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White Folks Cry Foul After Professor Lists Appropriate Times to Call the Police

Laura Seay Professor

This week, police were called on a Black Yale University student who fell asleep in a common room while working on her paper. (Image courtesy of Google Images)

In the last few weeks alone, there have been at least six instances of police being called on Black Americans for ridiculous reasons, many times leading to unjust arrests and increased chances for things to end badly. A college professor is completely fed up with it all.

Laura Seay took to Twitter this week to offer a few nuggets of advice to white women who feel their comfortability being threatened whenever Black people are around. In a series of tweets, Seay addressed the hot button issue, chiding white women who are quick to call 911 when no one’s life is in immediate danger.

“Okay white women, apparently this needs to be said,” she began. “You call the police when someone’s life is in danger, or the potential for someone’s life being in danger or property being destroyed is strong. That you’re uncomfortable or nervous is not a good reason to call police.”

Policing public spaces isn’t white women’s job, argued Seay, an assistant professor of Government at Colby College in Maine. Blasting loud music, barbecuing out at a park or sleeping in the common room of a dormitory aren’t destructive behaviors and shouldn’t warrant a call to the authorities, she wrote.

So when is it actually appropriate to call the police? Seay happily offered several examples.

Seay’s informative thread comes on the heels of a string of incidents involving Black people who had the cops called on them by whites. Earlier this week, a group of Black filmmakers were swarmed by cops and suspected of burglary after they failed to acknowledge a white neighbor who waved as they were checking out the bed and breakfast they rented. Over in California, a Black family’s barbecue was interrupted by a white woman who called the cops on them for “illegally” grilling in an Oakland park.

A Black Yale student who dozed off while working on a paper was also confronted by police after her white neighbor called to report her sleeping in their dorm’s common room.

Saey, who previously taught at Morehouse College, said the incidents made her fear for the students she used to teach at the historically Black College.

Some users, primarily white women, took offense to Seay’s comments, however, and accused her of painting all white women with the same brush. Many also offered their two cents on the incident involving the Black Yale student.

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