Touré speaks out after a white woman called police on a Black family for grilling in a public park.
“Dear White People, I’m scared of you. Almost all of you have a superpower that I’m in fear of. You have the power to call the police and be automatically believed,” he wrote.
The superpower Touré was speaking on: The ability for whites to use police as the physical embodiment of white privilege.
A video taken by a witness named Michelle Snider captured a white woman calling the police on a Black family grilling at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The man behind the grill said two fire trucks passed him in the park and waved as they went by — which shows he and his family were doing nothing wrong. If there were an issue, many would believe the firemen would have stopped to address the situation.
Snider was shocked by the woman’s outburst over this group of people allegedly breaking a park the law by cooking with a charcoal grill instead of a non-charcoal grill in a designated barbecue and grilling area. Snider addressed the woman making the call and she quickly changed her demeanor, but it was clear that this woman was simply looking for a way to rid the premises of Black people. She even referred to the area as “her park.”
Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney commented on the incident to Huff Post, saying, “In a city that needs significant policing services, we can’t have those precious expensive resources squandered in a frivolous way.”
After another existing-while-Black situation, you know, Starbucks-ing while Black, Waffle Hous-ing while Black, Wal-mart-ing while Black, sitting in your own backyard while Black, Touré needed to speak out.
“Black interactions with police can too easily lead to trauma or death. In many situations, calling the police on a black person can be like tossing a grenade at them,” Touré wrote.
“But white fear is only part of the story. I think sometimes there’s something more pernicious at play. I think sometimes some white people call the police when they know that there isn’t a clear and present danger. I think in some cases people leap to call the police as an expression of dominance.”
In turbulent times such as these Blacks are reminded of the police abuse during the Civil Rights Era or the reality behind police crimes now that there is social media, cell phones and body cams to report the truth about interactions between Black people and police.
Social media responded to the incident by calling out the woman in question with the precise political satire that emulates and corresponds with Touré’s passionate and personal letter.
And as always the Internet is undefeated. Let the dragging begin…
Is that illegal, too? What a jerk. Thankfully #Hertearstasteamazing I wrote a piece for the Daily Beast (link in bio) about white people calling the police on Black folks in non-emergency situations like sitting in Starbucks or grilling in Oakland or sleeping at Yale or… the list goes on. The criminalization of Black life must end. #blacklivesmatter
This is what happens when we show up and show out! Thank you Oakland for reminding us how it’s done. Y’all did birth The Panthers, so it only makes sense. A woman in my DMs brought to my attention that perhaps we employ this tactic in place of boycotting. Instead of removing our presence, what they want, what if we strengthened it? In her words, “200 Black women should show up at Waffle House and just order water.” It’s time to sit in, stand in, dance in, and while you’re at it get up on these midterm elections so instead of waiting for a change to come you can be a part of enforcing it! Also, the innanets don’t NEVA sleeeeeeeep ?? PS: Black people have died time and time again because of shitty white bitches like this woman, and the broad at Yale. Y’all don’t never hear me refer to women as bitches, but you saw it here TUH day! Women who happen to be white, GET YA PEOPLE! #oakanda
And the most symbolic…