Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Will Montgomery County government adopt the Starbucks policy?

Montgomery County Planning Board chair
Casey Anderson surrounded by armed police
officers, called in as members of
Macedonia Baptist Church attempted to deliver
a petition during a peaceful protest last year
Montgomery County government has a Starbucks problem. County officials in the executive office, County Council, Planning Board and Housing Opportunities Commission have repeatedly called the police to confront black church leaders and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights in County government spaces. Now that the question of white people calling the police on black people has become a national hot topic, will Montgomery County government address one facet of its institutional racism by adopting the Starbucks policy of no longer calling the police?
Police confront Macedonia Baptist Church Pastor Segun Adebayo
and Social Justic Director Marsha Coleman-Adebayo at the
HOC in October 2017
Wait, did this really happen? Did white County officials really call the police on African-Americans who were simply exercising their First Amendment rights? Take a look for yourself in the following reports, for just a few of the instances:

Planning Board, February 2017

Office of the County Executive, April 2017

County Council office, May 2017

Housing Opportunities Commission, October 2017

As an activist in the County for over a decade, I have attended many public meetings and hearings, and the police were never summoned to confront or remove a white speaker or protester.

In "progressive" Montgomery County, the peaceful struggle over the Moses African Cemetery has proven to us "just how low the bar is for white Americans to sic law enforcement on black people," in the words of Mother Jones magazine. "Getting law enforcement involved is an extreme response that tends to escalate conflicts," Brandon E. Patterson wrote for the magazine in May. "For black people, that call to law enforcement can have dire consequences. That’s why it’s especially egregious when white people use 911 like a personal grievance hotline, summoning officers for something as minor as a black person arguing with restaurant staff—or because our behavior makes the caller uncomfortable, or because they think we might be up to no good."

Such frivolous calls to police are "rooted in an effort to preserve racial hierarchy by showing that black people can be removed at any time," Vox reported, quoting writer Tressie McMillan Cottom: “'At millions of places, in a billion different interactions across the country ... a white person is doing all the daily management of white spaces and places,' she wrote."

Callers may "feel that the police are there to work as their personal racism valets and remove black people from the situation," Morgan State University professor Jason Johnson told NPR last month.  "The role of the police is as law enforcement. They're supposed to be the last resort. You're supposed to ask questions, attempt to communicate and resolve things as a functional citizen. So of course, we shouldn't be calling the police on a regular basis."

Johnson, and others, have advocated the idea that callers in such cases should be fined. That may be called for, when our fabulously qualified and talented Democratic, "progressive" officials are unable to "communicate and resolve things as functional citizens."

Can we expect the County Council to adopt a Starbucks policy that County government should no longer call the police simply because African-Americans are peacefully protesting or attempting to deliver a petition? And one that would fine County officials who violate it? 

Don't bet on it. The Council has yet to even acknowledge or condemn the calls to law enforcement that came from their own, and multiple other, County government officials in the Moses African Cemetery controversy. They also have not criticized Anderson, or asked him to step down as chair of the Board.

33 comments:

Anna said...

Stop trying to pit people against each other with race baiting.
It's cheap and in poor taste.

Anonymous said...

this post is pathetic. the only racist is you. the police were called because of the CONDUCT of these people, some of whom were WHITE. You're wrong and pathetic.

Anna said...

If memory serves...
A group of people, without an appointment, showing up at your place of business, disrupting the office workings and refusing to leave without their demands being met...being offered a room to use and refusing it and instead insisting on staying in the main reception area...well, that might warrant a call to the cops to help sort things out.

Anonymous said...

"The police were called because of the CONDUCT of these people, MOST of whom were WHITE."

Barwood Sucks said...

Shameful behavior by County Council and Planning.

Not in my name! They don't represent us well...hence the powerful vote for term limits.

Anonymous said...

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is from Detroit. Her husband, Segun Adebayo, is from Nigeria.

Coleman-Adebayo is a senior leader in the Green Party, which helped sabotage the presidential elections of 2000 and 2016:

"As of April 2015, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo serves on the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States as 'Director of Governmental Transparency and Accountability'.

"In June 2015, Coleman-Adebayo endorsed Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein while speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C."

Anonymous said...

Dyer has no clue about the law if he's citing first amendment rights here. Even on government property, you have them within limits. You can't walk into a courtroom and disrupt it and start protesting (but you can do that outside on the sidewalk). Same with a public hearing -- you can sign up to testify if they allow testimony.

Otherwise, go onto the public sidewalk and protest there and no one will stop you.

Randy said...

Honestly this is a terrible article and I would really echo what Anna said at 5:06am. You lost me here dude, this is really irresponsible 'reporting.'

It's been real Dyer blog - see you guys in the funny papers.

Randy's out

Anonymous said...

@7:27 Maybe this is the next Dyer campaign ad: "If you elect me to the Council, I'll let you come in and disrupt every Council meeting so we can never get anything done!"

Anonymous said...

"white people calling the police on black people"

Here is a listing of the Commissioners of Montgomery County's Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC):

http://www.hocmc.org/about-hoc/commissioners.html

Jackie Simon, Chair - White
Richard Y. Nelson Jr., Vice Chair - African-American
Edgar G. Rodriguez, Chair Pro Tem - Hispanic
Pamela Byrd - African-American
Linda Croom - African-American
Margaret McFarland - White
Roy O. Priest - African-American

7 commissioners - 4 African-American, 1 Hispanic, 2 White; 2 of 3 officers are non-White. The reverse of the demographics of the "protestors".

And the HOC itself is established for the purpose of responding to the County's need for affordable housing - from which non-whites in the County will benefit, presumably more than whites.

Dyer's entire narrative is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

What's even more ridiculous is rich white people using dead black people as a pretext to keep live black and hispanic people out of their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

@7:43 Those white peopel aren't racist. They are opposed to any change or new people in the neighborhood. Doesn't matter what the race.

Anonymous said...

7:43am how is supporting the Church preventing folks from living anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Fair housing laws exist. No one is going to be "kept out" of the neighborhood or is banned today.

Time for another bus tour!

Anna said...

Slavery was nearly abolished in the USA in 1784, but the motion fell short by just one vote.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:14 AM - You're not going to make housing affordable, by refusing to build any more of it.

Anonymous said...

I see Bob the builder Dyer is playing the race card once again, while ignoring the fact that half of the commissioners are minorities and half are women... Ignorance will get you everywhere in the land of victimhood.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna @ 10:26, that motion was only to abolish slavery in new territories, would have had no impact on existing slave states or territories.

Anonymous said...

"white people calling the police on black people"

The protesters were mostly white, the HOC commissioners mostly black.

Every day is Opposites Day on Robert Dyer's blog.

Anonymous said...

@1:41PM: I don't know what's in Dyer's mind, but the HOC and the Planning Commission treat everyone with contempt. That's the issue here. When its relationships with the community deteriorated to the point that the council insist they find a mediator, leadership from both organizations should have been fired.

Anonymous said...

3:27 PM - Agreed. The cemetery protesters need to find new leadership - Coleman-Adebayo needs to go.

Anonymous said...

@5:02PM: Hahaha. But it's less funny when you think about how much contempt county officials have shown for residents across an array of issues.

Robert Dyer said...

7:31/2:23: The people who called the police at HOC were white. And HOC is just one of the multiple agencies shown above to have summoned the police to confront the church. Your argument makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

"The people who called the police at HOC were white."

Who???

Robert Dyer said...

9:46: The two officials who were leading the effort to silence the church were white - the chair, and the HOC attorney. You make it sound like each commissioner took out a phone and called 911 in unison. The commissioners were not the ones who called in the police.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the four African-American and one Hispanic commissioners had no problem with the police being called.

Robert Dyer said...

10:25: No, they apparently did not. Not exactly something they should be proud of. They may find themselves at the kids table at the next Democratic Party dinner.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, that wonderful Bethesda Facebook page has a shitload of psychotic NIMBYs who want to turn back the clock 40, 50 or even 60 years.

Anna said...

It's funny how as one ages they're drawn to re-experience the "feelings" of that "kinder-gentler" time in their past. Or maybe it's remembering the time before the responsibility of adulting and the freedom you felt.

The problem comes from wanting to recreate that time in the present.

Anonymous said...

-Non-whites, and even certain whites, not allowed in many neighborhoods
-Open discrimination in all areas
-Gays and lesbians persecuted
-Stores required to close on Sundays, regardless of your religion
-Young drivers felt entitled to drive recklessly
-Drivers of all ages felt entitled to drive drunk
-Domestic violence was "wearing the pants in the family" and "discipline" and "a private matter within the family".
-Cigarette smoke and ashes everywhere; three generations dropped like flies from lung cancer and COPD
-Litter everywhere

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Anna said...

Oh I agree with all those, but time softens our memories.

There wasn't that much litter since it was still paper bags and glass bottles, and people picked up after themselves.

An 8 year old me could spend all day walking around Bethesda by myself.
I'd walk miles to Wildwood for coffee and a doughnut (My law-enforcement leanings go w-a-y back)

No matter when you were born, the times now are harsher than when you were growing up.

They'll be people calling today the "good old days." Scary thought.

Anonymous said...

Anna, @ 8:15 AM here....

People didn't necessarily pick up after themselves Back In The Day. Litter awareness didn't really start until the 1970s, with the PSAs with the Crying (Fake) Indian and "Make All America Sparkle City". Look at the sidewalks in some of the photos from the 1950s and 1960s, and you'll see a shocking amount of litter.

Anna said...

12:53PM I'll have to look for the litter, I guess it didn't stand out for me, so I'll be more aware next time. I remember the Keep America Beautiful campaign in the 50's.