Note: Fighting Words is posting this statement, with accompanying demands, not as our own program, but to recognize a significant response by Black community leaders in Oakland to the serious and devastating impact of COVID19 on Black America.
By Anti Police-Terror Project
Across the country, Black People are being infected and dying at disportionate rates from COVID-19. In order to respond effectively to the needs of the Black community our elected officials, health experts, advocates and organizers must take a look at the ways in which the descendants of slaves, Black, African and African-Americans are most impacted by this virus through a racial and class lens.
This past Saturday, Community Ready Corps and the Anti Police-Terror Project convened a wide range of Black leaders in Oakland gathered virtually to develop a set of demands in terms of what we expect of our City’s response to this crisis. We are not the only impacted community but we are the most impacted and we are clear that unless Black people are healthy and safe then no community is healthy and safe.
WE, as the Descendants of Slaves, Black, African American organized in order to force acknowledgement of the impact of this crisis on the Black community to forge a path forward to health, demand equitable treatment from all public, local and state government and to establish a space for Black voices at all tables that plan around, impact and shape our lives.
Black people are not suffering at higher rates of COVID-19 because we are “lazy” or “unhealthy”. We are suffering at higher rates as a direct result of 500 years of discriminatory treatment. East and West Oakland have the worst air quality in the City of Oakland, we have the least access to healthy food, the least access to quality education and jobs and face the most discrimination by city policy and policymakers.
This is a state of emergency for Black people that demands immediate action equal to those enacted in the presence of such a declaration.
The disproportionate impact on Black people demands a disproportionate response – most of the resources must be given/directed to the greatest need.
- Publish desegregated data by race and zip code to properly track spread and to inform allocation of resources.
- No person, company or entity should be allowed to profit off of a pandemic. Nor should the city of Oakland direct COVID disaster funding towards ongoing development plans without being informed by relevant data to support those decisions as being a science based response to the pandemic.
- No government can place a demand on a people without incurring responsibility for the costs those demands will exact – free masks for all, testing, retesting, contact tracing and healthcare, internet access, etc.
- Reparations for Black people, who as a demographic are disproportionately affected in this moment as a result of historic structural, institutional, and systemic racism
[There is a long list of additional demands, ranging across a broad range of categories. You can find the complete list of demands here: Black New Deal ]
Cat Brooks – Anti Police-Terror Project/Justice Teams Network
Carroll Fife – ACCE Action
Tur-Ha Ak – Community READY Corps/Anti Police-Terror Project
Desley Brooks – Community Citizen
Harold Mayberry – Senior Pastor, First AME Church
Patrisse Cullors – Co-founder Black Lives Matter
BK Woodson – Faith in Action
Jackie Byers – Black Organizing Project
Zach Norris – Ella Baker Center/Oakland Not For Sale
Mama Ayanna Davis – MXGM-Bay Area/Congo Angola Capoeira Institute/Healthy Black Families
Keith Brown – Teacher/President OEA
Derrick Muhammad – ILWU
Ayodele Nzinga – BAMBD CDC/LBP, INC
Dr. Noha Aboelata – ROOTS Clinic
Candice Elder – East Oakland Collective
Allyssa Victory – Afrikan Black Coalition
Kampala Taiz-Rancifer, OEA – Black Women’s Caucus
James Burch – Anti Police-Terror Project/St. James Infirmary
John Jones III
Pastor Anthony Jenkins
Jahmese Myres – Oakland Resident
Kev Choice – Musician/Educator/Activist/Oakland Arts Commissioner/Recording Academy-SF Chapter Secretary
Melina Abdulla – Black Lives Matter Los Angeles
Gerald Lenoir – Other & Belonging Institute
Sonia Lewis – Sacramento for Black Lives
Asantewaa Boykin – APTP Sacramento
Nana Gyamfi – Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Uncle Bobby X
Eric Arnold – BAMBD CDC/CCED-Oakland
Marc Philpart – Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
George Galvis – Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
Annie Banks – Anti Police-Terror Project/Justice Teams Network
Daniela Kantorova – Healers for Abolition/Psychologists for Social Responsibility/Anti Police-Terror Project
Dan Siegel – Attorney, Siegel & Yee
Tony Douangviseth – Youth Together
Ryan Nicole Austin
National Brown Berets
Young Women’s Freedom Center
Peace Out Loud
Tonya Love – California Dem Party AD18 Delegate/2021 Alameda County Central Committee Member
Reverend Deb Avery
Ethi Love – Oakland resident