Profile picture
WhiteNonsenseRoundup @nowhitenonsense
, 21 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Here's a true story about the power of white bi-standers speaking up when we witness injustice.
2 years ago, I was in Portland OR with my family for my bday weekend. The plan was food trucks & shopping. We had 2 days. On the 2nd day, we wandered into Nordstrom Rack in downtown.
It was my husband, myself, and our 5 & 3 year old daughters. The 3 year old had a meltdown, so daddy took her outside while the 5 year old and I stayed and shopped for shoes.
Like many cities, Portland has a huge downtown drug scene. While in the store, I witnessed a coordinated ring of white drug addicts stealing belts and other stuff. No one seemed to pay attention. (That's a side note.)
After we paid for our shoes, I called my husband and told him to meet us out front. In the meantime, we stood by the door and waited. We were 5 steps away from store security, who I observed talking into his shirt. He was also looking out the door. So I did too.
I discovered he was reporting to someone, that there were 5 Black teenagers, 1/2 a block away. Down the street. On the next block. 🤔 That's odd, I thought. So I watched. Then I approached security. "What are you reporting? And to whom?" The 21ish security punk, was startled.
"You aren't racially profiling those boys are you?" I said. He got defensive and said he didnt have to answer to me. I told him I want to see a manager. Now.

By this time, the happy...boisterous....oblivious kids had entered the store.
I knew things weren't going to be good for them. Security punk had disappeared to get the manager and not returned. So I walked up tp the closest clerk and demanded the manager come NOW.

She did. And I explained what I had just witnessed.
I also expressed concern for the boys' safety. I asserted that I believed they were being racially profiled, long before they had entered the store.

She tried to do the "white code" thing. She said she can't tell me the details, but that those boys are trespassed from the store.
😒😒😒 Umm... they're in the store now, I said, and there's NO POSSIBLE WAY anyone could've had good enough vision to identify individual faces when security was 1st telling on them, to his shirt.

She assured me that NO racial profiling goes on at her store.
I wasn't comforted, but my husband and daughter we back and it was time to go. So... I ended the conversation and we headed out the door.

We got 4 steps, and saw 3 police cars come to a screeching hault in front of the store.

NOPE. I knew it.
My husband knows the routine by now. He grabbed the girls and headed down the street. And I headed back inside.... right past the cops, who were now talking to security punk, & mgr.

The boys, still oblivious, were heading down the escalator.
When they got to the bottom, 2 of 6 cops started to approach them. I literally walked right up to the boys and stood on their side. I raised my voice and told what I had seen. All of it. One of the boys said, "SEE! I KNEW IT! I KNEW THEY WERE FOLLOWING US!"
I hijacked the situation. I told the boys to follow me outside, which they did. So did the cops and the manager. Security punk had disappeared again.

Outside, I went OFF on that manager. Everyone stood watching as I told anyone within an ear shot, what had happened.
The cops stood there, dumbfounded. They didn't know what to do. The boys they wanted to harass, had a loud...WHITE ally. And I wasn't leaving. They had done nothing wrong.

Finally.... the manager told the cops to leave. She then tried to apologize to ME. 😡 That didnt go well.
At that point, the cops were still circling the area. I knew those boys weren't safe. I asked them to walk with me to a smoothie stand down the way so I could make a plan. We drank smoothies and I called my husband to come where we were.
We decided the only way to ensure this situation would end safely for the teens was to drive them home. So we did. 9 of us piled in the car, and across the bridge we went.

During the ride we learned all about the boys.
They were Jrs and Srs at Roosevelt HS. We also learned about their many experiences of racism, living in PTL, and dealing with the police there. Turns out the downtown police protect white comfort by preliminarily trespassing Black youth from stores.
That's the story. Speak up. Louder than you think you can. Even if you sound crazy. See Black and Brown kids for the vulnerable people they are.

And don't be the asshole that starts the racial profiling ball rolling.

And fuck security punks. ✌
If you want to hear more, you can listen to this interview with me and one of the students, by @KBOO & @joannhardesty…
This picture was taken 30 minutes before the incident. Our son & his lovely girlfriend had already ditched us.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to WhiteNonsenseRoundup
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!