Tuesday 15th of October 2019 08:37:11 AM GMT


Dr. Jennifer Schulte: Update On News About The Oakland Woman Called “BBQ Becky”

Dr. Jennifer Schulte: Update On News About The Oakland Woman Called “BBQ Becky”Dr. Jennifer Schulte: Update On News About The Oakland Woman Called “BBQ Becky”

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(Last Updated On: August 2, 2019)

UPDATE: Oakland BBQ Becky Incident On 2018 NBA Finals Game 2 from Oakland.

Prior to 11:20 AM PST Sunday, April 29th 2018, the life of an Oakland woman named Dr. Jennifer Schulte was such that no one, save for her friends and co-workers, knew who she was. The terms “celebrity” and “public figure” could not be used to describe her. You would know she was white only if you personally knew her.

But after that point in time, Dr. Jennifer Schulte’s life changed.

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For some reason still not known to the public (and maybe not really known to herself) the woman named Doctor Jennifer Schulte elected to walk on the sidewalk of Lakeshore Avenue next to Lake Merritt and pick out a group of mostly African American Oaklanders who were preparing to hold a barbecue picnic. Why? Ostensibly, to express her anger with them and then call the Oakland Police Department, and all just for using a charcoal grill to prepare their meat.

That’s it.

UPDATE: Mr. Kenzie Smith talks with Zennie Abraham of Zennie62Media’s Zennie62 on YouTube and Oakland News Now, here:

Dr. Schulte’s reportedly aggressive way with the group prompted an Oaklander named Michelle Snider (who goes by Michelle Dione on YouTube) to use her smartphone to record Dr. Schulte’ and ask her a series of questions regarding why she was spending time harrassing her husband Mr. Kenzie Smith, and calling Oakland Police on what really was a non-existent issue.

The video Ms. Snider uploaded to YouTube that day gave a very rare public look at an incident of racism toward African Americans that’s regularly talked about in black homes and friendship circles. But thanks to Ms. Snider, what was once only seen by blacks was viewed angrily by many, regardless of color, and without respect to location. The video that’s now gained over 2 million views on YouTube, has been seen worldwide and has played a major role in the ever-evoling conversation about race in America, and cast a light on a problem of whites calling the police in Oakland on blacks for actions that are common in life: like grilling meat next to Lake Merritt as part of a picnic.

The video’s propagation made the previously unknown Dr. Jennifer Schulte known, and now the words “celebrity” and “public figure” can be used in describing her. But what can’t be used in writing a description about Dr. Schulte is the title “Stanford Professor.” That’s what the public generally believed she was after her now-deleted Linkedin page was discovered.

But, the public didn’t read her Linkedin page completely and only assumed she was a Stanford instructor because she received her graduate degree, a doctorate, from what’s localled called “The Farm”. But, according to Parker Riley of News One, and Stanford’s own Twitter account, Stanford reported that “According to our records, a person by this name earned graduate degrees at Stanford more than a decade ago. She is not currently employed as staff or as a faculty member.”

While her role at Stanford was questioned by the public, the Oakland Police Officers who answered her 911 call had questions about her mental health. According to the police incident report that was made public on May 18th, the officers had Dr. Schulte stick around to talk with them to determine if she was eligible for what’s called a “5150 Hold”. That was because the officers had, as reported in the police report, believed she “sounded 5150.” The question is, what’s 5150 mean?

5150, and the “5150 Hold” refers to California legislation called the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act. According to Wikipedia, the “bill was co-authored by California State Assemblyman Frank D. Lanterman (R) and California State Senators Nicholas C. Petris (D) and Alan Short (D), and signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald Reagan.” And the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act defines the term “5150” as refering to a code that gives police the ability to order an involuntary three-day hold in a psychiatric facility, and for evaluation.

In other words, the Oakland Police Officers talking to Dr. Schulte were considering taking her to a mental ward, but determined that she reportedly “didn’t fit the criteria” – what that “ criteria” was or is, is not known as of this writing.

What is known is that now, Dr. Jennifer Schulte is not just a house-hold name, celebrity, and public figure, but an Internet meme. She’s now the universal symbol of white fears of anything a black person does, from marrying Prince Harry to graduating from college. The image of her using her cellphone and under her sunglases even wound up on Saturday Night Live, as SNL cast member Aidy Bryant played her, dressed as she was on that April 29th day.

And Dr. Schulte seemingly can’t go anywhere without being immediately spotted and recognized if she’s wearing her equally famous sunglasses. On May 15th, A person on Twitter who goes by @OsagieTheGreat spotted her with bags at Oakland Airport and wrote “Probably the first time there has been repercussions for calling the police on innocent black people. Dr. Jennifer Theresa Schulte flying outta OAK! I guess the BBQ got too hot. Raked her over the coals. She’s never going to stop wearing shades.”

Or, maybe she will.

About the Author

Roger Robarts
I am that rare breed: a blogger, and I don't mean micro.  Follow me on Twitter: Roger Robarts

6 Comments on "Dr. Jennifer Schulte: Update On News About The Oakland Woman Called “BBQ Becky”"

  1. Justin Johnson | June 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm |

    Hi, and thanks for the blog. If you listen to the part of the original video, where Jennifer Shulte aka BBQ Becky, finally is talking to the police, there are a few very telling events. First of all, she admits she has been holding on the phone for “2 hours”. That confirms that she is harassing these folks by standing just a few feet from them, and creating a public nuisance. She uses her phone and her whiteness to intimidate these folks. Second, she responds to the police dispatcher “John George, what’s that?” Well, for those of you who don’t know, “John George is the mental health facility where we 5150 people in the Alameda County area who don’t have private insurance. It’s that question and “Becky’s” answer that lets you know the police believe she is mentally ill, and probably has prior episodes of being 5150’d. As a mental health professional who has worked all over Northern Ca, including Alameda County, and 5150’d almost 1,000 people, here’s how it works. You must meet one of three criteria, and they must be “imminent” meaning in the very near future, and/or presently: not tomorrow, or after that, but “imminent”: 1. Danger to Self (Suicidal intent/ideation/plan, and the perceived ability to act on it) 2. Danger to Others (An identifiable person(s) that you are planning on harming and/or killing, which can technically include property. 3 Gravely Disabled, which usually means unable to care for oneself given the current conditions and weather, and/or any medical situation. Now, here’s the difficult part: You cannot just go locking up anyone, and people have rights. So, if BBQ nutcase wants to stand on the grass and harass people, it would be up to them to call the police and accuse her of harassing them and/or public nuisance. Meanwhile, nutcase Becky, and the ten thousand other nutcases walking around California, have a right to sleep in tents on the sidewalk, or dig through trash, and the cops got better things to do unless there’s a good reason to intervene. So they asked her if she has any history at John George because to them, the very, very experienced Alameda County / Oakland / Bay Area emergency phone contact person believed anyone acting like Dr. Jennifer Shulte was probably mentally unstable. For example, who the hell stands on a sidewalk and monitors people barbecuing at Lake Merrit for 2 hours? Well, an unstable person, obviously. So, there was no danger, safety issue, and the police rightly perceived that Dr. Jennifer Shulte was probably a person with severe mental health issues who has been in / out of John George. That question, and Dr. Jennifer Shulte’s response, “John George, what’s that” followed by “No!” tells you the Oakland Police had better things to do than even talk to the crazy woman, because there was no emergency. They thought she was nuts. My take on this is simple: No 5150 because there is no risk of imminent 1. Self Harm, 2. Other Harm, 3. Gravely Disabled. So, they simply took a report, which happens thousands of times per week in Oakland, and they left the area. I have every confidence the police warned her not to return to the area, or cause any further disturbance, or she herself could be at risk of arrest. I’m white, born and raised in Oakland, like the 3 Generations of Italian Immigrants before me. My Italian ancestors in Oakland had to dig through trash to survive, but then started the Oakland Scavenger Company, the trash company in the East Bay that was later sold for many millions. I’m disgusted by Dr. Jennifer Shulte and other white privelege folk who harass people they believe “don’t belong”. My ancestors were also harassed, as at one time Italians and Irish were treated like crap too. I hope we make this an annual event, and call it “Barbecuing While Black” because what that awful person did should be flipped around and turned positive!

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  3. Ebonrouge | June 18, 2018 at 4:58 am |

    Someone played that race card again…

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