White neighbor calls police after black man turns up to inspect house

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/16/white-neighbor-calls-police-af.html


“Triggers”, as the anger never goes away or lets up with these folks.


This was one of First Season episodes of ALL IN THE FAMILY from 1971.
Where the Jeffersons buy the house next door to the Bunkers.

Archie tries a scheme to get all the neighbors to pool their money to buy them out for a $2000 profit and then sell the house to someone of his own kind.

It fails when he tries to recruit Lionel (one of the “good” black people) to do the whisper campaign but it backfires when Lionel reveals that it was HIS family that bought the house and he will soon be their neighbor!

I’m currently watching all the episodes of the show in order, I am surprised at how little has actually changed over the last 48 years.


More info in text here, which clarifies he didn’t buy the house but had authority to inspect it. Not that the difference would have been material to the woman’s inane complaint.



Yeah, um…
My folks and their neighbors had a covenant that outlined this exact thing. And also… no cats.

Oh, and I watched all the episodes of ALL IN THE FAMILY with them when they aired.

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From the article, it sounds as if the police were absolutely professional and sane about the whole thing. Which is encouraging, because the best chance of ending the phenomenon of white people calling the cops on not-white people for no reason at all is for the cops not to stand for their bullshit.

When the racists learn that they can’t rely on the cops to perform racial harassment on their behalf, that particular manifestation of racism is over.

Not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, though.


I also revisited the show a number of years back. It holds up really well both in topicality and humour. If Archie Bunker were still around today he’d be wearing a MAGA cap.

In another episode a blockbusting “Oreo” real estate agent tries to get Archie to sell his home for more than its market value to a black family to start a race panic in the neighbourhood. As cities become more expensive to live in, as right-wing populism continues to promote ethnic separatism, and as deregulation continues apace I can envision a return to this sleazy practise.


Had to do it…


When will these people realize that we don’t want them living in our neighborhoods? And of course I’m referring to racist old ladies.


What boggles me about this type of behavior is that it goes unpunished. If someone calls the cops on someone and it’s determined by the cops, in their best judgement, that there was no real reason for them to be called other than the caller being a complete racist, issue them a ticket. A ‘wasting our time’ ticket. A significant one at that. They can come to court and argue it. I get that it can be very hard for officers to make that determination because it’s not always (and forgive me for this) black and white, but we need to hold these assholes accountable for their actions. Putting her on YouTube and blasting her on social media will do nothing.


While I support the sentiment, we do not want to put a chilling effect on people calling the police out of fear they might get a ticket.


The usual bullshit, but at least there was a slight sprinkling of sugar when the police shut her the fuck down.
“I’m friends with the sherrif!”
“I don’t care if you’re friends with the president. If you try to do anything to stop him, I’m going to take you to jail.”

… if only that was the normal response, instead of, y’know, extrajudicial murder.

While I support the sentiment, we do not want to put a chilling effect on people calling the police out of fear they might get a ticket.

IDK about US law, but in the UK we already have a charge for “Wasting Police Time”, and I don’t think people are generally all that leery about calling the cops. Not for that reason, in any case.


If it’s futile, then why did he do it, and why did the Root write an article about it?

Of course I disagree with you that publicizing her actions does nothing. The idea that the state alone can effect meaningful change is dangerously wrong.

Whether cops should ticket bogus police calls is a separate matter. Making a false police report is a crime, in some cases even a felony, in many jurisdictions. Ticketing people for calling the cops though sets a dangerous precedent because 99% of the time the cops are going to be on the side of the racists.

Giving police more power is simply insane.

Fair enough. But US cops are lot more trigger happy than UK cops, or any other country for that matter. Until and unless they’re reformed, giving them more discretion is extremely risky.

That said, it was refreshing to see cops do the right thing for a change.

ETA: I definitely think these racists should be sued into the ground though.


Occurs to me, I’d like to hear the woman’s call to the police. The racist woman who called the cops on Donisha Prendergast lied and said they were stealing stuff.


Leaves me wondering if this woman lied to the police.


I meant it will do nothing to change this woman’s behavior, so perhaps a way to ticket her for it will. Also, posting this all on social media will probably not change the behavior of other racists. Maybe it will but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be posted, as it brings a lot of awareness to the issue. Sorry for the confusion.


No worries. Thanks for clarifying.


I dunno about that. I think anything that de-normalizes this behavior has some impact. Showing the police take the side of the law-abiding black man rather than the racist lady does that. Post-Trump, a number of racists feel like they have the right to tell people of color what to do; video evidence to the contrary can help disabuse them of that notion.
Videos like this won’t make racists not-racist, but they’ll make them realize that they won’t get public or official support for their racism, so they’ll be more likely to keep it to themselves.


He offered to show the racist his business card and his paperwork, but she can’t fucking read can she.


If a local jurisdiction did put such an anti-Becky ordinance on the books, it would only be a question of how many days before it started being used to harass POC who call the cops about anything, at the whim of the cops. “You can go to court and fight it” would mean a day off work to stand in front of a judge, and experience tells us how rarely that goes well for POC.

They could also double it up with existing nuisance ordinances to make your landlord kick you out. The ACLU is playing whack-a-mole already with local jurisdictions who are using nuisance ordinances to get women of color who are victims of domestic abuse evicted for too many 911 calls, even calls made by concerned neighbors. They get rid of one of these nuisance ordinances, and two other towns put them in. The evil genius of these laws is giving big fines to landlords for letting people who have been declared a nuisance stay.