America remains a nation where race is often in the forefront. But even with racism being a major issue, Blacks should be able to exist peacefully without fear or harassment because of their skin color. However, several recent incidents have occurred where Blacks were harassed by White people for simply being Black.
The harassment has come in the form of racial profiling incidents involving Whites calling the police on Blacks who were not committing a crime. In this nation, calling the police on a Black person could lead to violence or death.
These are not isolated incidents but rather part of a national epidemic.
Here is a ranking of some of the most racist acts of White people who called police on Black folks.
7. Airbnbing While Black
Donisha Prendergast, Bob Marley’s granddaughter, had hopes of enjoying the Kaya Festival on April 30 with friends and being able to rest at a nearby Airbnb in San Bernadino, California. However, her trip ended with her being racially profiled by White residents who lived near her Airbnb.
While loading luggage into a car, Prendergast and her three friends were surrounded by seven police cars, according to The Mercury News. The police aggressively told Prendergast and her friends — three of them Black and one White — to place their hands in the air. The police also told the women that they were being watched by a helicopter in case they decided to run from authorities.
Police were responding to a 911 call from a neighbor who witnessed the women taking bags from the home and placing them in the car. The neighbors would later claim that they did not call police because of race but because the women did not smile when they waved at them. As a result, Prendergast and her friends nearly went to jail because they were Black in a White community.
The police spoke with Prendergast and her friends for about 22 minutes before finally accepting the fact that they were renting an Airbnb.
But this is not the first time Airbnb has had issues with racial profiling. Blacks often face discrimination when attempting to rent homes through Airbnb. According to a study done by Harvard Business School, Airbnb hosts were 16 percent less likely to accept fictional guests with African American-sounding names than guests with White-sounding names, even though the guests had otherwise identical profiles.
Summary: Airbnb responded to racial profiling claims by creating policies that will punish users who discriminate against Blacks. But in Prendergast’s case, she was a victim of racial profiling by the neighbors who stayed near her Airbnb.
6. Being a Firefighter While Black
Several Black firefighters were racially profiled by White residents in Oakland, California. The first incident occurred on May 16 in the Oakland Hills area where a Black firefighter was conducting city-mandated inspections, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The inspections call for firefighters to inspect different yards that could have fire hazards. A White man approached one of the firefighters and began recording him on his cell phone because he viewed the fireman as “suspicious,” even though he was wearing a uniform.
The incident in Oakland Hills happened less than one month after another Black firefighter faced racial profiling. Kevin Moore was also doing inspections when a White resident called police on him for doing his job.
Summary: It’s appalling that a Black person can pass all of the tests and training to become a firefighter only to face discrimination from the citizens they serve on a daily basis.
5. Sleeping While Black at Yale
A Black grad student, Lolade Siyonbola, decided to take a nap in a common room at the Hall of Graduates, according to Yale Daily News. Sarah Braasch, a White student, approached Siyonbola and told her that she couldn’t sleep there. Siyonbola did not respond, but Braasch persisted. Braasch told Siyonbola that she had the right to call the police on her and began taking photos of her. Siyonbola, in turn, recorded a short video on her cell phone of Braach’s harassment.
Braasch called the police, who arrived and surrounded Siyonbola. They forced her to show her ID and made her open the door to her dorm room. In all, police questioned her for nearly 30 minutes.
As it turns out, Braasch has a history of racially profiling Black students.
Black grad student Jean-Louis Reneson was attempting to meet a group to work on a project when he was stopped by Braasch. Braasch reportedly told Reneson that he did not “belong” in the common room and physically attempted to block him. Although she was the one causing the conflict, she told him that he was making her “uncomfortable.” She eventually called the police on Reneson, who left after he proved that he was a student.
But it wasn’t a surprise that Braasch would racially profile an innocent Black person. She admitted to her love for hate speech in an article published by Daylight Atheism.
Summary: Braasch has harassed Black people on multiple occasions at Yale. She should have faced some form of punishment for her harassment of innocent students.
4. Waiting at Starbucks While Black
A White manager who worked at a Philadelphia-area Starbucks racially profiled Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson. Nelson and Robinson arrived at the Starbucks at 4:35 p.m. to meet with a friend about a real estate deal on April 12. The meeting was scheduled for 4:45. Once they walked in, the manager told them they needed to purchase something or leave.
Two minutes after they arrived, the White manager called the police. Records show that the 911 call was placed at 4:37 p.m.
When police arrived, they did not think that the two men were suspects. “As soon as they approached us, they just said we had to leave,” Nelson said during an interview with Good Morning America. “There was no question of, ’Was there a problem here between you and the manager? [or] ‘What happened?’ ”
The police did not explain why Nelson and Robinson were arrested and did not read them their Miranda Rights. Instead, they were placed in the back of a police car simply for being Black.
Following the viral video, protests erupted at the Starbucks, and the manager was removed from working at that location. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson publicly apologized to the two men. In a move to “fix” the issue, Johnson decided to close 8,000 Starbucks locations so that workers could receive racial bias training.
Summary: Starbucks did a tremendous job of being proactive after the video of Nelson and Robinson’s arrest went viral.
3. Poolside Patricia
In Oklahoma City, another incident was documented by Ja’Maya Burleson, who captured her White neighbor on cell phone video calling the police because she thought the Black people were too happy.
In the video released on Facebook, the White woman, identified as Patricia, told the police that she was upset with her Black neighbors because they would not talk to her when she was depressed. She then claimed that the Black people at the pool bullied her and would not give her help.
However, in video filmed by several of the Black residents, it was determined that Patricia threatened to fight them because they would not talk to her.
Patricia cried while speaking to the police officer. After about 10 minutes of hearing both sides of the story, the officer allowed the Black residents to leave and spoke with Patricia.
Summary: Poolside Patricia appeared to be intoxicated at the time she called the cops. Regardless of her condition, by calling the police, she could have caused chaos for a group of innocent people.
2. BBQ Becky
Known as BBQ Becky, Jennifer Schulte went viral after she was captured on video while calling the police on Black people who were having a cookout at Lake Merritt park in Oakland, California.
Schulte argued that the Black men in the park did not have a permit to enjoy themselves and use a charcoal grill. More than 2 million people have watched the video, recorded by Michelle Snider and posted April 29 on YouTube, and Schulte’s photo has become a meme.
The following week, hundreds of Black people arrived at Lake Merritt park for an event known as “BBQing While Black.”
Summary: BBQ Becky’s image has become synonymous with racial profiling across the United States. She will always be remembered as the woman who wanted Black people in jail for barbecuing.
1. Permit Patty
On June 21, an 8-year-old Black girl decided to sell water to baseball fans who were headed to AT&T Park in San Francisco, according to a Twitter post by the girl’s cousin. The young girl sold the water outside of her family’s apartment building, which is located close to the stadium.
At some point, Alison Ettel began harassing the girl for selling water. She then threatened to call the police on the child. The girl’s mother began recording Ettel as she claimed to make a call to the police department. When the girl’s mother began recording video on her cell phone, Ettel attempted to hide and said the girl was “illegally selling water without a permit.” The girl’s mother responded by saying she was “selling water on her property.” Ettel then said, “It’s not her property.” Ettel later told the Huffington Post that she was bothered by the girl yelling, “Come buy water,” to baseball fans. It’s ridiculous, considering that sports fans are usually loud before, during and after games and it’s common to hear noise near a stadium. Instead of asking the girl to lower her voice, Ettel decided to treat the situation as a crime.
Summary: Who calls the police on an 8-year-old child for selling water? A person who is so clouded by their own prejudices that they are willing to make a ridiculous decision to prove a point. Ettel should face criminal charges for her actions.