To the Next ‘BBQ Becky’: Don’t Call 911. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR.

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Video by Taige Jensen and

 

New! A Hotline for Racists

Not for a charcoal grill, no charcoal grills are allowed You’re scared. Please leave me alone. You’re white. African-American Illegally selling water without a permit. But with cellphone cameras and social media calling 911 on your black or brown neighbors just isn’t what it used to be. Hi, I’m Niecy Nash, actress, inventor and advocate for not calling 911 on black people for no goddamn reason. I’d like to introduce you to a radical new product that will save you all the headaches of being filmed and outed as a racist douche. It’s called 1-844-WYT-FEAR and it’s revolutionizing the way racist white people cope with black people living life near them. 1-844-WYT-FEAR? There’s a black guy outside my neighbor’s house and he’s walking around. Our experienced staff have been living while black in America their entire lives. Darren, here, is a former Obama aide who had the cops called on him for moving into his new apartment. That is actually your neighbor Michael. Yeah, no problem. Our records are actually showing that’s actually his boat. Yeah, I know. black people have boats too, now. Studies show that people of color are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and serve longer sentences than white people for similar crimes. So calling 911 for non-emergency situations is really just a [expletive] move. I got so scared when I saw a black guy walking around outside. And so I called 1-844-WYT-FEAR. And it turns out we’re neighbors. And I’m a racist. Now black people have been helping white people be better since, always. So she’s looking around and standing there? Regular Frisbee or Ultimate Frisbee? Call it when black people are: 1-844-WYT-FEAR It’s a real number for real white people who should mind their own damn business. What’s going on here? If you have been a victim of 911 harassment please email us at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com

2:39New! A Hotline for Racists
Niecy Nash hosts a satirical infomercial advocating for people to stop calling 911 to harass black citizens and to call 1-844-WYT-FEAR instead.

In this satirical infomercial, the comedian and actress Niecy Nash plays the inventor of a new hotline, 1-844-WYT-FEAR. The video advertises a phone service for white people to call when they can’t cope with black people living their lives near them. The hotline is up and running, so give it a ring and spread the word. (Seriously.)

The phenomenon of white people harassing African-Americans going about their day is nothing new, but with the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, everyone can now see how these injustices are played out and lead to anxiety for and material harm to people of color. And this problem is bigger than a few unreasonable white people. Racist stereotypes are baked into our society.

Has someone called the cops on you when you were doing nothing wrong? Email your story or video to The New York Times Opinion Video team at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com.

Below is a list of 39 known instances just this year when someone called the police to complain about black people doing everyday activities:


October 2018

Dane County, Wis. When a statehouse candidate was canvassing a neighborhood. (The New York Times)

Amherst, Mass. When a university employee looked upset while walking across campus. (Associated Press)

Milwaukee When a man was trying to get change from his car. (WISN12)

Brooklyn When a woman tried to avoid the rain by standing on a stoop. (NBC4)

Northampton, Mass. When a student was eating on campus. (The Boston Globe)

Mountain View, Calif. When a woman donated food to the homeless. (KPIX5)

Victoria Park, Fla. When a woman attempted to cash a check at a bank. (Miami New Times)

Buffalo When a woman attempted to use several coupons at a dollar store. (The Buffalo News)

San Francisco When a man was checking the alarm at his own store. (KCBS Radio)

Sterling, Va. When a player at a pickup game of basketball fouled too hard. (FOX5)

Upper Arlington, Ohio When an 11-year-old was delivering newspapers. (Newsweek)

Winston-Salem, N.C. When a woman using her residential community’s pool refused to show her ID. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

San Francisco When an 8-year-old sold water outside her apartment building without a permit. (The New York Times)

Orange Village, Ohio When sorority sisters were paying their bill at a restaurant. (USA Today)

Oakland, Calif. When a uniformed firefighter was clearing flammable objects from brush. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

Collierville, Tenn. When a woman was browsing at a store. (WREG3)

Birmingham, Ala. When a man attempted to make a return at a crafts store. (ABC News)

Memphis When a real estate investor was inspecting a property. (The Telegraph)

Brooklyn When a woman was shopping at a vintage store with her daughter. (ABC7)

New York When a former Obama aide was moving into his new apartment. (PIX11)

Oakland, Calif. When three men were barbecuing at a park. (KRON4)

Raleigh-Durham, N.C. When a plane passenger felt uncomfortable about the woman in the next seat. (The Charlotte Observer)

York, Pa. When a group of women were playing golf. (The York Daily Record)

Philadelphia When two men attempted to use the restroom at a coffee shop. (NPR)

One thought on “To the Next ‘BBQ Becky’: Don’t Call 911. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR.

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