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Posted under: Trending Opinion

White Folks Calling 911 On Black Folks Is Why We Must Have Serious Convos About Gentrification

Don’t be calling cops on black folks while living in their muthaf**kin' hood.

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Something smells rotten in the state of California and it ain’t the stench of fish from the San Francisco Bay. It’s the foulness of fragile white folks calling the po-po on black folks in Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area. These citizen cop-callers are crying wolf and setting off false alarms over the most inconsequential shit ever--barbequing in the park, selling bottled water on the sidewalk, conducting safety inspections on the job. This level of rank cannot be good for the environment, nor for black lives. West coast wildfires don’t even taint the quality of air as much. In this volatile climate, anyone with a smidgen of social awareness knows black bodies are vulnerable when police involvement is at play. So it is rather curious of Becky and Patty and a community of neanderthals to threaten black people’s quality of life for less than trivial matters, and it is worth exploring the Bay Area to better understand its latest trend of white folks “calling the police on black people (but playing victim when confronted).”



The Black population in the Bay Area reached its peak at 47 percent in the 1980’s. It was the largest demographic, sustaining well-to-do communities in areas like Oakland,  despite racial barriers and redlining tactics against them.

In the 60’s and 70’s large corporations along with industrial jobs took flight. Bay Area whites left to follow the work and escape the “infiltration of negroes and orientals;” as minorities were regarded on the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation redlining maps. Oakland economy suffered tremendously due to this loss, and the lack of development opportunities. Even worse, the federal government disrupted the Bay Area with the construction of highway systems to accommodate the white population who fled the city for the suburbs. Even worse, the crack epidemic hit the streets and further depressed the region.



The black population in Oakland declined for two reasons: job opportunity pre-gentrification and cost of living post-gentrification. Neither is to be misconstrued as black flight. Blacks who had different options remained in Oakland and thrived, for better or worse. As Silicon Valley grew, Oakland became a seedbed for gentrification due to the growing housing and job market in San Francisco. White people on both sides of Oakland converged to take advantage of access, low-cost homes and ultimately the black community.

Gentrification is a buzzword to take the sting out of terms like colonization and imperialism, and the white manifest destiny narrative, but it does not change their context. White people believe the world is their oyster; and white privilege is the anointing that is draped up and dripped out in the blood of White Jesus. This explains both their preoccupation with Oakland and the caucasity in calling 5-0 on black people. And should anyone think this is novel behavior--think again. 

911 calls made on black people in gentrified areas are a nationwide trend. Harlem, a historically black section of New York City, has experienced a spike in these calls over the last three years in which the face of the neighborhood has changed from black and brown to white. The calls are routed through NYC's 311 helpline, a separate call line for non-emergency issues and complaints which affect “quality of life.”

Buzzfeed conducted an analysis revealing the overwhelming amount of calls that have affected a single Harlem block. On West 136th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, 311 calls jumped from 130 calls in 2015 to 3000 calls in 2017. Though information on who made the calls is unavailable, reasonable deduction points a finger at gentrification.

Oakland colonizers are bold. They have no shame in calling the cops on black people for being black and have done so since they started moving in. The app NextDoor provided the earliest accounts of operation #CallTheCopsOnNwords, dating back to 2012. According to Splinter News, the app, which is a social platform for residents of a community to stay connected and up-to-date on neighborhood news, became a hub for racial profiling. Meredith Ahlberg, a white woman from the Ivy Hill section of East Oakland, said neighbors frequently posted alerts about “young black men who are seen as dangerous or a possible threat." She shared her own interaction with neighbors via the app below:



This poster urged users to call the police on so-called suspicious black men. 



In another instance, a user from North Oakland posted their suspicions of a black girl with locs. Another subscriber questioned the posters judgement.




In 2013, a woman addressed a racist incident on a community website. Apparently, a neighbor posted suspicions of a young men walking while black, and her regret for not calling the police.

One of the more outrageous examples is a woman posting announcements about an interaction with a black man who asked for her number

Apparently, Asian women can get it, too.

According to Rolling Out, Oakland Police Department receives over 700 calls monthly on “suspicious people and vehicles.”  Reportedly, 911 dispatchers are forced to respond to these “baseless calls.”

To top it off, the latest queen of white Agent Provocateurs is out here lying. The white woman who called police on an 8-year-old girl claimed she never actually did. However, evidence of her 911 call says differently.

 

Audio obtained by KTVU confirms Alison Ettel, aka Permit Patty, told 911 dispatchers:

“I have someone who does not have a vendor permit that’s selling water across from the ballpark.” 

White women, why the f**k y'all always lying? 

videos why you always lying GIF
videos why you always lying GIF

Don't y'all know the history behind 14-year old Emmett Till's death, or that of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and 12-year-old Tamir Rice?

Don’t y’all know this is the kind of shit that leads to black people dying?

Of course, y’all do. Y'all just don't care. 

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Ida Harris is a current News Editor for Blavity. She is a native New Yorker, sowing seeds in Atlanta. She is savvy with standard English, but poetic with Black Vernacular. She's been known to f*ck up some Oxford commas. When she is not reciting Trap music quotables, she’s writing for The Root, Elle, USA TODAY, DAME magazine and MyBrownBaby. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Word2MUVA column.