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NAACP 2014 Report Card on Race


NAACP 2014 Report Card on Race

(Grades to be announced on December 8, 2014, during the 6:00 pm meeting of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force scheduled at the Department of Human Services Employment and Training Division.)

We are in this room to acknowledge that our community is in need of intensive care due to a tragic wound severely in need of healing, before a wound can be healed it must be examined.

Recently, the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force called in a professional expert to provide information on “bias.” Whether intentional or unintentional, bias is real. Communities of color experience bias in every aspect of daily life.  You call it bias. Communities of color and a large number of others call it racism.

The NAACP, in partnership with many others concluded, after nine months of conversations and in-depth research on race, that there is an absence of specific public policy to eliminate bias and racism, and there exists an urgent need for comprehensive policy reform to begin restoration of a sense of trust in those entrusted with leadership. The fate of a healthy community rests on the ability to ensure that the values of justice, equality and opportunity are shared.

Persons of color represent approximately 35% of Sonoma County and 38% in the City of Santa Rosa. Policy makers have a responsibility to understand and recognize the significant barriers that people of color face on a daily basis. Present and historical impediments and limitations to home ownership, educational achievement, health care, political participation and equal treatment in the justice system lead to widely different realities. (See Demographics.) 


  • Institutional bias and racism create painful impacts. City and county governments, hospitals, public and private schools, and private businesses – among other organizations in the community – can and have caused or escalated disparate impacts that reflect bias and institutional racism regardless of intent. Some examples: racial profiling by law enforcement, predatory lending, disparities in and lack of access to health services, school discipline, hiring and retention, and Inclusion of people of color in appointment to boards and commissions.
  • Structural bias/racism as “normal.”  Legitimizing an array of dynamics - historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – guarantees significant advantages to white residents while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for residents of color. Separate and unequal schools, for instance, are a product of the interplay of numerous factors such as historic employment discrimination, housing segregation, predatory lending and entrenched poverty. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism: it is deeply embedded  - and accepted - in all aspects of a community.
  • Interpersonal bias/racism.  Acceptance and even support for public expression of racial prejudices, hate, bias and bigotry between individuals fosters and condones hate crimes, a dismissive attitude for legitimate concerns and – an “us versus them” mentality. Examples: speech and/or unwelcoming atmosphere at public meetings, “English only” access, to create barriers, rather than to promote full participation by all residents in the community.
  • Cultural competency refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures socio-economic backgrounds and comprises four components:
a.  Awareness of one's own cultural worldview;
b.  Attitude towards cultural differences;
c.  Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and
d.  Cross-cultural skills.
Developing cultural competency promotes understanding, communication with, and effective interaction with people across cultures.

Grades for the 2014 Report Card on Race are:

City of Santa Rosa = D            

Santa Rosa City Councils (past & present) = F

Santa Rosa City Schools = D

Santa Rosa Police Department = F

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors = C-

Sonoma County Sheriff Department = F

Sonoma County District Attorney = D



Participants in Conversations on Race:

Santa Rosa Adult and SRJC/BSU NAACP, Sonoma County ACLU,

Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, Latino Democratic Club,

Japanese American Citizens League, QUEST, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County


Demographics: Population by Race 2010 


Santa Rosa

Sonoma County

White alone



Black or African American



American Indian and Alaska Native



Asian alone



Native Hawaiian

 And Other Pacific Islander



Two or More Races



Hispanic or Latino






Other 1

Not visible in Census numbers. Pakistanis, Sikhs and Arabs may be hidden in either “other” or “Asian” or
“White.”  African American Muslims may be included under African American. They are out of sight, out of mind. Since

9/11, members of these communities have become victims of hate crimes. Hate is a 4-letter word. . . It is essential to have the population data and documentation of hate crimes.

Asian includes those who originate from peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.


1 Imam Ali Siddiqui, Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies & Understanding, Santa Rosa, CA