Re: Swastikas in Santee

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Francine Maxwell, President, NAACP San Diego Branch

This has been a busy week for the residents of San Diego.  From police violence and murder to symbols of mass hatred, our region has had many evidences that we are not where we want to be as a society.  Today’s hate incident was a couple sporting not only a swastikas on their masks, but pushing a child in a stroller.

Before we address this particular incident, we pause to recall some of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

The inevitable counterrevolution that succeeds every period of progress is taking place. Failing to understand this as a normal process of development, some Negroes are falling into unjustified pessimism and despair. Focusing on the ultimate goal, and discovering it still distant, they declare no progress at all has been made.

With Dr. King, we remind you not to despair.  Dr. King told us that counterrevolution succeeds every period of progress, and certainly the election of Barack Obama as this country’s first African-American President was certainly a sign that progress has been made.  Knowing this was to be expected doesn’t make it welcome, but it should take out some of the sting.

Their hatred is particularly inflamed because they are being asked to make a sacrifice (the wearing of masks) for the common good (slowing the spread of COVID-19.)  It is intolerable to these people to take any action for the love of their fellow human beings.  While we reject utterly their hatred, we also pity them for their lack of love.

We understand that Food 4 Less employees asked these deplorable persons to remove the swastikas, and they refused.  We understand that Food 4 Less employees offered these deplorable persons replacement masks to wear, and they refused.  We thank these employees for trying to right a wrong while also keeping the peace.

We may not be able to stop people from advertising their hatred, even during this time of public crisis and stay-at-home orders.  What we must do is put our shoulders to the wheel and our boots to the ground to defeat such hatred and work for fairness and work for love.

If you, with us, deplore the Confederate flag, the Klan hood, the swastika, the dead detainee or the brutalized beachgoer, it’s time to get off the sidelines.  We’ve been fighting this fight for 101 years, and we can use your help.  Please visit join.sandiegonaacp.org and become a member.  We are an inclusive organization; all people of good will welcomed.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

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