Communities of color and especially the African American community across California are under attack today by not one but two incredibly dangerous viruses: the invisible COVID-19 and the all-too visible Republican recall campaign against Governor Gavin Newsom. If we are to avoid these devastating infections, we must stand up and act right now!
The dangers are clear. When it comes to COVID, vaccination rates for Black Californians, and many other communities of color in our state, remain far below that of the overall population. This poses an enormous and needless risk to the health of our communities, which already suffer from a lack of adequate and affordable healthcare.
Similarly, the GOP’s attempt to usurp power in California threatens the well-being of the Black community, as well as other communities of color. Should Governor Newsom be recalled, he almost certainly would be replaced by a radical right-wing Republican. And while the candidate leading in the polls may be Black, his rabid anti-science, anti-woman policies would devastate our community.
We must fight both of these viruses. That means we must GET VACCINATED and GET OUT THE VOTE.
In support of both efforts, the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP is organizing a series of “Souls to the Polls” and “Souls to Shots” events around the state, starting on Saturday, September 4th in San Francisco. Our goal is simple: Educate our community and eradicate the dangers.
The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and hosted by its pastor, Dr. Amos C. Brown, the president of the San Francisco Branch of the NAACP. The day will feature a parade and music by the Gumbo Band, led by trumpeter Dr. David Hardiman
The real purpose of bringing people together will be to take action. First, we will be offering both COVID-19 testing and vaccines at Third Baptist and along the parade route, thanks to the assistance of the Governor’s office as well as San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Additionally, we will have a drop-off box for ballots in the recall election, and assistance for those who want to register to vote.
Because we want to protect our community from these viruses, we also will be hosting “Souls to the Polls” events each Sunday through the date of the special election, September 14th. We will be encouraging all who attend to find ten other members of their community and encourage them to vote and get vaccinated. With ten, we can win the battle against these threats to our Black communities and all underserviced communities throughout the state.
As followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who came that we may experience the abundant life (John 10:10), we have a moral obligation to do the right thing for the welfare of all.
For more information, please contact me by email at [email protected]