A “Living While Black” incident in Atlanta’s Newman, Georgia.
Oakland can rejoice on this Independence Day for not being the only one of two America cities to be media-decorated with the distinction of being a place where a black person can be called for just plain living. Now, the Atlanta suburb of Newman, Georgia joins Oakland and New Haven and Philadelphia, as towns where “Living While Black” cases have been reported by the media.
In this case, Atlanta’s Channel 2 WSB-TV reported a story of Felicia and Othniel Dobson and their four kids ranging in age from 8 to 19, all of North Carolina, visited a Subway Sandwich franchise located at 50 Millard Farmer Industrial Blvd in Newman for dinner on Monday of this week. The Dobson’s were returning from their grandmother’s birthday party in South Georgia over the weekend.
During their meal time, they were shocked to learn the Subway manager called the police on them via 911.
Subway manager, who’s name was not released, and this blogger called #SubwaySally, told the 911 dispatcher that “eight people in a van” were going back and forth to the bathroom and putting soda in water cups. “I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now,” the Subway manager said. “There’s about eight people in a van, and they’ve been in the store for about an hour. They keep going back and forth to the bathrooms by my back door.”
Again, folks, that was the 911 phone call.
Fortunately, the police officer who responded to the 911 call, knew #SubwaySally and told the Dobsons that she’s made calls like that before, and because “she was suspicious of the family and that she has been robbed before and thought they would rob her.” Seriously. With no action, even reported, that would indicate anything similar to a robbery.
The officer and the store owner apologized to the Dobsons, but Ms. Dobson made a statement that was disturbing to this blogger.
She said “We did nothing wrong and can’t change our skin color.” That would seem to reveal a desire to want to be able to do so, rather than make American society stop being racist toward black Americans. A black person should never apologize for being black.
Roshan Patel, the owner of the Newman Subway franchise released a statement to WSB that said “I take this very seriously, and I am fully investigating. I have also used this opportunity to reiterate to my staff the importance of making everyone feel welcome.”
Mr. Patel called Ms. Dobson to apologize, and placed #SubwaySally on administrative leave. But he needs to do more: We have now have a young, successful black family, who’s Mom seems to believe being black is something to be ashamed of.
I hope I’m wrong, but words are powerful.
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