The Oregon Senate just passed a law making it illegal to make racist 911 calls.

All it needs is a signature form the Governor.

via Woke Video / YouTube

Jennifer Schulte (aka 'BBQ Becky') was captured calling 9-11 on two black men who were just trying to grill up some meat.

In an era where everyone has been deputized with a smartphone, people are beginning to realize how people of color are often harassed for doing things white people take for granted.

Over the past two years, people of color have had people call law enforcement on them for:

Barbecuing in Oakland, California.
Eating on the train.
Picking up trash.
Golfing too slowly.
Napping in a university common room.
Selling bottled water.
Swimming in a pool.

This type of harassment is not just unnecessary, it means that people of color have to live in constant fear of being harassed by the state. The harassment could lead to being unnecessarily incarcerated or murdered.

"It's not just an inconvenience when a police officer stops me," Oregon state Senator Lew Frederick told The Associated Press. "When a police officer stops me, I wonder whether I'm going to live for the rest of the day."

On June 3, the Oregon state Senate decided to help stop this unnecessary harassment by passing a law that would make it a crime to have the police contact someone without reasonable concern of suspected criminal activity.

If the bill is signed into law by Oregon governor Kate Brown, victims could sue for up to $250 if they can prove law enforcement was called due to racist intent.

One of the bill's co-sponsors, Representative Janelle Bynum, an African-American woman, has a personal connection to the law. Last July, a woman called the cops on her as she was knocking on doors to canvass for reelection.

"The real issue is about increasing public safety," Bynum said according to The Huffington Post. "People of color just want to live freely, and that's an assertion that we need to continue making."


Photo by Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

The bill was passed with a near-unanimous vote, but Republican Senator Alan Olsen voted against it saying it would make "our communities less safe" by deterring people from calling law enforcement.

The bill was inspired by an op-ed that appeared in The Oregonian written by attorney Erious Johnson, Jr.

While it is catching the nation's attention, this upsetting phenomenon is not new. Racism, entitlement, and privilege rely on the government sanctioned power to enforce one's opinion of superiority over another. This sentiment formed the basis for slavery, which was solidified by the fugitive slave provisions in the United States Constitution. Then, Black Codes and Jim Crow accompanied newly freed slaves into emancipation. And in 1857, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, ruled that African Americans "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
People subjected to these shocking encounters are left humiliated. They are uncertain of their ability to live in peace in their own communities. They have no redress to recoup their time, money, or dignity.
popular
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular