NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Category: News (Page 1 of 3)

Washington, Douglass Commonwealth

Times change — or rather, times are changed. Prompted by the historic, inspiring, powerful nationwide Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd — and Trump’s appalling use of the military to occupy Washington D.C. in response — Democratic leaders in the House moved forward on the D.C. statehood bill. Last week, for the first time in history, the House passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C. the 51st state in the union. The new state would be admitted as the state of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth — named after famed abolitionist and civil rights leader Frederick Douglass.

Why is D.C. statehood a response at all to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests? To answer that question, you’ve got to ask another: why does a geographic area in America with more residents than two states, and that pays more federal taxes than 22 states, lack any voting representation in Congress?

The answer to that question goes back long before that first D.C. state constitution draft. You could of course go all the way back to the founding of the country, but let’s jump to 1890. In that year, a southern conservative Senator gave a speech to explain why Congress chose to disenfranchise D.C. residents at the precise moment that the Black population was becoming a political force in the District. The full quote is worth a read:

“Now, the historical fact is simply this, that the negroes came into this District from Virginia and Maryland and from other places…they came in here and they took possession of a certain part of the political power of this District…and there was but one way to get out…and that was to deny the right of suffrage entirely to every human being in the District and have every office here controlled by appointment instead of by election…in order to get rid of this load of negro suffrage that was flooded in upon them. This is the true statement. History cannot be reversed. No man can misunderstand it.”

Those are the words written into the congressional record. No one can misunderstand it.

Fast forward 130 years.

After the House passed the D.C. statehood bill last week, another southern Senator took the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss voting rights for D.C. residents. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas explained why Wyoming’s overwhelmingly white population of 578,000 should have two senators, while D.C.’s majority Black and brown population of 705,000 should have zero senators. Wyoming, he pointed out, “has three times as many workers in mining, logging, and construction.”

Huh? But it wasn’t just the lack of lumberjacks in D.C. that bothered Cotton. He went on to call into question the competence of two Black D.C. mayors: “Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry?”

This isn’t subtle. Cotton’s message was loud and clear. No one should misunderstand it.

Now, Tom Cotton’s speech was mostly just bombast and bluster. He didn’t need to even give the speech, because he knows perfectly well that as long as Mitch McConnell serves as Senate Majority Leader, D.C. statehood will never even come to a vote in the Senate. Last year McConnell took to the Senate floor to describe D.C. statehood as “full-bore socialism.”

This isn’t complicated. Trump tweets videos of his supporters shouting “white power” and his supporters in the Senate block enfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Black voters.

D.C.’s statehood may have felt like a far-away dream even a few months ago. But the Democratic House has now signaled its support. The Democratic senators have signaled their support. Joe Biden has signaled his support. If we build a Democratic trifecta this November, we could be welcoming D.C. to the Union as soon as next year. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s long — like a hundred years plus — overdue.

In solidarity,
Ezra & Leah
Co-founders & Co-Executive Directors, Indivisible

NAACP Applauds Supreme Court Victory in NAACP v. Trump

This case was consolidated with the Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The Supreme Court held that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind DACA is reviewable under the Administrative Procedures Act and was arbitrary and capricious. Further, the Supreme Court determined that the administration did not follow the legally mandated procedures, nor did it weigh how ending the program would affect those who had come to rely on its protections against deportation and the ability to work legally. In a 5-4 opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling in the case brought by the NAACP.

 

George Floyd’s Autopsy and the Structural Gaslighting of America

The world was gaslit by misreporting about George Floyd’s initial autopsy report. As concerned physicians, we write to deconstruct the misinformation and condemn the ways this weaponization of medical language reinforced white supremacy at the torment of Black Americans.

 

Our Response

#WeAreDoneDying

The Mission of the Culpeper branch of the NAACP is the same as it is nationally, to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

While we celebrate the victories of the past and continue, peacefully, to expand on those victories, we are reminded by the current events across the nation that there is much work to be done.

We must confess, we are tired of fighting the same fight, over and over.  However, we do not have the luxury of resting.  We must continue the pursuit of equality by eliminating the systemic racism that continues to be prevalent in our country.  We will not rest and pass the responsibility on yet to another generation.

Over the last few months, we have had to contend with the results of inequities in both healthcare and economics in our communities; and yet you hit us with another battle to fight.  We have had to contend with the brutality and humility perpetuated towards our community over-and-over again.  We will not be compelled to respond with knee-jerk reactions.  We are going to move forward together, methodically, with a well-planned movement.  This can only be achieved by including those of all creeds, colors, political and religious persuasions.  We will continue to work with our local leaders, including our law enforcement; to whom we have worked to build strong bridges.

We are not going to accept the spread of divisiveness promulgated by a few,  determine how we move forward.  We know our worth and the strength of our VOTE.  We have remained a non-partisan, peaceful organization, however, those who have made the decision to sit back and let our democracy continue to be crushed will be voted out in our continued pursuit of equality.  As Dr. King said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”   “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

To all the Ahmaud Arberys, George Floyds, and Breonna Taylors, our promise to you is that “We will not give up the fight for equality and justice.  Yes, we are tired, we are hurt, but while standing on the shoulders of those before us, we will never give up hope.  Our Faith will remain strong, and we will never be broken as long as we have breath in our bodies.”

In Solidarity,

Sandra Reaves-Yates, President
NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058

We Are Done Dying

Leslie Redmond, President of NAACP Minneapolis, demands justice at the frontlines.

If the indefensible murder of George Floyd was not already enough, last night we watched in horror as our people were shot at, tear-gassed and beaten.

This moment calls for us to unite around the outrage we feel and fight for the justice we demand. And that’s exactly what the NAACP is doing. We will not rest until we see these officers charged and convicted for the murder of George Floyd. We will not stop until everyone from the White House to the streets of the Twin Cities knows: We are done dying.

You can join the fight now by supporting the NAACP. Your gift will be put to work immediately pursuing justice in this case and demanding change to the systemic racism that led to this tragedy and to the countless others that tear apart the Black community every day.

The murder of George Floyd by police is an unspeakable tragedy. But sadly, police brutality against the Black community is a continuous and ever-present danger. It comes out of the systemic racism and prejudice ingrained in the fabric of this nation for decades and is currently being refueled and reinvigorated by the President.

After last night’s tragedy, President Trump tweeted that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd” and that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

That is a disgraceful and dangerous statement. The only people dishonoring the memory of George Floyd – indeed of all the black men and women whose lives are needlessly taken – are those who support the brutality perpetrated against our people.

We must hold all involved criminally accountable for the death of Mr. Floyd.  And we must do it now.

Please add your voice to this call for justice. Stand with the NAACP today.

The uprising spreading across this country from Minneapolis to Louisville and beyond is born of the hate, bigotry and racism felt by our communities every day.

What we’re seeing isn’t reactionary violence, it’s Black communities coming together and declaring once and for all that we are done dying.

Last night, in the midst of peaceful protests, rioters with their own agenda have become the national focal point. But we can’t afford to lose sight of what’s really important: justice for George Floyd and for all black men and women who have needlessly lost their lives.

I know there’s a lot of anger, sadness, frustration, and confusion out there. But I also know that if we can channel those emotions, if we can focus our pain, we can create change. I hope you will decide today to join us in our demand for justice, change, and a more equal America.

In Solidarity,

Derrick Johnson
President and CEO
NAACP

The Black Patients’ Guide to COVID-19

The Black Patients’ Guide to COVID-19
By Dr. Ruth Arumala, in partnership with Color Of Change 

On constant loops on every news outlet and social media feed is the looming risk of contracting the novel “Coronavirus” and the developing life-threatening COVID-19 disease. With no available vaccination and only experimental disease-fighting drugs available, the highly contagious virus has produced an unprecedented worldwide pandemic.

Unfortunately, in the United States, there are recent reports from various metropolitan areas such as New Orleans and Chicago that the virus disproportionately results in severe disease and mortality in Black people. In order to adequately combat this disparity, Black Americans must be armed with accurate knowledge about the viral illness and ways to navigate the current healthcare environment.

MYTHS VS. FACTS

MYTH: The Coronavirus does not affect Black People.
FACT: False. The Coronavirus is impacting Black Americans at higher rates and resulting in more severe disease. In Louisiana for example, Black Americans make up 32% of the population, yet comprise 70% of Coronavirus deaths. In Chicago, Black people are dying at six times the rate that of white people. Similar disparities are occurring all over the country.1

MYTH: The Coronavirus only affects older, sick individuals.
FACT: False. There have been reports of infants as young as four months old with severe symptoms of COVID-19. And one of the most heartbreaking U.S. deaths occurred when five year old, Skylar Herbert passed away in Detroit.2

MYTH: If I wear a mask, I do not have to practice social distancing.
FACT: False. In order to adequately protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus, you should continue to practice social distancing, while also adhering to the new CDC recommendations to wear masks that cover your mouth and nose.

BEST PRACTICES WHEN YOU SUSPECT YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE HAS COVID-19:

The known symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, muscle aches, difficulty breathing, loss of taste and or smell, nausea, vomiting, and a change in bowel movements, particularly diarrhea. Although these can also be symptoms of the common cold, influenza infection or seasonal allergies, we need to proceed with caution during the peak or near the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Call your health provider.
  • Be very specific about your symptoms.
  • If there are any known contacts that have tested positive for the Coronavirus, immediately disclose that information to your provider.
  • Include any underlying health conditions and what you do for a living–especially if you are public-facing, an essential worker, or have not been able to “shelter in place.”
  • If you are experiencing persistent fevers and sustained shortness of breath, please present to the nearest emergency department. This indicates severe disease.

If you are sent to an emergency room or urgent care, be sure to include the following inquires about your care

  • Specifically, ask to be tested for COVID-19 and indicate any underlying health conditions.
  • If you are given an alternative diagnosis, ask if you should self-quarantine, as well as the specific amount of time you should remain in self-quarantine.
  • Ask your provider if you should replace personal hygiene items like toothbrushes or pillowcases.
  • Ask your ER provider if a chest X-Ray is indicated.
  • Set a follow-up appointment with your provider with a specific date which can be done via telemedicine. As a general rule, everyone seen in the hospital should follow up with a provider in 7-14 days.
  • Do not leave the emergency room without having all of your questions answered and having a good sense of the severity of your symptoms.


If you feel that your symptoms are not being taken seriously:

  • Be persistent. Reiterate your symptoms and any underlying health conditions in a calm manner.
  • Share your fear, anxiety, and mental anguish about contracting the virus and developing the disease.
  • Ask for denial of a test to be noted in your chart.

Ask the provider if they have access to tests. If they do not, ask for the closest testing location.

Although the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic can produce significant anxiety and trepidation, there are ways to successfully prevent and navigate this disease. Please do your part to stay at home, wash your hands frequently, clean hard surfaces several times per day, wear face coverings when in public, and maintain social distancing (> 6 feet from others) when in public.

Until justice is real,

Jade, Rashad, Arisha, Brandi, Johnny, Evan, Amanda, Eesha, Samantha, Marcus, FolaSade, Jennette, Ciera and the rest of the Color Of Change team

 

References

  1.  “The coronavirus is affecting and killing black Americans at alarming rates,” Washington Post, 7 April 2020. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/246445?t=12&akid=42627%2E1298081%2EG4RwzZ
  2. “5-year-old daughter of Detroit first responders dies after being diagnosed with coronavirus,” CNN, 21 April 2020. https://act.colorofchange.org/go/246446?t=14&akid=42627%2E1298081%2EG4RwzZ


Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.

‘A Terrible Price’: The Deadly Racial Disparities of COVID-19 in America

On Sunday, Feb. 23, two days after the Zulu Ball, President Trump set the tone for the country, the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans when he said at a news conference: “We have it very much under control in the country.” On Monday, Feb. 24, when an estimated 200,000 people spent the day at Lundi Gras, sponsored by the Zulu club, enjoying a smorgasbord of New Orleans food and music on three stages at Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River, he reiterated on Twitter that the disease was “under control.” According to an internal memo, however, Trump had already been warned by his own trade adviser about the potential of half a million deaths and an economic hemorrhage of trillions of dollars as a result of the pandemic.

 

The COVID Contract

The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal; the racial contract limits this to white men with property. The law says murder is illegal; the racial contract says it’s fine for white people to chase and murder black people if they have decided that those black people scare them. “The terms of the Racial Contract,” Mills wrote, “mean that nonwhite subpersonhood is enshrined simultaneously with white personhood.”

#WeAreDoneDying

• This deadly pandemic has no boundaries, but its impact on the Black community reflects deeply-rooted inequality. Stark disparities have long existed in health care, such as lack of access to hospitals, insurance, and affordable health care. African Americans are more likely to be uninsured and live in communities with inade­quate health care facilities. These are compounded by environmental, economic, and political factors.

• The United States has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than any other country. There are over 1 million cases. More than 70,000 Americans have died. The numbers continue to rise each day.

• As the incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths rises, we see shocking numbers that the Black community is experiencing the worst outcomes. In almost every location reporting data, African Americans are harmed-both in infections and fatalities-in higher percentages.

• African Americans hold more of the low paying jobs in the service industry, including grocery store workers and bus drivers, where they are exposed first and more often. Fewer than 20% of Black workers are able to work from home compared with 1/3 of white counterparts.

• We cannot allow our people to fall into debt or destroy their financial futures as a result of this man-made pandemic. Housing and student-debt remain massive expenses facing most Americans, that far exceeds the slow growth of wages.

• Before any state can re-open, the nation requires aggressive testing and contract-tracing operations in place so that new cases can be isolated and treated. We are nowhere near that. Federal guidelines advise states to show a sustained decrease in COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period before easing restrictions. That hasn’t happened anywhere.

#WeAreDoneDying

Washington, D.C. (May 7, 2020) – The NAACP, the nation’s foremost social justice organization, has launched a campaign entitled #WeAreDoneDying, aimed at exposing the inequities embedded into the American healthcare system and the country at large. From COVID-19 to running while Black in America, the abuse faced by people of color, particularly African Americans is devastating.

 

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