There’s been a number of instances where white people, perhaps empowered by President Trump’s culture of promoting nationalism and/or privilege, are calling the police on minorities over what amounts to nothing.
Need some examples?
We have Pool Patrol Paula, who is on video verbally abusing and physically assaulting a black teenager at a Community Pool in South Carolina and the video went viral, costing this woman her job. A woman in Oakland called police after viewing a Black family BBQing at a lake; and thousands protested the actions of BBQ Betty and she was lampooned on SNL. Let’s not forget the April incident where black teens at a Starbucks were arrested for sitting inside the coffee shop — ordering nothing — which prompted the firing of a manager who called police. The cops handcuffed the teens. The outrage caused the company to host a company-wide racial sensitivity training. And what about that incident in San Francisco where a woman, dubbed “Permit Patty,” called the police on an eight-year-old black girl selling cold water without a permit? And there was an incident at Yale where a white student called police on a black student who had fallen asleep studying in a campus lounge. The most recent event, a white homeowner in South Carolina was fired by his employer after a viral video surfaced of him calling the police and demanding to see the ID of a Black woman who was swimming in a association pool in an upscale development. None of the white families at the pool were asked for ID. This was last week during the July 4th holiday.
That’s a lot of set up to this buried lede.
Former Irvine City Council candidate and state assembly candidate (and maverick Democrat) Anila Ali was paid a visit by Irvine police over a Tweet she sent regarding current city council candidate Lauren Johnson-Norris; the police did visit Ali but did not take a report or charge her with anything. The cop call happened just days before the wedding of Ali’s son. Ali has accused Johnson-Norris of racism in calling the cops over a Tweet.
Here’s the original tweet:
Irvine police called Ali and then visited her at her home to respond to the complaint and told Ali that the complaint was made by Lauren Johnson-Norris. The police officer apologized to Ali for making the call and told her that she was within her First Amendment rights to post thsat very Tweet. Ali was very understanding, and sources close to Ali tell me that the office posed for photos with Ali and her family (a family wedding is coming up this week after all).
Johnson-Norris owes Ali an apology here, but I’m not going to hold my breath. When LJN speaks before the city’s Muslim groups, they can ask her about this incident. Her actions don’t surprise me because Johnson-Norris’s mentor, Council member Melissa Fox, recently filed a complaint to the OC District Attorney’s office over an email longtime Democrat Harvey Liss sent her urging her to vote for Councilman Jeff Lalloway’s motion to restore the Veteran’s cemetery to the original ARDA site near the Great Park. Fox, instead, voted for a substitute motion by Mayor Don Wagner to study other locations for the Veteran’s Cemetery at the Great Park, and people in the meeting shouted “recall.”
After the police called on Ali, she took it out on Johnson-Norris via Ali’s social media channels. Here’s two posts:
Why this case is news is two-fold: one, candidates for office need a thick skin. Criticism is going to happen. The original tweet Ali sent is relatively harmless but she has nearly 29,000 followers on Twitter. Now, all of them are aware of this complaint to Irvine PD and it makes Johnson-Norris look bad. And unlike particular Facebook pages about “Irvine Democrats,” Ali’s comments aren’t being deleted and she’s not being denied the opportunity to post of certain Facebook or NextDoor pages controlled by certain factions in the city (this blog is often criticized for allowing virtually every comment as a right to free speech which I’m convinced is a better solution that blocking people from commenting period or deleting comments that are posted that a moderator doesn’t agree with).
The second piece is that there are a number of Democrats who want to encourage Ali to run for Mayor. Currently, there’s no declared Democrat running against Don Wagner, who was one of the targets of shouts by the city council meeting crowd of “recall” over his substitute motion for studying a veteran’s cemetery at the Great Park (all these studies were absent when the Freeway site for the cemetery was being pushed through by the city council majority and their benefactor, FivePoint.)
A progressive Democratic Muslim woman who can’t be bought off against a Christian Conservative Republican who governs with policies that are anything but Christian (remember the homeless issue?) and many believe is completely for sale.
It could be a fun race.