While I thought I would be here tonight telling you about the possible Rise House I looked at instead I need to tell you about watching the @fortworthpd over police a Black neighborhood as they were having their annual neighborhood celebration.
After viewing a house in the “Historic Southside” neighborhood of Fort Worth I took time to drive around the area. Rich with life, this neighborhood is full of Black and brown working class people. There are churches on every corner, community centers and preschools.
While on my drive, I noticed a parking lot with four police vehicles. I slowed to make sure they didn’t have anybody detained. They didn’t so I moved on. I later realized they had been there, a few blocks away from the community party, ready to break it up.
At a 4 way stop, ready to head home, I watched a police vehicle swerve ahead of the car they had been behind so suddenly & recklessly they almost hit the vehicle. Then a 2nd police vehicle swerved so fast ahead they almost hit pedestrians. Neither vehicle had lights or sirens on.
I followed the vehicles to get their license plates & car numbers. They got to the end of a block, stopped suddenly, “parking” chaotically, blocking the street. Stuck, I reversed far enough to park and get out. Here is the vehicle the almost hit the car at the stop.
Here @fwpdchiefnoakes is the vehicle that almost hit pedestrians.
On foot, I first approached an officer who had blocked the main street with his vehicle (different than the vehicles mentioned above) people at this point were leaving, being told by officers they had to move their cars. But at least two streets were blocked.
The officer told me people were being told to move their cars because of a fight. After skirting my questions for several minutes, the officer finally admitted that none of these cars were parked illegally. I explained to him that he was making traffic worse.
He agreed to pull to the side. I told him none of the people being told to move their cars were breaking any law or fighting & to leave them alone. He seemed to agree. I then headed to the park where the celebration was being held. There were balloons & a jump house for the kids.
By the time I made it to the park, I estimate that 70% of the people had left. Left their once a year neighborhood celebration because a dozen police in at least six vehicles were surrounding them. Kids pulled off playground equipment. People hurrying to their cars.
When I say surrounding, I mean literally surrounding. The main event area was the basketball court, set up with food tables on one side. The police were surrounding the court. One vehicle, for no reason at all, pulled across the grass, causing damage to this neighborhood park.
At this point I started recording. I want to be clear in saying I have not taken a bystander training so I undoubtedly could have asked better questions, gotten better information, etc. A training has been on my list and after tonight it is starred as a top priority.
Near the beginning you hear me refer to “professional behavior,” that is because the officer was “posing” for my camera crouched down with a peace sign, openly mocking me recording. The demeanor of this officer the entire time was patronizing and disregarding.
One of the most disturbing things was watching the officers try to get the Black neighbors to affirm their police presence to me. As if Black people feel safe to say to police, “Yes we do feel unsafe with you here. Get out of neighborhood.” Complete disregard of power dynamics.
The moment I realize I am talking to the person in charge, and he cannot tell me how many people leaving the park is “enough” for them to leave is so maddening. After this interaction I am told by an attendee of the celebration there was no fight at all.
“As far as I know.” @CityofFortWorth how about we not have officers on the street who aren’t sure about policies. And how about we have objective, defined regulations around massive police presence. I would like people with guns to not live in the land of subjective.
At this point I accidentally stop recording, the officer goes on to tell me that everything is subjective to which I respond laws are not subjective. I inform him I’ll be staying until they are all gone and head to the other side of the court to monitor the officers there.
At this point a party goer stops me to visit. He informs me there was no fight and he tells me that this is an annual neighborhood party. He then goes on to tell me that for years the police have shown up and broken the gathering apart. He made it sound almost like tradition.
This is when he refers to the police being staged a few blocks away, and I realize what I had seen earlier. I continued around to the other side where I found officers not even willing to back up onto the grass, planted on the court encroaching on the men playing basketball.
I repeatedly asked them to step back (it would have been about two steps back to be on the grass versus the court) with them refusing. A few minutes after this interaction, the police begin to leave. Here is another one of the squad cars that was present.
I walk the perimeter slowly, making sure every police officer is gone. I speak briefly to a few more neighbors. I get back to my car and drive around to the park, doing one more check, getting affirmation from party goers out my car window that the police are all gone.
Unlike so many stories like this, no one was arrested or harmed. Just a lucky night. And the fact that no one was even being questioned or detained just a few minutes after police arrived is further affirmation to me that there was no fight to begin with.
I could write hundreds more words about how the officers interacted with me. I could lay out better “human interaction training” these men could take to treat others with humility and empathy, but I won’t. Because policing is inherently egotistical and uncaring.
The men I met tonight had NO interest in treating me, a white thin well dressed typically pretty well spoken woman, as an equally smart human and equally empowered citizen. They had no desire to be understanding. They had no interest in treating me with dignity.
Do I think these individual men could learn humility & empathy? Sure. We all can. But in that uniform, with that gun & with their equally immorally behaving colleagues egging each other on, nope. The title of police officer creates a power that corrupts. The badge is a weapon.
Policing cannot be fixed. It must be defunded & abolished. Fixing requires people willing to learn & change. Those men tonight have no intention of doing either. They aren’t listening. They are laughing at calls for them to change. They are hardening their hearts even more.
I do not deserve praise for tonight. I was grateful to interact with the neighbors and hear them affirm that what I did was helpful not harmful. But I was not a hero. What I did was a drop in the bucket of what white people must start doing in this dangerously racist country.
If you have suggestions for bystander training, please let me know. If you are an experienced white bystander or person of color who has feedback for how I handled tonight, I am open to that as I want to improve my skills for next time.
Also if any of you have the time and skills to take my video and try and grab officer names off their badges I would be grateful. Despite all my privilege, I was too scared to ask those questions.
I also just realized my videos are not captioned. If anyone is able to do that so they are accessible to all, please let me know.
If someone could add image descriptions/alt text to the still pictures, I would appreciate that.
I forgot to mention that on the way out of the neighborhood I found three of the police vehicles back in the staging area. They left the park. They did not leave the neighborhood.

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More from @HollyStallcup

2 May
This week I will be sharing a lot about The Rise House.
For those of you who are new here, I am the Executive Director of @NowSheRises, an organization focused on connecting, equipping and empowering women in whatever ways they need as they do good work.
For years now, the Rise community has been planing & SAVING to open a "pay what you can" retreat home for women. Our belief is that every woman is worthy of rest, quiet & space for reflection, healing & celebration. One's bank account should not determine access to those things.
The Rise House will be a place where individual women can come in hard things, like job loss and grief. The Rise House will be a place where a woman can come for celebration, like a birthday or graduation. The Rise House will be a place for women wherever they find themselves.
Read 9 tweets
1 May
Would y'all keep praying for The Rise House? Housing prices are increasing in Fort Worth pretty rapidly so we really need to build our community funded loan at a quicker pace so we can purchase sooner versus later.
If you are interested in the secure investment that is real estate and helping @NowSheRises open a "pay what you can" retreat home for women, I nothing short of beg you to look at becoming a part of our community funded loan.

If you have a parent, grandparent, mentor, etc that loves you and might invest in something that matters to you, please think about going outside your comfort zone and connecting me.

I have been doing this on my own the last year and the pace I can work at is really slow.
Read 5 tweets
30 Apr
I wanted to report back on the money we were able to send to Black women and their families to take care of the cost of a meal, not for commendation's sake but because financial transparency is important.

We were able to send dinner money to 90 women totaling $3,735.
I want to note that while this was a wonderful effort to take a smallest of small burden off of our Black sisters, it will only be through systemic support, overhaul and reparations that Black women will be given the rest they deserve.
Yes, I urge you to give when opportunities like this come up, and also, I urge you to vote and advocate and canvas and make phone calls and protest until we live in a society where Black women can spend their energy more on cooking and less on trying to keep their kids alive.
Read 4 tweets
10 Mar
Men, PLEASE start therapy NOW. You can literally tell you therapist, “Holly on Twitter told me to come here” if you think you don’t have anything to talk about.

The amount of weight and suffering women are carrying because men won’t do their own work makes me physically ill.
And y’all, I’m talking about GOOD men putting women through exhausting, unnecessary pain and confusion, because they have not done any of the hard work of reflecting on themselves. I’m not referring to “bad” guys. I’m talking about good, faithful, responsible men causing harm.
I am blown away by the women I know seeking out health and wholeness with great effort and sacrifice. There are so many of us.

I’m tired of men being drug behind them towards healing if seeking it at all. Exhausted seeing men only seek therapy after a woman has asked them to.
Read 5 tweets
6 Mar
I've been thinking about how to share some of these thoughts for awhile. This is not a subtweet at anyone, more some sadness, and I hope wisdom I can bring.

Some thoughts on platform, faithful work, enjoyable work, lifting up other's work:
I really dislike when NYT bestsellers and big conference speakers tell us to not worry about platform. When they call their followers/ministries "rag tag," "little crew," etc.

One of the most important things we can do with power is to own it, then we can steward it.
So I start these thoughts not as a NYT bestseller, but also acknowledging the size of my platform compared to many of you is large.

I often find myself appalled that some of you do not have more people listening to your voices. I want more people listening to many of you.
Read 24 tweets
23 Jul 20
Today you are going to watch a lot of women, across the political spectrum, share the videos of @AOC calling out the bull on the House floor.

Why? Because this is what it is to be a woman in a society built on patriarchy. Because every one of us has a story, or twelve.
We've been name called on the playground & told that he is picking on us because "he likes you".

We've blushed at comments made about our new bodies in middle school before crying at home.

We've been told no one wants to date us as high schoolers because we are "intimidating".
We've gone to college, been hit on by professors, and then been dragged for saying "no".

We've entered the workforce at lower pay than our male counterparts, asked illegally about our plans to start a family in our interviews for promotions.
Read 14 tweets

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