Once again, I awake to yet another social media post about a White woman calling the police on a Black person for doing everyday things. This time a White woman was filmed calling the police on a group of Black people that were barbecuing in the park. I will post the video below so that you can watch the incident unfold for yourself.
After calling the police and they arrive, almost as if on cue, this White woman, has an emotional breakdown, weaponizing her tears because White women are always allowed to be the victim.
Even when White women are clearly wrong for calling 911, like the incident with the Black women that had a police helicopter, 7 police, and the neighborhood locked down all because they did not wave at a neighbor, you would think the White female Airbnb owner would come to their defense. Right? Wrong.
Be it Starbucks, WaffleHouse, napping in a Yale common area, touring a college campus, moving into an apartment, leaving an Airbnb, and now barbecuing, there is one thing that is common in each of these incidents – White Women. White women have been the perpetrators of each of these frivolous calls to 911 that have the potential to get Black people killed. While I am sure, no one wants to have an encounter with the police, for Black people an encounter with the police can and has had deadly consequences. In my post-Dear White People, Please Mind Your Own Damn Business, I wrote how a call to 911 resulted in the death of 22-year-old John Crawford who was trying to buy a BB gun at Walmart. That is why it is of the utmost importance if you are calling the police on anyone but particularly Black people, it needs to be legitimate. I am not saying ignore a crime in progress or reasonable fear/threat to your life. However, calling the police because Black people make you uncomfortable is not a reason to contact 911. Always ask yourself, “If a White person was doing this would I be calling 911?” If the answer is no, mind your own business.
While it may seem these incidents are happening all of a sudden, be aware, that Black people have been monitored and policed in spaces for centuries. From slavery to Black codes, to Jim Crow, White people have always attempted to control how Black people can move throughout spaces. These incidents are not new. It is the same thing with police brutality. The violence is not new; it is just that technology has caught up with racism. What was once hidden, people are now able to film on a cell phone and share around the world in a matter of seconds.
White women have always been co-conspirators when it comes to upholding White supremacy. In a New York Times article entitled The Women Behind White Power by Elizabeth Gillespie McRae, McRae writes:
White women organized precinct gatherings to pressure their politicians to uphold Jim Crow laws. They transformed their homes into centers of bureaucratic efficiency — copying fliers, assigning neighborhoods for petition drives and scheduling protest shifts at elementary schools and bus garages. It was also women who shaped the way segregation, white supremacy and ideas about racial identity were knitted into the fabric of their communities. Working as midwives, teachers and social workers, women policed the racial identity of babies, students, and clients to ensure that the dividing line between white and black remained intact. And across the nation, women-led groups like Patriotic American Youth and the Women for Constitutional Government and Pro America spread the message to the next generation that opposition to racial equality was about states’ rights and limited government, not white supremacy.
White women have always been at the helm of White supremacy right beside their husbands, fathers, uncles, sons, and brothers.
In recent times, with the tragic death of Heather Heyer and the brutal assault of DeAndre Harris in Charlottesville, Virginia, we are shown images of White men committing these heinous acts of violence. But do not be deceived. For all the men you saw marching and spewing their hate, they have mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts. When they go home after attending a rally, they do not go back to an empty house. Many of them go home to White women that are waiting with a hot meal on the table and a beer in a frosted mug to welcome them back from a grueling day of fighting Black people.
White women are equally as complicit in upholding White supremacy as White men. If the election of Trump and the election results of Alabama do not show you that, then you do not want to see.
For all the talks I have participated in since the election of Donald Trump, for all the workshops and panel discussions about “inclusion” and “intersectionality”, for all the poems I have written and performed, countless hours of researching, reading, and writing, here we still are. For everyone White woman that has followed my blog, sent me an email, came out to hear me speak, THIS PROBLEM IS AT YOUR FEET. These are not women in my sphere of influence. These women are in yours. These are your family members, your friends, your workout partners, your wine sipping buddies. These women are people that YOU know and who YOU are NOT impacting. Being an ally extends beyond reposting a tweet and preaching the same knowledge to the same people each month at your Racial Justice meeting. It is time for you to take what you have learned and share it. And let me be clear, this conversation happens before your friend picks up the phone to call 911. While I appreciate you calling out racism when you SEE IT, I need you speak about racism even when you don’t see it! Because racism is ALWAYS there lurking. It it your job to take some preemptive measures.
I saw a recent post on Twitter where a White woman invited several young Black boys, that were outside her house into her yard to play so that someone did not call the police on them According to her post, the boys went to her home and called their mom to pick them up. She said, shortly after that, the police arrived in her neighborhood stating they had gotten reports of a fight. I asked her, “And so now what?” She performed a nice gesture that impacts nothing. We don’t want nice gestures, we want justice. What happens when the Black boys are in the neighborhood again, and she is not there? The problem isn’t the boys; the problem is her neighbor. She can put up a million Black Lives Matter signs in her yard, go to every Racial Justice meeting held in the city, read every single blog written about racism and implicit bias but until she decides to talk with her neighbors, nothing will ever change.
So what can you do?
1. If you are calling 911 on Black people for existing, STOP IT!
2. Mind your business. Does this issue need you to get involved? If the answer is NO, STAY OUT OF IT!
3. If you enjoy this blog, please SHARE IT but don’t just share it online. Share the knowledge in person.
4. Invite your neighbor to lunch, to dinner, to drinks and casually mention these incidents. You don’t have to go full out social justice warrior on anyone, but there is a way to mention everyday news into a conversation.
5. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS!! Stop being afraid of the Black family on the block and get to know the Black family on the block. I can GUARANTEE you 9 times out of 10; they are JUST LIKE YOU. Don’t INTRUDE but if you see them walking in the neighborhood, speak to them. If you bake, perhaps bake an extra cake or some cookies and drop it off. DON’T BE NOSY! DON’T INTERROGATE THEM! Just say, “Hi, I’m your neighbor down the street, and I really want to get to know my neighbors, and I am trying to be more proactive about it.” Put it ON YOU, NOT THEM. Don’t say, “I noticed, YOU are new, and I don’t know YOU.” Make it about YOU and what YOU are trying to accomplish.
6. Do the #100HOTDOGCHALLENGE! I have not put this information out yet but for the month of June, I (see me putting it on me) want to encourage people to get out and KNOW THEIR NEIGHBORS! So since that is MY responsibility, I am doing the #100HotdogChallenge, and I am encouraging ANYONE in their neighborhood, to grill 100 hotdogs and give them away to their neighbors for FREE! Don’t discuss ANY tough topics at this time. Just give them the hotdog, say hi and keep the conversation light. This is a time just to GET TO KNOW THEM. Difficult conversations will come at ANOTHER time. Right now just be friendly, welcoming and be neighborly. Go into the challenge with an open heart and mind to get to know anyone that wants a hotdog.
5. GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY! Mention this calling 911 issue on Black people for frivolous issues at your next Neighborhood Association meeting and make this topic a priority! Talk to your neighbors about these incidents and educate them on why it is wrong.
In order for this to change, you have to be committed to changing it. You know the information, you have the information, now I challenge you to do something about it!
How Dumbed Down, Meek, And Quiet Do You Want Black Women To Be? Please read this to see how quickly a White woman played the victim and said I was threatening her children.
Video of barbecue incident.