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Statement of the President of the NAACP San Diego Branch Regarding the Mass Murder at a Pittsburgh Synagogue

[email protected]

27 October 2018

The NAACP San Diego Branch condemns in the strongest terms the violent acts of this morning which took the lives of 11 worshipers and injured multiple other individuals. We pray that God would comfort the families of these innocent victims of yet another senseless, vicious act of gun violence in the United States of America.

This vicious assault was the most lethal attack on Jews in the history of the United States of America. The realities of this day are heartbreaking, to say the least.  People of all faiths, races, and ethnicities cannot but be shocked, horrified, incensed and saddened at once in the face of this slaughter of innocent life.  Racism and hate must be condemned regardless of the identities of the perpetrators or victims.

Responding to killing with more killing is not the answer. The death penalty is not the answer to gun violence.  Sweeping gun law legislation is what is needed now.

We call on the President of the United States to cease and desist from his hate speech—period.

In plain and simple language, we call on the Houses of Congress in the United States to take decisive, unified action to enact legislation that would help to prevent these acts of carnage on unsuspecting, innocent victims in our country. No private citizen should be able to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle. AR-15 assault rifles are weapons of war. As a first step, Congress should take the reasonable action of requiring thorough background checks—including, but not limited to, social media sites—as a minimum requirement for the purchase of firearms of any kind, at venue where firearms are sold. Moreover, there should be a waiting period of at least three business days before a firearm can be delivered to a buyer. We call on the Houses of Congress to move swiftly on this legislation on the first day that they are back in session in order to stop the proliferation of guns and gun violence in the United States of America.

André J. Branch, Ph.D.
President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Statement from NAACP President, André J. Branch, regarding the e-Blast and “Apology” from Ms. Donna Tripi, Principal of La Jolla Elementary School

In September, Ms. Donna Tripi, Principal of La Jolla Elementary School, sent an e-mail Blast in which she warned parents to be “vigilant” regarding a man thought to be an “African American male.”  On Monday of this week Ms. Tripi issued an apology. The apology is as disturbing as the original e-mail message.

She repeats the description of “the Man,” mentioning his race, but not that of the parents, the children, or her race.  This repetition reinforces the idea that these parents, their children, and all who read the communication have something to fear from African American males.

The passive voice used in the “apology” conveys the writer’s unwillingness to take full responsibility for perpetuating racist stereotypes about African American males.  One wonders what she is apologizing for when she writes, “I spoke to the parents directly and am confident the concern they described was not imagined.”  What concern did they describe?  That they were uncomfortable being in the presence of African American men?  This self described “leader” issues an apology in which she reiterates that, “We want parents to be vigilant, . . . .”  A so called “apology” in which one reiterates the need for vigilance (“watching for possible danger”) in the presence of African American males, and in the context of an event in which the subject is supposedly an African American male, is no apology at all.  It is continued race baiting.

Ms. Tripi says clearly in her original e-Blast from La Jolla Elementary School that “nothing happened due to the vigilance of the parent, . . . .”  This outrageous assumption that there was some danger that this parent had to fear is what deserves an authentic apology.  The fourth bullet in the e-Blast from La Jolla Elementary School is especially disturbing:  “If you see something that doesn’t feel right, report it to the non-emergency police line . . . .”  Ms. Tripi should understand that with this direction, she is contributing to countless more individuals not feeling right in the presence of African American males.  Moreover, she can be assured that many more innocent African American males and females will have unpleasant encounters with police officers inquiring about their innocent, lawful behaviors because someone was uncomfortable with them just living their lives.

We continue to be disturbed by the last line of the e-Blast from La Jolla Elementary School:  “We’re all hoping it was an isolated incident, but reminders are always helpful.”  AN ISOLATED INCIDENT OF WHAT?  Seeing an African American male?  We can assure Ms. Tripi that she and her constituents will see many more African American males—and they may be wearing hoodies—and Ms. Tripi and all readers of her communications have no more to fear from African American males than they do from white males in hoodies—or suits and ties.

174 City of San Diego HUD Contracts and Subcontracts: $73M only for White-Owned Businesses

Yesterday we sent the following letter to the City of San Diego:

Comment on CAPER Fiscal year 2018/ HUD Program year 2017

 

Dear Economic Development Department,

 

While we appreciate the work involved in producing the CAPER report, the reality that it contains is quite alarming.

 

The San Diego Branch of the NAACP Housing Committee has many unanswered questions about the report, far too many to note here.

 

However, the most glaring and distressing, in terms of what we understand as HUD regulations, is the report on Minority and Women Owned Businesses.

 

Table 10 indicates that of a TOTAL of 162 subcontracts awarded by the City of San Diego:
1. NONE went to minority owned businesses
2. Nine went to Women Business Enterprises
3. ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THREE went to white  non-Hispanic males.

 

We would like this information to be explained in detail in the final report and we would like to understand your justification for these results.
These numbers directly contradict the spirit and letter of the purpose for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  These figures put in jeopardy future federal funds that would come from HUD to the city of San Diego.
There are many more causes for concern in the report and we will comment on those at a later time.
We look forward to the final report and welcome the chance to cooperate on some of the problems that will be ongoing for some years in the future.

 

Sincerely yours,
Carol Spong
Chair, Housing Committee
NAACP San Diego Branch

Here is Page 15 of the report, which makes the situation abundantly clear:

FY18_DRAFT_CAPER_FINAL (dragged)

 

Nearly $73M and not a penny to a business owned by a person of color.  Can’t believe it?  Read the full FY18 Draft CAPER Report on the City’s website.

The US Supreme Court

On July 9, 2018, President Trump announced that he would nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.  After thorough research and evaluation the NAACP opposes his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court now.

In 2005, despite the opposition of the NAACP, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a judge on the he U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  On almost every issue imaginable, Judge Kavanaugh has proven us right to have opposed him; in fact, in both his decisions and his dissents, Judge Kavanaugh has proven himself to be even more of a problematic extremist than we anticipated.  On the issue of gun violence protection, health care, workers’ rights, voting rights, affirmative action, and many more that are important to the NAACP, Brett Kavanaugh has proven that he is no friend of the NAACP.

This nomination is too important to rush.  This nomination should only be considered by the Senate elected by the American people in November, 2018, when they are fully aware of the stakes and after the 116th Congress is sworn in. The Court is meant to be an unbiased guardian of rights and liberties of all Americans.  The country desperately needs a fair-minded and independent jurist on the Supreme Court, not a divisive and biased ideologue who will further shake the public’s faith in our nation’s justice system.  The constitutional process for appointing and confirming the next justice must be thoughtful, careful, deliberative, and conducted with well-informed bipartisan support.  The Senate should not consider a nominee until a new Senate is seated next year, after the results of the midterm election are in place.  This will fully allow the American people, those who will be most affected by the confirmation, to truly have a voice in the selection of the nominee. 

 Please call both your Senators and urge them to vote “no” on this confirmation, sand to wait until January, 2019 before making such an important decision. 

 For more information as about the situation, or to find out how to contact your Senators, read the attached Action Alert.

KAVANUAGH2

Thank you for all you do,

Hilary