By Frederick H. Lowe
Recently, we celebrated the election of London Breed as San Francisco’s first black woman mayor.
This week, we are horrified learn about what’s happening in what some call America’s most-progressive city.
Hangman’s nooses, tied around the necks of three black dolls, were placed inside a Porta Potty on the construction site of a 43-story high rise in San Francisco’s financial district. The dolls were placed intentionally to intimidate black men into quitting their jobs, according to a complaint, filed by three black men against Clark Construction Company, a Bethesda, Maryland, company that employs the men.
Douglas Russell, Craig Ogans and Don’ta Laury filed the complaint on Thursday against Clark Construction with the California Department of Fair Housing. Civil Rights Attorney John Burris, the men’s attorney, said his clients must get a right to sue letter before they can move forward with their lawsuit.
The racist intimidations started on day one to scare the men into quitting.
During a news conference last week, Russell, an elevator operator, said after he had begun working on the site, he saw a white employee dangling a noose in his hand.
Ogans, another elevator operator, said he and the others were repeatedly harassed, confronted with racist graffiti and were called names. He also said he was threatened with a knife and that made him fear for his life.
Laury, who for a time was the only black elevator operator working on the site, said he was repeatedly asked by white workers how he got his job, he told The New York Times.
In a statement, Mike Ricker, Clark’s senior vice president in charge of Clark’s Northern California and Pacific Northwest operations, announced that the company is working with the San Francisco Chapter of the NAACP to provide sensitivity training.
Calling police on an 8-year-old
Another horrible incident also occurred in San Francisco when Alison Ettel called police on 8-year-old Jordan Rodgers for selling water for $2 bottle without a license outside the child’s apartment near AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants play.
Erin Austin, Rodgers’ mother filmed Ettel, who tried to hide. Later an embarrassed Ettel, who now has the moniker #Permit Patty, said she only pretended to the call the police.
Ettel joins a group of other white women who have called the police inconsequential behaviors of African Americans
They include a black coed sleeping in a common area at Yale University; black women moving their suitcases out of an Airbnb and African Americans picnicking in an Oakland, California, park.
Jordan Rodgers said she was selling the water to pay for trip Disneyland. A musician who heard what happened on social media purchased tickets to Disneyland for the entire family.
Some Oakland residents don’t believe there are black firefighters
Residents of the swanky Oakland Hills neighborhood in Oakland, California, said they saw a burglar though he was dressed in firefighter gear, carried a clipboard and was standing next to a red fire truck.
Kevin Moore was one of a number of firefighters who were carrying out legally mandated exterior inspections to determine if vegetation posed an added risk to homes in the event of wildfires.
One resident called the 911 and the dispatcher contacted Moore’s station on May 16 to learn if the department was conducting inspections.
Another resident also emailed Oakland police with film footage of Moore in his firefighter’s uniform knocking on a door.
When Moore returned last week to conduct additional inspections, a resident used his cellphone camera to videotape him. The neighbor also demanded to see Moore’s ID and wanted to know why he was in the neighborhood.
Moore expressed more understanding of the residents’ concerns than they showed him.
“I try to put myself in other people’s shoes, like if I see someone in my yard, I’d ask what they are doing?” he said.
Moore says he calls out, “Hello, Hello! Oakland Fire Department,” when he walks into a yard.
The supervisor of the area’s inspection program said the department mailed notices to residents, making them aware of the annual inspections.