By Yolanda Spivey
Posted October 11th 2018
(PHOTO: JULY 2018 POLICE CALLED ON 12YEAR OLD REGGIE FIELDS FOR MOWING LAWNS IN MAPLE HEIGHTS. OHIO)
OCTOBER 2018 POLICE CALLED ON COREY LEWIS OF ATLANTA GEORGIA FOR BABYSITTING WHILE BLACK)
The most recent incidents of white people calling law enforcement on Black families, children and adults, has left me in utter disgust. It’s to the point where, personally, I try to avoid as much contact with white people as possible. In my personal life, there is not a day that goes by when I’m going about my daily business that I don’t experience some type of microaggressions from them.
For instance, recently my son and I were waiting for our realtor to show up at an apartment building. We waited patiently in the lobby area and casually looked around at our potential new home dwelling. We watched other people, who were white, do the same. When the lobby was clear and it was just him and I standing there, a white man appeared out of one of the apartments and aggressively asked us what were we doing there. In my most calming tone, (because you know us Blacks are always making white people feel comfortable, although we’re the ones who feel uncomfortable), I said: “We’re waiting for our realtor.” He then told us that we had the wrong building and we should leave. That’s when I said, “Excuse me? We aren’t going anywhere.” So you can just imagine the next words to come out his mouth: “‘I’m calling the cops.”
When he said those words, I immediately whipped out my phone and was going to record my “me too” incident. But as this was happening, my realtor, a young white male, walks in the building and asked what was going on. The man asked my realtor what apartment he was taking us to see, and he wanted to speak with my realtor after he finished because he was the super and he had a right to know about any potential residents.
Long story short, my realtor did not speak with that white man afterwards and I, of course, did not take that apartment.
That incident as with many other negative racially charged incidents I’ve experienced in my life, has left me with anxiety and angst. It also left my young and impressionable son in astonishment that white people actually do things like that in real life to Black people. At the age of 12, he sometimes refuses to believe that incidents, such as what we’ve experienced, can really happen.
When I asked him afterwards how did he feel, he said the guy was a jerk and he let it roll off of his shoulders. Or did he? As a mother, I know that incident may have caused more damage deep down inside of him than he may even realize. And that, amongst other reasons, is why we must discuss the emotional, psychological and economic impact of being Black in America.
All over this grand ol’ U.S.A., Black people (and other people of color), are being traumatized by white people who threaten to call the cops on them. History, from the past and recent present, shows us that when a cop is called in an incident that involves people from two different racial backgrounds, the cop in most cases will take the side of the white person.
And this just doesn’t happen on the streets. These incidents happen on the job, at school, and other places where Blacks and other people of color spend most of their time.
And it is worth noting that most of the perpetrators calling the 911 system are white women.
Let me just tell you how powerful white women’s voices are: Historically, their voices have destroyed towns and cities; they have killed numerous Black women, men and even children. They know that their cries will be heard if they simply lift their voices. It’s to the point where Blacks and other people of color run to their aide if something is supposedly happening to them. We’re all programmed to attend to them in their times of need.
The question then becomes: Why aren’t we equally as willing to believe and listen to the cries of Black people and other people of color? Watching visual footage of Black people LEGALLY minding their business and having other people call the cops on them NEEDS TO STOP!
White people are very cognizant about what’s going on in the world. Heck, they created the supremacist system we all operate in, so they know that by calling the cops on you, it is potentially asking for your execution/ death. As hard as this is to believe, it is true and as much as we may not want to articulate it, it must be said.
When the police show up to a place where Black people are congregating, in some instances, they shoot first and ask questions later. We, the people of the United States, no matter what color, creed, religion, etc… etc….. KNOW THIS! So, when white people call the cops on Blacks, they know that based on the history of policing in America, especially in urban areas, they are asking for you to die. Why?
It’s all because in some cases, we are not doing what they WANT us to do. Usually, like in my incident, they want us to vanish, and leave the area where they are because for some strange reason, our presence makes them uncomfortable.
Something needs to be done! And it starts with us.
Black people and other people of color need to fight back. Now don’t get me wrong, some of these white people are losing their jobs and businesses over these frivolous incidents. But they are white, and can easily get another job, start another business, and blend seamlessly back into society. In a few years, we’ll all forget about what they’ve done in the past.
Simply put, laws should be made when these things happen. Just as many municipalities require you to pay a hefty fine if you have a ‘false alarm,’ if someone is found guilty of falsely calling the police on someone else who is doing nothing wrong, that person should be arrested, and charged with violating whatever law the person has violated.
Furthermore, in some cases, they may be violating a law that is already in place and that’s the law for falsifying a police report. If I’m not mistaking, calling the 911 system on an innocent person for personal revenge is a crime in many states. If found guilty, most people will be fined and jailed.
Lastly, Blacks and people of color should sue for defamation of character and emotional distress in civil court. If someone abuses the 911 system and you’re able to prove that they were wrong, you should be compensated monetarily for your pain and suffering.
The reality is that it’s time to use the law to our full advantage. We pay taxes; we vote; and we have rights. I bet these false 911 calls will soon disappear.
Yolanda Spivey writes on a variety of topics and is the owner of Michael Whitney and Associates, an insurance brokerage. You can reach her at mwhitney.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.