Tuesday, June 5, 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.


  1. We will always have racists and haters in our midst. We will always have provocateurs who feed on discord and strife. We will always have those who call for separation and division.

    But that doesn’t mean we need to listen to them. To the contrary, we need to isolate them and marginalize them rather than make them mainstream.

  2. white man of privledge telling me what is racist?

  3. On June 6 1968 Palestinian Immigrant Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed RFK.50th anniversary.

    1. 4:21: That version of events is finally unraveling.

  4. Sirhan has claimed for years that he was hypnotized and ordered to kill RFK but he's just trying to get out of being responsible for the killing,there were plenty of witnesses there and the only witnes who says it was Sirhan is around 95 years old.There is plenty of evidence pointing to Sirhan being Americas first case of Arab terrorism.

    1. * only witness who says it was NOT Sirhan is around 95 years old

    2. There's also plenty of evidence Sirhan may have been a patsy, and that a second gunman may have participated. More importantly, who were they working for? Total cover-up, just like JFK.

  5. Well everyone has there own beliefs about it I'm sure but it sounds to me like Sirhan was just upset about the outcome of the Six Day War and had radicalized himself.He was apparently very angry that Kennedy was a strong supporter of Israel and wanted to sell warplanes to the Israelis.RFK was killed exactly on the one year anniversary of the start of the war.

  6. Thank you for shedding light on this. As a Rockville resident I (guiltily) was unaware. I appreciate the attention you've given this unfortunate matter. Yet another reminder - we haven't progressed as far as we think we have...