SAN DIEGO, CA--Christmas morning, the President of the San Diego chapter of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Rev. Shane Harris, took a swipe at President Trump’s actions on immigration.
Admonishing Trump, Rev. Harris said, “Joseph came and took baby Jesus and his mother from a city where terror was happening, into Egypt where safety was. So why should refugees be slandered by the President of the United States?”
“Here we are, on Christmas, worshiping this man that was a refugee but they won’t take on his values,” Harris said.
The Trump administration has made repeated efforts to minimize the number of foreign refugees accepted by America, characterizing them as a terrorism threat. According to a December report in the New York Times, the administration is also now considering a plan that would separate children from their families, if they are caught attempting to cross the border illegally.
During his remarks at the breakfast Rev. Harris said the event was about “being able to provide.” He said there is more to impacted communities and events held in those communities by NAN and other organizations than is often shown in the media.
“It’s not just about anger and outrage when there is an injustice but being able to provide and showing the community coming together, like we did today at this breakfast.”
The event was hosted at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, in the House of Justice Auditorium. Organizers for the breakfast said about 50 toys were given away and close to 200 came through to be fed.
A press release for the breakfast said it looked to provide “a Christmas for the voiceless and unheard and most vulnerable in society who are often fighting depression and even suicide.” Jared Moten, Vice-President of the San Diego chapter of NAN and Pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist church, said he was proud to open up the church for the event and for NAN San Diego’s community work going forward.
“Being the pastor of this church and the Vice-President of NAN San Diego, it just seemed like the logical approach.”
Jenny Peterson, the niece of Alfred Olango, was there supporting the event as well, as part of the Alfred Olango Foundation. She along with many of the volunteers arrived at 7AM.
Olango, a Ugandan refugee, was killed by El Cajon police in 2016, garnering national attention.
Peterson said she was there to "spread love during the season of giving."
This was Peterson’s second Christmas without her uncle.
"You can't dwell forever,” she said.
“Going out and giving allows you to receive happiness."
In addition to giving away toys and feeding vulnerable San Diegans, the breakfast was to serve as the first of a regular event that will take place every week at the church.
"This is the inaugural event for the justice center of NAN. We'll be here every Saturday to help people with cases they feel might be of interest to the National Action Network’s San Diego division,” said Kelly King, a longtime volunteer with NAN.
She added, “The intention of events like these is to go back to the strategy of Martin Luther King, where civil rights and service to the community are melded together."
The Saturday meetings at the church are being billed as a Saturday Action Rally and are styled after the weekly events that are hosted by the New York chapter of the National Action Network and air on the Impact Network.