A Black woman canvassing for Democratic congressional candidate Jess King is detailing an incident where police were called on her in a gated Pennsylvania community.
According to WITF, Dr. Amanda Kemp says she and her husband, who is white, were allowed entry to Bent Creek in Manheim Township Sunday afternoon after giving the name of a voter they planned to visit.
As they made their way through the neighborhood, which made the list of the 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods in the U.S. in 2014, Bent Creek resident Elizabeth Johnson told them they didn’t belong; she said that Bent Creek was private property and called police.
The couple left, and when they returned home a police officer showed up to speak to Kemp’s husband.
Kemp wrote a post titled, #Canvassingwhileblack on Facebook and says she is always aware of being a black woman, when moving in predominantly white places.
“The unequal power we had in that situation was very apparent to me,” said Kemp. “Canvassing while black refers to all that anxiety I bring to an interaction, combined with having to face people’s expressed hostility and outright rage, and her saying, ‘You don’t belong here.'”
Johnson’s attorney Edwin Pfursich said in statement Tuesday that the story being portrayed on social media is not accurate.
“This matter is about trespassing. The volunteers from Jess King’s campaign entered private property and became aggressive,” he wrote in an email. “They were asked to leave and refused, so the police were notified.”
Kemp noted that racial bias is real, and it is a mistake to simply define racism as someone yelling the n-word. “There was an undertone,” said Kemp. “Her attitude really reinforces racial attitudes about inequality.”