The week of Independence Day had white folks with 911 on speed dial. A Black family eating at a Subway in Georgia got a visit from police and a Black Oregon state representative had a check-in from the cops for canvassing — in the neighborhood she represents.
On July 3, Rep. Janelle Bynum, 43, was campaigning in Clackamas, Oregon. She is a Democrat who is running for a second term this fall in the state House of Representatives. After canvassing for two hours, a police car pulled up and asked what she was doing. Bynum explained she was canvassing. OregonLive.com reported, “The deputy said someone called and reported Bynum appearing to spend a long time at houses in the area and appearing to be casing the neighborhood while on her phone.” Yep, “casing” the neighborhood, as if she was Catwoman on a jewel thief mission.
Bynum told OregonLive.com, “It was just bizarre. It boils down to people not knowing their neighbors and people having a sense of fear in their neighborhoods, which is kind of my job to help eradicate. But at the end of the day, it’s important for people to feel like they can talk to each other to help minimize misunderstandings.” Reportedly, the deputy would not reveal the caller’s race, but we can all take an accurate guess. Thankfully, the officer did not overreact, see their photo below:
On July 2, a Black family of seven was at a Subway in Coweta County, Georgia, when, according to Channel 2 Action News, an employee called the police, accusing “the family of going back and forth to the bathroom and possibly putting soda in water cups.”
In the 911 call, the employee said, “I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now, there’s about eight people in a van, and they’ve been in the store for about an hour. They keep going back and forth to the bathrooms by my back door.” When the police arrived, they apologized for the distressed white woman because “the employee had said she was suspicious of the family and that she has been robbed before and thought they would rob her.”
Felicia Dobson, the mother, said the owner of the Subway called her and apologized. The employee is currently on administrative leave. Dobson told Channel 2 Action News, “I don’t think she ever felt threatened. We can’t change our skin color. I have great kids. I have a great family.”
Subway franchisee Rosh Patel released the following statement, “I take this very seriously, and I am fully investigating. I have also used this opportunity to reiterate to my staff the importance of making everyone feel welcome.”
Just another day in the land of the free. Make America great again!