SC NAACP State Conference President Brenda C. Murphy and subsequent units are in support of Mayor Steve Benjamin’s emergency mask ordinance. Mayor Benjamin issued a state of emergency for the city of Columbia that includes a requirement for everyone to wear a face-covering in Columbia daycares and schools that serve children up to age 14. Mayor Benjamin said it was in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, especially among children under the age of 12 who aren’t yet eligible to be vaccinated.
While South Carolina administration and federal agencies work to address the pandemic in the US overall, the SC NAACP continues to focus on the needs of African Americans and other people of color during this crisis; while special consideration for our youth. As a civil rights organization and as stewards of human rights, this increase of cases due to the Delta variant outbreak calls on us to maintain vigilance and lift our voices to demand the policies and practices that will preserve the wellbeing of all specifically the voiceless.
Disproportionately, we’re already seeing injustices that must be addressed before they worsen and cause further damage within the African American communities. With the Delta variant and Covid cases increasing daily; we must recognize and stand up against racial/ethnic discrimination. It is my position that our state and local governments must ensure necessary policies, practices, testing of all citizens, ensuring proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health professionals, and that needed information, training, resources, and care are available equitably and reach all people in all communities.
The Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on our health, education, voting systems, economics, affecting student success, representation of our communities, and more. The Delta variant continues to expose the underlying inequality that exists everywhere, particularly in the
U.S. healthcare system, resulting in harm to African Americans at a drastically disproportionate rate. Our communities remain marginalized, underfunded, and largely forgotten on every imaginable scale. I look forward to working with federal, state, local leaders to find resolutions to support the safety of our residents and most especially our school-age students; while coordinating with elected officials, coalition partners to address the SC NAACP specific concerns which will help all Americans and ease the impact of this pandemic with an equitable solution to sustain the marginalized of this state.