Do you know why no one can call me Kupkake Kwame or Cookie Cassius?
Because when I walk around my neighborhood and see eight-year old White boys or girls selling cupcakes, checking these kids’ merchant credentials to sell merchandise — or calling the police if they say “What’s a credential, sir?” — is the furthest thing from my mind.
None of my Black friends will ever call the police either.
And if the rest of the Black folks in America are like my friends and me, they’re also too busy living to call the police on little kids who are getting their first taste of entrepreneurship and adult responsibility — even if stuff is being sold without credentials.
In fact, I would look at the kids and smile at the cuteness of it all.
But enter Permit Patty, also known as Alison Ettel, who joins the coast-to-coast Becktastic family of Jennifer Schulte, Jerry Higgens, Holly Hylton, and many others who feel that calling the police on the most trifling matters concerning Black folks going about everyday life is as civic a duty to perform as blowing the whistle on darkies attempting to ride the front of an Alabama bus during the 1950s.
Permit Patty Ettel has to be one miserable-azz ironic soul to walk out of her marijuana edibles office into the streets of San Francisco, fix her privileged gaze on an eight-year old Black girl selling water, and then call the police because the girl is selling merchandise without a permit.
You checked that rhyme, right? Tell them to manage their own lives, but then call the police when exactly that happens … ?
Ettel knew that her deeds were shady. That’s why she tried to hide behind a concrete wall to avoid becoming Instagram-famous. She later explains that hiding behind the wall helped to reduce the outdoor noise.
Either an inanimate crap pile of excuses, or a stream of brainless contradictory reasoning for someone who was an equities trader, Brookings Institution research associate, recipient of two Masters degrees, and now the owner of Treatwell Health tinctures, a medical cannabis supply company where people and pets are its target market.
And now that the Internet is burning with its new hashtag, Permit Patty getting blasted from all angles, and her weed products business taking a hit from all the Beckified B.S. caused by her own actions, She says no part of her behavior yesterday was racially-motivated, and that she feels stressed-out and discriminated against.
Again, an interesting contradiction — especially in a city where the legality of dispensing marijuana to pets is not completely clear.
But let me, hypothetically speaking, roll out with organic chocolate ganache doggy weed drops and watch how far I’d get with that biz …
A broader and more obvious point to be made is the way Ettel has created a business to sell a product that has put many people of color behind bars — and where one of her sub-vertical businesses is arguably illegal — but she felt completely comfortable with calling the police on an elementary-school-aged Black girl selling water.
Face it, peeps. Weed has been gentrified.
I’m thinking about designing T-shirts with Permit Patty’s face on the back. Not for sale, though. I’m not yet saying what will be on the front …
song currently stuck in my head: “don’t let it go to your head” – jean carne
[Note: I typically wouldn’t write about topics like this since there’s an abundance of capable writers who will undoubtedly do so. But there are times when you need to add your voice to the crowd … ]