On April 29, a black family set up their charcoal barbecue in the designated barbecuing area in Oakland, Californias' Lake Merritt, only to have a hostile white woman come and demand that they move on or face arrest, because they were using charcoal in one of the areas designated for gas grilling.
Three of Lake Merritt's barbecue areas are designated for chargrilling, the other three are designated for other fuels, but these rules are not widely observed.
The woman called the police on the family, hovering on the edge of their site and inventing an imaginary drain on the public coffers from children injured by coals. According to one of the barbecuers, she referred to them using the n-word. When the police arrived, the woman began weeping about the harassment she had faced.
The police took a statement from the woman and from the black people she attempted to have arrested, detaining the black family for an hour, and then they left.
"She was saying things like, 'We weren't welcome in the area of the lake.' She told me and Deacon that she owned Lake Merritt. Also, she said we were not welcomed to be there. I felt like she was saying Blacks weren't welcome," Smith said.
Smith said, "She kept saying we were going to jail. She said that she was going to file a complaint for us cooking BBQ in the park. She said she knows her rights, that the rights state if she tells the police if she has a problem with us then we are going to go to jail."
White Privilege Used to Fight Racially Charged Harassment at Lake Merritt [Joy Elán/Panther Times]
Woman Calls Police On Black Family For BBQing At A Lake In Oakland [Carla Herreria/Huffpost]
(via Naked Capitalism)