White Women Need To Stop Calling The Police On Black People

photo by Matt Cardy/ Getty

Seriously, stop

In the latest installment of “White Woman Calls the Cops on Black People For Minding Their Own Business,” Alison Ettel, now known on Twitter as #PermitPatty, phoned the police after seeing eight-year-old Jordan Austin selling bottles of water on the street in San Francisco. Austin's offense? She was selling water without a permit, just like countless other children across America have done at lemonade stands. A video of the confrontation was uploaded to Instagram by Austin’s mother and also shared via Twitter by Austin’s cousin, and it makes clear the difference between children who don't have the cops called on them and Austin: Austin is black, Ettel is white, and there's a long tradition of white women using the police to exact revenge on people of color for the most petty of complaints.

There has recently been a slew of incidents in which white women felt compelled to use 911 as a means of harassing and intimidating black people for existing in public spaces. Whether black people are barbecuingsleepingmoving out of Airbnbs, or going to Starbucks, the threat of law enforcement intervening is never far away—and it's always terrifying.

Black Americans are raised knowing they must navigate our police state with precision in an active effort not to be murdered. We are disproportionately targeted and killed by law enforcement officials, many of whom are never charged with a crime or significantly punished. This is a direct result of the state’s effort to control and police black and brown bodies. There is no good reason to contribute to the already difficult and frequently deadly relationship between police and people of color unless you are in immediate danger or are witnessing an emergency. 

Use of the police to control the movement of black people is a form of violence; there's no way to guarantee that it won’t result in a confrontation with irreversible consequences. Tamir Rice was murdered at point-blank range for playing with a toy in a park. Who knows what the outcome of Austin selling water could have been? Equally as worrisome, why was Ettel willing to run the risk of finding out? 

A host of factors contribute to white women's use of 911 as a personal customer service hotline, but none of them are valid, and most rest upon the idea that the police are there to cater to white women's racially motivated discomfort, and they all show a complete disregard for the potential repercussions of calling the cops on black people. It is a violent tool of privilege, brandished with wild, irresponsible ferocity upon people who are doing their best to survive in a system which actively targets and kills them. And it needs to stop.

A similar dynamic is at play with the recent reliance on ICE by American bigots who want to ethnically cleanse this country. In both situations, law enforcement agencies are actively dismantling families on the basis of biased laws which treat race as valid grounds for discrimination.

Recognizing that white women—even those who might not automatically recognize that they are operating from a racist place—utilize the force of the white supremacist patriarchy to maintain their idea of "order," is the first step in changing the system. The next step is making sure white women hold each other accountable. If you see it happening, step in. Those of us with extreme privilege must use it to alleviate the burden for people who can’t protect themselves. Advocacy and being an ally are essential acts, not just because they're the hallmarks of empathy but because it can mean the difference of saving someone's life.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Along with

Showtime just ordered a pilot episode of Casallina "Cathy" Kisakye's comedy anthology series, which will be executive-produced by Lena Waithe. The show, called How to Make Love to a Black Woman (Who May Be Working Through Some Shit), sounds like it'll be... informative.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, though the series is a comedy, it will also touch on some vulnerable subjects as well. It described the show as being about "connection and rejection that explore our most harrowing—and harrowingly comic—sexual secrets." Waithe said in a statement about the news, "Cathy's script is haunting, funny, and extremely vulnerable—it's the kind of script that doesn't come around very often." She continues, showing her excitement for the project: "I'm honored that Cathy trusts me with such a special project. I can't wait for the world to see it."

Kisakye, who previously worked with Waithe on The Chi, says that the show is close to her heart, and that the series will portray three-dimensional, complex women. "With How to Make Love, I'm thrilled to tell stories about the women I know, who are complicated, passionate, resilient, and relatable," she said in a statement.

Kisakye is the creator of the show, and will be writing the pilot script. It's the latest project to come to Showtime through Waithe's first-look deal and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, should it go to series, this would be the first anthology for the network.



Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]