Dear White People, Stop Calling The Cops On Black People For Existing

When Are We Going To Admit That White People Have The Worst Relationship With Law Enforcement

Minding one's own business is a great stress reliever.

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In March, Stephon Clark was shot dead by police after a neighbor reported vandalism. Clark, who was found not to the vandal, was walking through his own grandmother's backyard when he was shot in the back by police, holding only a cellphone.

In April, two black men waiting to have a business meeting in a Philly Starbucks were arrested after an employee called police on them. In May, a black Yale law student had campus police called on her by a white student after she fell asleep in a chair. Jennifer Schulte, A.K.A BBQ Becky called the police on a black family barbequing in an Oakland park. Alison Ettel, A.K.A Permit Patty pretended to call the police to scare an 8-year-old black girl who was selling water outside of her mother's apartment complex. A 12-year-old boy in Ohio had the police called on him after he accidentally mowed a few inches into a neighbors lawn.

Just recently a Washington priest called the police on a black funeral and threw them out of his church, body-and-all, after someone accidentally knocked over a chalice. Adam Bloom, A.K.A Pool Patrol Peter called the police on Jasmine Edwards and her son at a community swimming pool in her complex after claiming she didn't live there despite her having a key card to use the facility. And a personal favorite, Donisha Prendergast, the granddaughter of the late-great reggae artist, Bob Marley, was swarmed by Southern California police while checking out of an Airbnb after a nosey neighbor reported them for burglary.

What is painfully obvious is that white people have a tendency to call 911 like it's customer service for life's mundane issues. And when I use the phrase "life's mundane issue," I mean the fact that some white people seem to take issue with black people living their lives and minding their own business. Maybe they are depressed, maybe they are suffering the loss of a loved one, maybe they inadvertently talked themselves into a bad mood, but none of these are excuses for plotting to have someone killed.

And please don't think I am being dramatic or jumping the gun. Police have the inclination to shoot first and ask questions never when they are dealing with black people. Ask the family of Stephon Clark, and countless other black men and women slain due to mistaken identity or shaky, trigger-happy police officers. And in the case of Permit Patty, this woman used the fact that she knew little black children were terrified of law enforcement to get an 8-year-old to stop selling her $1 water bottles. Evil.

Now, I'm not particularly a fan of the police, but I would assume that they don't appreciate being called out of their local Dunkin' Donuts every time a Becky feels the need to flex her outdated Android and call 911 on every other black person they see.

But what I want to know is when these police officers are going to start arresting folks for wasting their time and resources? I know these folks must be talking up the situation while on the phone with the 911 operator, because I can't imagine these operators sending out cops for every little thing, especially not when I have personally called the police for a legitimate reason and had them not show up.

Actually, I once called 911 after witnessing a car wreck and no one picked up the phone. No joke, I had to hang up and call back twice before someone picked up. But come to think of it, I'm sure they were just busy comforting some terrified white woman calling about a black man wearing socks at the pool.

"Yes, hello. My name is Becky. There is a black man here violently wielding a lawnmower and destroying my property. He looks suspicious and I am afraid for my safety. Also, Make America Great Again!"

And when these police officers get to the "scene" and realize they are being asked to arrest someone for using gas instead of coal (or whatever) on a grill, I really wonder what is going through their minds.

Nevermind the little old lady getting mugged down the street, BBQ Becky's pressing matter must come first.

Non-emergent line or not, if there are penalties for filing a false police report, why are there no penalties for knowingly lying to 911 operators about the severity of a situation and why are there no laws against calling the police for stupid-ass reasons?

Cover Image Credit:

Michelle Dione Snider / YouTube

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be White Feminists

I am white. I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist."

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Preamble 1: I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's a humid, grey April afternoon and being a woman comes with extra challenges, to which I definitely did not agree but they were probably in some fine print that I skimmed. Bummer. Anyway, feminism! Feminism's place in 2019 is contested but I am coming from a place of having heard many of the sides; given that, it would be lovely if you would hear my side.

Preamble 2: Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge the place of privilege from which I come. Look at my fully Irish name, I am white. Believing in social, economic, and political gender equality, I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist". As a student at Texas A&M;, a university that sometimes strays into homogeneity in both thought and demographic, I've been noticing a pattern in many conversations concerning gender equality. The pattern is that of white feminism.

White feminism is a Western-styled picking and choosing of feminism that entails a set of beliefs tolerating the ignorance of issues that mostly impact women of color.

Contrast this philosophy with intersectional feminism, which recognizes multiple identities and experiences within us, while promoting more united gender equality. Without intersectionality, our essence cannot stand against oppression and stand for equality without acknowledgment of the nuances of different historical struggles. As women, we face difficulties, but not all women face the same oppressions and marginalizations – and that cannot be overlooked in narratives.

As far as gendered-based violence goes, the Justice Department estimates that one in five women and one in seventy-one men will experience rape in the US. However, here's where the necessary nuances come in.

Women and men of color are more likely to experience this form of violence than white women or men. Women and men who are LGBTQ+are more likely to experience this form of violence than straight women or men. Lower income women and men are more likely to experience this form of violence than women or men in the highest income brackets.

So, yes, one in five women and one in seventy-one men are rape victims. But quoting that statistic without disambiguating the data can mislead readers or listeners of the ways that different identities amalgamate into this final number. Essentially, disproportional oppressions exist. All people are at risk for gendered violence, specifically rape, in America, but some people are more at risk.

If you need more of an explanation, think of the following analogy. White feminism is to intersectional feminism what #AllLivesMatter is to #BlackLivesMatter. Everyday Feminism contends, "the former's attempt at inclusiveness can actually erase the latter's acknowledgment of a unique issue that disproportionately affects a specific group of people".

If you ever find yourself guilty of white feminism, (I've been there!) know that we are all evolving. As long as you are open to education, we are all on the same side.

Here are three vital steps you can take to make your feminism intersectional!

1. Reflect on yourself. 

Reflect on your long-held beliefs based on your perspective alone could not apply to someone else. Reflect on your privileged experiences and acknowledge them for what they are.

2. Think about others. 

Once you've figured your internal state out from step one, you ought to look at the experiences of others with the same level of validity as your own. Ethically, feminism focuses on equality. Yes, that means stopping sexism, but it also expands to mean stopping complicated systemic oppressions that affect more than just white women. That said, white feminists are not the enemy in the fight for equality, rather, they are underinformed.

3. Don’t be afraid to grow. 

Say you were wrong. There's less shame in it than you think. In fact, I genuinely wish our culture was more forgiving of people who made an honest mistake in their past, but their hearts were/are in the right place.

Allow yourself to move onwards and upwards. We are all works-in-progress. We are all striving for better versions of ourselves. Intention is everything and your intention should be to always learn.

Intersectional feminism is challenging, like all educations. If you're doing it right, it should force you to think and even make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. After all, while feminism is here to help, it is not here for your (or my) comfort.

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