April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,
The NAACP San Diego Branch is an army of volunteers where nobody gets paid.

Don't ask what the NAACP nationwide is going to do for you. They already have done it for you; just look at our history over last 111 years.

Our branch may look a little different for the remainder of the year, but our unwavering faith remains the same: today is a time of hope, a reminder of rebirth and renewal, and a belief in a better days to come.

Please watch what Senator Cory Booker has to say about our Branch and the work of the NAACP:

Most of the rest of this email are the words of members of our community, talking about what Civil Rights means to them personally. We invite you to read their thoughts. If what they say inspires you we invite you to join the NAACP San Diego Branch. Even more, we invite you to run for leadership in the NAACP San Diego Branch; we have an election in November!
Civil rights are important because it demands that all people are treated equally and fairly regardless of their race. As black people or African Americans, we've suffered from the unfair treatment of other races simply because of our skin color. Without saying a word or doing anything wrong people tend to have a preconceived assumption of who we are and what we're about before taking the time to see for themselves. Another frustration is when we point that out we're accused of being sensitive or wrong for even thinking that way even though we've experienced it many times in our lives. So it's very important to have something in place that gives us an opportunity to first show people who we are and be judged on that. Also to prove that we can be an asset, have love in our hearts and take pride in things just like everybody else. 
— Rochelle Love
By definition civil rights means the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination) in a number of settings. Nevertheless, we know that it is more intricate and faceted in its nature. Civil rights mean freedom, it means God given rights, it means opportunity, it means uniformity, it means our basic rights. Civil rights were fought for, died for and is in a constant state of attainment. Certain individuals in society are matter of fact deprived of their physical and mental integrity based on trivial grounds such as race, religion, age, and ethnicity. As human beings’ we are born with full and equal citizenship, but fight on a daily basis for our civil rights. Civil rights equal humanity to me.
—Marti Bryant
Civil is a way of acting or being (polite, courteous, well mannered, respectful, decent, etc). Since we are talking about people, it starts with a person’s nature and how they interact with others on a personal and professional level. When you combine uncivil people with (bias, discrimination, hatred, greed, favoritism, pride, selfishness, etc.) in positions of authority (government, business, schools, real estate and law enforcement) it becomes necessary to create laws for the benefit of certain groups that will be treated uncivil and unfair without protections in place. All people have the Right to be treated civil as human beings and equal with regards to services, benefits and opportunities. Until it is no longer necessary, I will follow Proverbs 31:9 “Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”  
— Alfreda Anderson
2nd Vice President
The rights ancestors fought for in order to gain more access to an economy that did not want to include us in this countries development
— Stanley Williams
Civil rights to me are, being able to utilize the same privileges and have opportunities as any other of my countrymen without any stipulations from the color of my skin or where I'm from. To not be looked upon and instantly written off as a hoodlum because of the way I may dress or talk and should I find myself in trouble with the law, to be judged as fairly as any other man/woman who may find themselves in the system. 
—Terrell Larkins
Civil rights to me means give us our basic rights. The rights everyone else seems to have around me. The right to walk down the street without fearing being stopped because I am black or gunned down because of the color of my skin. Civil rights are the bare minimum of what we deserve after being caught, shackled, beaten, sold and worked to the bone. Our civil rights are the ability to live a life of equality in our neighborhoods without fear of being pushed out of it because they want the pricing market to rise or they want to gentrify the neighborhood. The right to fair schooling for our kids, our grandkids, the neighbors kids. Doctors that actually give af about us in our neighborhoods. Teachers that don't write us off before they get to know us. Man the list could really go on. I was gonna give a fairly simple answer to this but as I started typing it just kept coming. But these are just the bare minimum of what civil rights are to me.
—Isiah Beemen
Civil rights is an illusion of equality, freedom and justice, but yet we keep fighting for it. African Americans are first in line to pay dues (struggles), last in line to receive resources and benefits. Our blood, sweat, tears and lost of lives is viewed as < the privilege of white americans. Civil rights were granted by the people with the same mindsets that thought that they could "secure blessings" (what a concept). RIGHTS must be taken because they are not freely given. VOTE!!! 
— Mr Lionel Smith and Mrs Edith Smith
Having the actual freedom to not/exist in a manner that doesn't impede on the freedom of others (human and otherwise) to not/exist as well.
—Renita Payno
Standing up for the less fortunate in standing for equality for all.
—Tony Hawkins
Good question, being born in the era of the 1950’s allow me to share it has Pro’s and Con’s. I often ask myself if this really was a positive for our people in some situation.

Reviewing back on The Civil Rights Act of 1866, Civil Rights Act of 1964 and considering our society today, makes me really wonder how far we have really come? Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana I grew up in segregation, and moving to California when I was 15 years of age was a culture shock for me. Was it better, to some extent until I became employed which I started working at 16 for youth program for young people at my high school I attended.

When I look back and think about Black Wall Street in 1921 in Tulsa Race Massacre, 400 years of slavery, Martin Luther King in 1964, of such much blood, sweat and tears in which was shed.

Latasha Harlins incident March, 1991 and Rodney King incident in 1992 both in Los Angeles. I can go on and on of various incidents and we are in 2020 now. Racism is what you learn and inherit and is taught generation to generation. I ask myself questions often are we really free?

Job market has not been well to me, I am retired now but I experience discrimination in the County of San Diego. Civil Rights is applied but yet covered up and protected when it is to the advantage of who desires to use that term. When will you be accepted by your skills, education and not by the color of your skin?  

Reflecting back on what they called it cut backs in schools. No, this was a way to cut many minorities out of learning skills to provide for their families, such as auto mechanics, wood making, home economics where you learn to sew, cook and other skill set for your family, music classes, auto body and paint in high school. We know longer provide these programs in high school. Many young men and women were able to get jobs and benefit from these skills. Many believe that college was not for them but they learned skills in high school. Who did this really hurt? But, yet we have the lottery in California to build buildings but not place the necessary resources; in our minority schools in which our students would definitely benefit.

Therefore, I have mixed feelings on civil rights now in our society. Please understand I get it, my father died fighting for the Rights for Black Men at Kaiser Aluminum Plant. We yet have to fight for what’s right and what is fair, so what has and what Civil Rights is doing for my people? We fight and other’s benefit from it and yet we are told we are using the Race card. Really now.

Sum this up, I have mixed feelings again, on Civil Rights. No, we do not have separate bathrooms and water fountains and we can sit anywhere on the bus. Our forefathers and women fought for us, but the struggle yet remains. It is covered up and it is evil and good in us all.  I do not put down a particular race, but stop mistreating and racial profiling because of the color of our skin. Many of us work hard and do not desire no one give us nothing; just open the door and we will earn our due diligent.  

We have over came so many test and trials, and the best is yet to come. I often use a saying to keep me on a day to day practice; “I am encouraged” it does not mean everything is great, I know I am bless, things may not be the way I desire at this time, but I am encouraged to keep looking up.

 I am reminded of the Bible verse: Ecclesiastes 9:11, “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but he who endures until the end”.

We can agree to disagree but I stand in my truth. This is a conversation in which I can go on and on. This I will cut it short, but I am so tired of seeing my Black and Hispanic men and women killed and mistreated by our justice system. My parents taught me “Do unto others has you would have them to do unto you.” America, is this really true?  

It begins and ends with self. I pray we can receive politicians in office who will not be paid off to do what the system wants, but for the do right for the people they serve. Additionally, I am reminded you reap what you sow. Everything that goes up must come down, I never saw a bird get his food in the sky, and they had to come down to eat.

Allow me to wrap this up from my view, Civil Rights is frozen and thawed out when it is deemed necessary!
—Ramona "Peaches" Grant
Won’t you join us, and help secure civil rights for all?
2020 is a Branch election year, where we will be electing officers and members-at-large of the Executive Committee to lead the Branch in 2021 & 2022. Here is a timeline that explains the election process:
Cast your vote thoughtfully. We may be volunteers, but we are a VOLUNTEER ARMY, and we need people who will get into the trenches and fight! Armchair generals need not apply
Speaking of applying, if you would like to run for Branch office, we want to draw your attention to the very first step:
If you want to run, you MUST get current and stay current. Check your membership card for your expiration date, or write to secretary@sandiegonaacp.org . To renew your membership (or join the Branch), please visit join.sandiegonaacp.org ASAP!
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch
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