paid or) free Zoom account and log in to it before attending
  • Use a current recognizable photo of their face as the profile picture
  • Use their legal first and last names on their profile

Attendees who do not meet this criteria will not be permitted in the meeting.

To sign up for a zoom account, visit: zoom.us/freesignup

For help uploading a picture of your face and setting your name, visit: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201363203-Customizing-your-Profile

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our meetings safe.

Troubleshooting

If you see an alert like this:

You should click “Sign In to Join”. You will then see a screen like this:

If you don’t have a Zoom account, click “Sign Up Free”

Once you have an account and are signed in, you may have to start over at by clicking the meeting link again, but then you should get in.