Author Archives: Staff

Dr R Lee Brown to Head Citizen’s Justice Committee

During this time of unprecedented interest from our society in policing and racial justice, the NAACP San Diego Branch is pleased to announce that the distinguished Dr R. Lee Brown, UCSD Researcher in Government & Community Relations, and an expert in risk management, leadership, employee relations, and many other things, will be heading up an ad-hoc Citizen’s Justice Committee, focused on the reform of policing.  If you are interested in serving with Dr Brown and working on issues of race and policing, we invite you to fill out our Volunteer Interest Form, here: sandiegonaacp.org/volunteer

Neighborhood House Racial Justice Meeting

On June 29th, President Maxwell attended a meeting at Neighborhood House, where the San Diego Police Department shared answers to questions from the Urban League, their proposed de-escalation and other procedures, and the racial makeup of the Department.

2020-06-29-Neighborhood-House-SDPD-Community-Meeting

Racial Issues are Alive and Well in San Diego Unified

July 7, 2020

Students from Patrick Henry High School in the San Diego Unified School District are amusing one another by posting pictures in blackface.  This, while much of the nation is experiencing a moment of consciousness about the true extent of racial injustice in our society, and taking to the streets in support of their fellow human beings.  Clearly, the killing of Mr George Floyd is not what is in the consciousness of San Diego Unified students when it comes to African-Americans; instead, it is the mockery of the minstrel show.

Perhaps one of the reasons these students lack consciousness of their actions is that the district continues to employ (and promote!) teachers who themselves find blackface a matter of amusement, like Dean Schmidt at Serra High.

Racist incidents are going to continue to show their hideous faces until we address the systemic racism in our schools.

Cindy Marten, however, continues her crusade to pretend we live in a “post-racial” society and that she runs a “post-racial” school district.  Why else would she have abolished the Race, Human Relations and Advocacy Department?

Mr Kevin Beiser, you are trustee for all the youth in the district.  We ask that you rise to this occasion and show some bold leadership.  We ask that you call the Superintendent onto the carpet and hold her accountable.

Mr Beiser, this superintendent tried to sweep this incident under the rug, as she has so often done in the past.  This superintendent has shuffled her organization chart nearly 20 times, and never brought much in the way of diversity to the decision-making table.  Instead of addressing each new problem, she merely crows that much louder that there are no problems, in hopes of never having to make real change.

Also, Mr Beiser, while we note the school’s statement regarding its name, we invite you to consider the words of high school student Mr Dino Jones, when he called for the renaming of his own “Patrick Henry High School”: It’s a direct contradiction to speak out for freedom for some and still own slaves.  It is time to change the school’s name; we do not think it appropriate to operate a school named after a man who said “Give me liberty or give me death” but refused to grant liberty to others when it was his to give.  That is hypocrisy, not heroism.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Sally Port Procedures Lead to Shooting

July 6, 2020

Last night around 8pm, a Latino man was left in a San Diego Police Department squad car outside the Sally Port.  He managed to slip his handcuffs and make his way into the trunk of the car.  There, he found an officer’s backpack with a spare weapon in it.  He took this weapon and then returned to the back seat of the vehicle.

When SDPD officers noticed the gun, they began to converge on the vehicle.  They allegedly felt threatened and opened fire on the man.  Next, they sent in a police dog to attack the injured man.

Now this 25-year-old man is injured and his family is traumatized.  Who knows how many others were in the area when the shooting occurred, who may have been struck by a stray bullet.  All because a man was left unsupervised in a vehicle in a crowded area.

There have been far too many dangerous incidents around the Sally Port.  It is up to Mayor Faulconer and the City Council to take control of the situation and get the SDPD to do the right thing.

We call on the US Attorney and FBI, who are already investigating officer-involved-shootings in the SDPD, to do a complete investigation of:

  • The Sally Port and associated polices and procedures, with a view toward the safety of officers, detainees, and the public at large.
  • Policies and procedures that allow detainees to be left unsupervised in vehicles, especially in highly-trafficked areas.
  • Polices and procedures regarding “backup weapons;” whether they are permitted and how they must be secured if permitted.

We offer our thoughts and prayers to the injured man’s family and friends.

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Racial Profiling Spike is No Surprise

July 6, 2020

We read with interest the NBC report on an increase in racial profiling complaints (https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/spike-in-racial-profiling-complaints-to-san-diego-police-department/2358982/).  We read with interest, yes—but not surprise.

The NAACP San Diego Branch President spoke to Chief Nisleit, Executive Chief Guaderrama and Assistant Chief Lucas last week, and told them that officers from special units of the San Diego Police Department who come into the Southeastern Police Division area use terms like “those people” and then switch to another channel and say “Four riding deep in a car down Imperial” or Skyline Drive.  “Those people” and “Four” are used to mean African-Americans or Latinx residents.  Police Sergeants monitor these radio channels, and they say nothing about this racist language.

Language matters, and what our new officers hear is what they learn, so racist language must not be permitted by SDPD.  Furthermore, such language, while offensive in itself, while demoralizing to the African-American and Latinx officers who hear it, is a clue to racist attitudes that may lead to biased policing (as shown in the NBC report), police violence, and police murder.  Such language must not only be impermissible, but those who use it must be subject to sanction, preferably removal from the police force.

Even more concerning is the fact that Police Sergeants approve this behavior by their silence.  What does that say about the supposed “Community Policing” goals of Chief Nisleit’s department?  What does that say about future leadership, when the SDPD continues to refuse to bring in outside leaders, and instead relies solely on promoting from within this pool of officers so obviously tainted with racist language, attitudes, and behavior?

Even our own African-American police officers experience racial profiling.  When they’re off-duty, they get stopped by SDPD officers.  When they ask for why they were stopped, they get inadequate explanations that point clearly to racial profiling.  Their complaints to Internal Affairs, however, get called “unfounded.”  The San Diego Police Department seems to go to any length to avoid admitting that they have a problem with racial profiling, permitting even the racial harassment of their own officers.

All of this simply underscores the need for the replacement of the current captive CRB with an independent Commission on Police Practices, so the IA department’s whitewashing of complaints can be exposed and remedied.

America’s Finest City deserves America’s Finest Leadership, not an inbred racist culture in the upper echelons of the San Diego Police Department.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie Must Go

July 6, 2020

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he emailed an altered photograph of the 8-minute-46-second killing of Mr George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, showing a naked black male porn star kneeling on Mr Floyd, with the words “Quit resisting…” added.  The image was lewd and racist and vile and should disturb anyone with a shred of human decency.  It is simply unacceptable in a law enforcement officer.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go unless the front page of the Sheriff’s website, which says “We hear you. We stand with you. We do not condone actions based on bias, prejudice, racism or hate” is a lie.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because this is far from the first time he has shown himself to be an overtly racist and deplorable human being, much less a law enforcement officer.  

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he violently killed Jorge Ramirez in 2005.  We invite you to read the Attorney General’s memorandum (see sandiegonaacp.org/ritchie-must-go) which describes him overtaking an injured, fleeing man, shooting him in the back of the chest to bring him to the ground, and then firing bullet after bullet into him, while circling around him.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he violently killed Robert Medina in 2006.  We invite you to read documentation of this gratuitously violent pursuit and gangland-style execution of the clearly unarmed Medina (see https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20140926a78) which describes him engaging in a risky vehicular pursuit, pinning Medina’s vehicle between law enforcement vehicles, and again engaging in his favored pastime of circling around immobilized human beings while repeatedly firing his gun and sending bullet after bullet into their helpless bodies.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because this incident shows he has clearly not changed his evil, racist and hate-filled ways, and he is a danger to all residents of the County.  He must go before he kills again.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he belongs in jail, not on the streets.  We understand that before the advent of AB-392, it may have been difficult to prosecute obvious murder by the police.  The record, however, is plain, and this incident is enough all on its own to see him gone from the Department.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go in spite of the “Police Officer’s Bill of Rights,” because the real Bill of Rights, the one in the actual Constitution, must take precedence.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, and yet he gets a paycheck from Sheriff Gore, despite the Sheriff’s Office statement that “We were so disgusted that an employee may have shared such a vulgar [and racist] image that we took immediate action.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, because the murder of Mr George Floyd has awoken some of his fellow deputies, who will no longer stay silent regarding his words and actions.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, if Sheriff William Gore is to show significant leadership on the issues of race and policing.  Perhaps he has so far failed to show such leadership because, despite having 9 contracts across the breadth of the county, his leadership team fails to bring diversity to the decision making process.   Sheriff Gore must act on this rogue deputy, and he must bring diverse voices to his table to end his echo-chamber of bias building on bias.  If he fails to do these things, we will know that he is complicit in systemic racism and that is time for different and bolder leadership in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, and if the Sheriff shows enough good faith to make that happen, the NAACP San Diego Branch stands ready to assist him evaluate and improve his recruitment, training, and discipline policies to ensure that the Mark Ritchies of the world are behind bars, not behind  Deputy’s badges.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Read: Leaders Call for Equity in Ambulance Service

Some weeks ago, we urged the City of San Diego to proceed with a new EMS contract and to make sure it provided equitable service. We were joined yesterday by others. Read what they (and we) had to say:

Civil rights leaders call on San Diego to demand racial equity in new ambulance contract

Local civil rights leaders say San Diego’s plan to potentially switch ambulance providers this year is a key opportunity to show the city’s commitment to racial equity and boosting neighborhoods that have been traditionally underserved. San Diego recently changed some police practices and created an Office on Race and Equity in response to recent protests demanding racial equity.

Going Solar

Solar Energy is a hot topic right now, as our climate crisis continues, aided and abetted by the low-IQ individual currently occupying the White House.  The good news is that there are many options available to homeowners who want to go solar; the bad news is that can make it hard to decide which option is right for you.

One of our new members, Jeff Dobhriste, put some time and into the issue, an here are his recommendations:

How Much Do You Need?

The average home needs 4-8 kilowatts of power; at current prices, that will cost between $16,000 and $21,000 to install.

DIY?

You can save half that money if you install the system yourself.  Be careful, though, as you’ll need permits, expertise, and you won’t get a warranty.  Definitely for experts only!

Tax Credits

The Federal government is offering tax credits for solar installation through December of 2021.  These credits are 26% of the cost this year, but decrease to 22% in 2021.

California offers $3000 per kilowatt in its SASH-DAC program, which specifically targets disadvantaged communities.

Maintenance

You should expect to have your panels professionally cleaned twice per year, at a cost of around $150 per cleaning.  If your panels are damaged, they can be expensive to repair, but most companies offer warranties, and your homeowner’s insurance may also help.

The Payoff

You can expect your lower energy bills to pay off the cost of your solar panels in 6-10 years, counting tax incentives; less if you qualify for California’s SASH-DAC program.  There is a handy calculator here if you want to run the numbers for your home.

Own, Don’t Lease

Consumer Reports recommends you skip the companies that offer to lease you panels and give you a lower rate on your electricity.  The money you save is likely to be substantially less over time than if you owned your panels and you have limited control over what they do to your roof. Additionally, if you own solar panels, they will increase the market value of your home, but if you lease them, they may reduce the market value of your home because they complicate the selling process and/or impose a commitment the buyer may not want.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering solar and you can afford the up-front cost to buy your own panels, buy your own solar now.  The tax credits are diminishing, and while technology is improving, it’s not improving so fast as to outweigh the benefits of the tax credit.

Don’t be tempted by the folks who just offer you a discounted rate on power, but want to own the panels themselves; this isn’t likely to save you very much money and may lead to headaches.

Racism at Serra High

June 30, 2020

Re: Racism at Serra High

Safe educational environments for Black students are increasingly rare. Equally scarce is the safety of all Blacks amid tyrant policing within their community environments. 

With tensions pressing from each angle, we are now witnessing the tipping point: the near collapse of a school and justice system that have thrived and benefited from the suppression of black excellence and existence. 

The suppression has its methodical roots in racism and oppression. Historically, the educational system has served as the stage to blindside and initiate black children with their first racist experiences. Here, they also experience the candidly critical and degrading lens in which their blackness is viewed by educators. 

The educators who operate in these suppression tactics clearly have not developed the qualifications and intentions to educate black students. Conversely, they have also not evolved to the highest educational standards as educators prior to licensing. California Teaching Credential standards maintain that an educator practice a mindset that connects with, teaches, and draws the best qualities out of all students with high regard to their culture and individuality. 

The California Education Code, the California Department of Education, and the San Diego Unified School District all publish regulations, policies, and procedures prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and intimidation in California Public Schools. However, due to lack of enforcement of these laws, the NAACP receives an ongoing flow of complaints that describe an array of legal violations in the learning environment. Several complaint investigations reveal that San Diego Unified School District knowingly inflicts harm on black students and their communities with various inequitable practices, and by allowing perpetual educator misconduct directed against blacks. Many complaints describe schools as protected hubs with pockets of the racism echoed in societal climates at large.

In such climates, black students walk to class through the halls of injustice, hoping to proceed unscathed. However, experience tells them the further they proceed in their education, the higher the likelihood of experiencing an educator practicing overt or covert racism.  Here, black students realize the cost of integration is being immersed in the toxicity of racist Educators. Here, black students are blinded and asphyxiated by smokescreens (of “educational equality”) & mirrors (reflecting oppressive acts).  

We take an unrelenting stance against such practices and hold every educator and staff member accountable for ALL actions against black students and their communities. We call for swift and immediate action regarding the unresolved case at Serra High School. 

Let the record reflect that in 2013, three educators made a conscious decision to paint their faces with dark brown paint to mimic a black bobsledder at a social engagement. Let the record also reflect that dressing in “black face” mirrors the disgraceful legacy and practice where white performers painted their face black to mimic characters that demeaned and dehumanized African Americans. Let the record further reflect, to date, hundreds of thousands of black students, black families, black educators and staff, the black community and countless other members of the public have also reviewed the educators pose and smile for the cameras as they celebrated in “black face”. 

We ALL observed their “black face” and the damaging after-effects.

The Educators decisions to bask in “black face” was a direct violation of: 

  • Our Human rights
  • Our Civil rights 
  • California Standards of the Teaching Profession 
  • Teacher’s code of ethics
  • Teacher’s code of conduct
  • California Education law 
  • California Dept of Education policy and procedures
  • San Diego Unified District administrative policies and procedures 
  • U.S. Dept of Education policy and procedures
  • Abuse of Power
  • Public Trust

Though the public has called for the resignation of all three of the educators that posed in “black face” and the public has initiated an active petition with nearly 800 of 1,000 signatures signed, only two of the educators have resigned, leaving one of the culprits at Serra High School.  This means, for the past 7 years, the safety of all students, especially black students, has been compromised and the educational environment was tainted. The inaction of district officials has allowed Joseph Schmidt to linger in an educational environment, making it easy to inflict further harm. We understand that Mr Schmidt is once again the subject of complaints from Serra High students.

The NAACP stands with the public in outrage and again call for action to eradicate racism on every school campus, including Serra High School, a Title 1 school.  

We demand the U.S. Dept of Education’s Office of Civil rights to take action. We call for action from the California Department of Education to audit the practices mentioned and the use of Title 1 funds at Serra High. We also call CDE to audit the other Title 1 schools within SDUSD (again) due to the many failures to take adequate actions against documented racism against black students. We call for the resignation of upper management and other SDUSD school officials who have allowed this matter, along with other racially charged atrocities against blacks to go unresolved under their watch. We DEMAND you uphold the applicable U.S, State, Federal, and all other laws set forth to protect our children. Enforcing the Safe Place to Learn Act is a fair place to start. 

Sincerely,

A Concerned Parent and Member of the NAACP San Diego Branch Education Committee 

Job Notice: PCI: Perinatal Health

Job notice received by the Branch. We do not endorse any job opportunity, we only pass along notices we have received.

Perinatal Health Educator (or Perinatal Navigator) – San Diego, California, United States – Project Concern International

PCI, A Global Communities Partner, is recruiting Perinatal Educators for its Healthy Start San Diego Program. Ideal candidates have experience with childbirth education, doula work, lactation and/or parenting education. Healthy Start is a national…