Oakland Residents Come Together After A Family Was Racially Profiled At A Park

It was a wonderful display of unity in the face of division.

In an age when everyone has a camera on their smartphone, racial injustice has become visible in a way it never has before. And recently, news stories are shining a light on how people of color are often harassed for doing things white people take for granted.

Earlier this month, a black graduate student at Yale was harassed by the police for napping in her dormitory’s common area, and Bob Marley’s granddaughter had the police called on her for renting a property on Airbnb in California. In April, two black men waiting for a business meeting were charged with trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks.

On April 29, a black family was harassed by a white woman for setting up a charcoal grill in a non-charcoal grilling zone at a park on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The white woman called the police and stood by the family for two hours while waiting for law enforcement to arrive.

“She said that we were trespassing, we were not welcome, and then she turned back around and said, ‘ya’ll going to jail,’” Kenzie Smith, the man setting up the barbecue, told KRON 4.

Eventually, the woman flagged down Oakland police, who questioned the family for an hour. Ultimately, the family was not cited for any violations. After the incident, the woman who harassed the family broke down in tears because she couldn’t get them to leave the park.


Oakland city council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney later spoke out about the incident. “Police are not private security for any white person that’s offended by the presence of black folks in our public spaces,” she told The Huffington Post.

Two weeks later, Oakland residents got together for a massive cookout in the same park where the racial profiling incident took place. Video taken on Sunday, May 13, shows people cooking, dancing, jumping rope, listening to music, and having fun.


The Oakland community’s peaceful and exuberant response to racial profiling was a beautiful display of unity in the face of division and call attention to the need to make public spaces safer for people of color.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less