See a Suspicious Black Person? Call 1–844-WYT-FEAR, Comedian Niecey Nash’s New Parody Hotline
Niecy Nash teams up with the New York Times to battle racism in their new infomercial directed to individuals who unjustifiably call the cops on innocent black bystanders.
Comedian Niecy Nash is using humor to fight racism, taking aim at recent perpetrators who the media have dubbed BBQ Becky, Permit Patty, and Corner Store Caroline. Guilty of calling the police to report African-Americans doing seemingly innocent things in public, these individuals are easy targets — hence the meme-ready nicknames. Comedian and actress Nash is taking it even further in a new satirical infomercial she made with the New York Times.
In the clip, the Emmy-winning star and “advocate for not calling 911 on black people for no goddamn reason” announces the launch of the hotline 1–844-WYT-FEAR, which the infomercial says is “revolutionizing the way racist white people cope with black people living life near them.”
Essentially, the joke is that white people can call the provided number instead of the police, and Niecy promises it will “save you all the headaches of being filmed and outed as a racist d — .”
Nash describes the hotline as “a real number for real white people who should mind their own damn business.”
You Can Actually Call 1–844-WYT-FEAR
Yes, apparently the number is legitimate for use.
And, there’s more! Answering the phones at the hotline are people who “have been living while black in America their entire lives.”
They amusingly and patiently address concerns of white callers. For example, if there’s a report of a black person outside of someone’s house, the call center responds with: “That is actually your neighbor Michael.”
If there’s a black person on a boat: “Our records show that is actually his boat. Yeah, I know — black people have boats too now.”
Like all great comedy, there’s compelling truth behind the jokes.
One of the phone operators in the skit is Darren Martin, a former Obama aide who had the police called on him for an apparent “burglary in process” as he moved into his new Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan in April.
Included in the clip is footage of the real Permit Patty along with others who called the police on innocent black people simply living their lives.
The article accompanying the segment also shows a list of 39 known instances from just this year “when someone called the police to complain about black people doing everyday activities.”
Nash also points out in the video that black people “are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and serve longer sentences” than white people for similar crimes.
The Times has created an email address around the parody, and encourages victims of this type of harassment to submit their stories and videos:
“Has someone called the cops on you when you were doing nothing wrong? Email your story or video to The New York Times Opinion Video team at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com.”