Every once in a while, I peek back into the neighborhood where I used to live for 24 years (courtesy of Delta Airlines), before we moved back to California. Coweta Courty, where this story takes place, is right next to Fayette County. I recall that we probably ate lunch at this very same Subway. It appears that things just have not changed much. I mean, when someone calls 911 to complain that, in effect, that there are people with high concentrations of melanin in their skin bothering them, you know things are basically the same. Well, maybe I should back off a bit and say that the Coweta Country Sheriff did finish this off with some modern-day class and apologized to the family for the ugly Subway employee
"I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now. 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." That's the 911 call—obtained by WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News—from a Subway employee on a family of 6, Felicia and Othniel Dobson and their four children, ages 8, 12, 13, and 19. The family had stopped at the Subway in Coweta County, Georgia, on their trip back from South Georgia to their home state of North Carolina. They had been attending a grandparent's birthday party for the weekend.
The employee freaked out because this isn't some Cleaver family reunion! These people have high levels of melanin in their skin!!!!
A Newnan police officer showed up. The Dobsons said the officer apologized and told them the employee had said she was suspicious of the family and that she has been robbed before and thought they would rob her.
The Dobson family told the Channel 2 Action news that their 19-year-old is going to college this year, the kids are upstanding young folk, and there had been nothing to indicate there was an issue. Subway headquarters says they are "investigating," and the owner of this particular franchise called the family to apologize and say the woman had been put on "administrative leave."
I reached out to Felicia Dobson and she sent this statement from the family.
It can be dangerous to make a call to law enforcement with blatantly false information for people of color. The employee's voice was quivering as she described my family as non-customers, more women than men, and hanging around a back door eventually describing us as being suspicious and possibly going to rob her to an officer. This call came after we purchased several footlong subs and one addition while she took a smoke break outside of the store. We have no words for her action. Our kids were stunned to see their parents speaking with an officer following what they thought was a normal dinner followed by using a single stall bathroom one at a time. Our hope is that this one day stops happening to people in this country. Discrimination is never ok. We pray that love will prevail.
"A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity."