Alison Ettel, the woman who called police on an 8-year-old San Francisco girl for selling water in front of her apartment building Friday, has been the subject of endless memes following the internet frenzy over a case where another white woman is recorded calling cops on black people doing ordinary every day things.
Ettel was quickly dubbed #PermitPatty because she was calling police to report the child was selling water illegally, without a permit.
The girl’s mother captured Ettel calling cops on cell phone video and then posted it to Instagram. Ettel tries to hide when she realizes she’s being recorded by the girl’s mother.
#BBQBecky Meets #PermitPatty
There was instant comparison to #BBQBecky, Jennifer Schulte, an Oakland woman who called police to report a black family having a BBQ in a park where she said no charcoal grills were permitted. It was reported later that Schulte was “evaluated for an involuntary psychiatric hold” after the incident. She too went viral after calling police and telling a 911 dispatcher that black people were using a charcoal grill in a “non-designated area in Lake Merritt park.”
Jokes Aside, Calls to Police on People of Color by Whites for the Benign & Ordinary Led to ‘Enough is Enough’ Memes
And while humor is employed to shine a light, others used memes to call out what they see: alleged racist white women trying to get law enforcement involved in ordinary events where people of color are living their lives.
Ettel Operates a Weed Business For People & Pets & That Fueled a Whole Other Memes Movement
Ettel, with an impressive resume and multiple degrees, sells cannabis tinctures for people and their dogs and cats.
The internet had a field day with the irony given Ettel’s business of dosing dogs with pot borders on illegal itself.
In a 2015 SFGATE.com article headlined ‘Pot for your pup? Startups cash in on cannabis trend,’ the safety and appropriateness of dosing dogs and cats with cannabis was examined in light of the pot shops for pets popping up. The article described using marijuana as a medicine for dogs as “controversial” and said the practice “has drawn criticism from everyone from the ASPCA to the Food and Drug Administration to the American Veterinary Medical Association.”
Ettel was interviewed and said then that her business “is growing — by about two customers each day — despite its questionable legality.”
“It’s kind of like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Ettel was quoted as saying. “We haven’t gotten any push back yet.”
Where she has had push-back is from the cannabis industry community. She’s been shunned by a few large dispensaries in California and removed from an upcoming documentary about women in the industry.