Being able to experience wildlife up close and personal is a privilege many will never have. That isn’t to say the moment can’t be intimidating, but most do just fine as long as they respect the creatures who inhabit our beautiful earth and majestic oceans.

Unfortunately, one family allowed their fear to overpower their rationale, literally calling 911 on a group of whales swimming in the ocean near their boat. While the father calmly tells his family to relax and take in the amazing moment, the mom hops on the phone to call the police, describing the whales in detail to the operator, you know, just in case.

I’m not here to judge this family for being frightened. After all, animals can be unpredictable. However, deciding to call 911 on whales for swimming in their natural habitat goes beyond reason, and is clearly symbolic of White entitlement over spaces belonging to others.

In 2013, jazz musician Bill Lee, father of filmmaker Spike Lee, had the police called on him several times following the gentrification of his Fort Green, Brooklyn neighborhood. The well-known artist, who plays both the bass and the piano, had been rehearsing and holding jam sessions in his brownstone since 1969. With the introduction of young, affluent and White neighbors came noise complaints the culturally-rich area had never seen before. Rather than respecting those who have lived in the neighborhood for decades, newcomers are forcing natives to adapt to their sensibilities by criminalizing traditions that have been in place for years. You know, colonizers out here still doing their thing.

The video also speaks to the alarmist habit of White folks calling the cops on Black people for any old thing. Barbecue Becky, Permit PattyNewport Nancy, Poolside Peter, Supermarket Steve and others (yes, there are others) all made headlines for calling 911 on Black people guilty of nothing more than minding their business, and something tells me those whales didn’t invite you to tour their habitat.

Check out more reactions to the 911 call below.

 



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