#PermitPatty has been the latest story in viral news, after a video was posted showing a woman reporting a child to the police in San Francisco for selling water outside her home. Eight-year-old Jordan Austin was selling water without a permit, prompting Alison Etthel to contact the authorities and report her.
The incident was captured on video and shared on Instagram through Jordan’s mum, Erin. It was also shared on Twitter by her cousin Raje Lee, both using the #PermitPatty hashtag. The video has been viewed nearly 7 million times on Twitter in just two days, and another 1.1 million on Instagram. Let’s take a look for ourselves, shall we?
— Raj 🌹 (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
“[Jordan] was selling water bottles when [Alison] just rudely approached her, like: ‘I need to see your permit’, Raje spoke to The Huffington Post.
“Erin stepped in and told her to leave her kid alone. That’s when the lady proceeded to call the police.”
As for the woman in the video, Alison is reportedly the CEO of a medicinal marijuana company. However, one organisation in the state (where marijuana is legal) say they will no longer sell her products. It also sparked the discussion of the lack of equality in America between black and white individuals.
This is why gentrification is a form of violence. This white woman is selling weed and profiting while black folks sit in prison for life for the same thing, but then she calls the cops on a little black girl selling bottled water. #PermitPatty https://t.co/q6cPmzSXPz
— HollaBlackGirlMagic (@HollaBlackGirl) June 24, 2018
All jokes aside, unlicensed lemonade stands are one of the most common visual cues of “suburban” cuteness. Well-off white children selling sugar-filled swill invokes oohs and ahhhs from folks, while children of color, who may actually NEED the money are seen as a nuisance.
— Eddie Cepeda (@BelBivDeVeau) June 24, 2018
What kind of country do we live in where a white woman fortunate enough to make a living selling something as ridiculous as marijuana doggie treats calls the cops on a little black girl trying to be entrepreneurial herself by selling water? So effed up. #PermitPatty
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 24, 2018
White privilege is being able to sell a drug that has disproportionately put thousands of people of color behind bars & then rationalizing to yourself that calling the cops on an 8 year old African American child selling water is the right thing to do.#PermitPatty
— Simar (@sahluwal) June 24, 2018
Alison herself has commented on the incident too, claiming that there was “no racial component” in calling the police and that her decision was “stress related” because of the noise Jordan was making on the street. She also claimed that she only “pretended” to call the police.
“I completely regret that I handled that so poorly,” she said. “I should have never confronted her. That was a mistake, a complete mistake.”
Alison also told The Huffington Post she has been receiving death threats online, and that she feels “discriminated against” for her mistake. She also apologised to the family effected, but NBC News reported that Jordan and Erin would not accept her apology.
There have been similar incidents prior to this one, including two boys in Stapleton, Colorado who were forced to shut down their lemonade stand by police after a neighbour’s complaint. Another incident was last year when a man in Discovery Bay, California threatened to call the police on a young girl’s lemonade stand because she didn’t have a business licence.
And finally, in another case in the United Kingdom, a five-year-old girl in Mile End, East London, was fined £150 for her lemonade stand. All of these incidents involved white children. We guess the days of innocent lemonade stands and such, are long gone, eh?
Also she's out there again today. In the same spot ❤️ pic.twitter.com/jn15vSABZC
— Raj 🌹 (@_ethiopiangold) June 24, 2018
Despite what happened, Jordan continued to sell water the next day and didn’t seem phased about Patty. She was reportedly selling it to help contribute to a family holiday to Disneyland. But after Raje’s video went viral, someone bought four tickets for Jordan and her family to visit the theme park. Nice! As for Alison, she’s become the centre of memes mocking the incident.
— Mueller Is Coming 🍩 (@vicsepulveda) June 24, 2018
— Joe Blevins (@Joe_A_Blevins) June 24, 2018
— painTRAIN (@PayDayPoet) June 24, 2018
It just goes to show that you should always be careful of how you approach things, as you may just find yourself in the centre of a viral hashtag and many memes to follow you for the rest of your life. Oh, and also, don’t report kids to the police for just having fun and selling things to raise money, because it kind of makes you look like a complete asshole!
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Image Credit: WWLP.com