A white person has unnecessarily called the police on one or more Black individuals because today is a day that ends in “y.” This time, the white person is a venture capitalist by the name of Tom Austin, and he called 911 on a group of Black entrepreneurs using the gym in an office building where they’re renting an office for their business.
Austin apparently assumed that young Black men couldn’t possibly be capable of renting office space in an office space building, accused them of not belonging there, and then called the cops when they told him off for racial profiling.
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Normally we don’t speak out about encounters of racial profiling and age discrimination that we face day to day in our lives as young black entrepreneurs. Although today May 26th 2020 7:51pm we encountered a situation where a man entered the facility, a shared private gym that we utilize in our @wework @mozaic_east office located in uptown Minnesota. Granted we’ve been in this office space and have rented and grown our business for the past 1 year and half here. As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if “WE BELONG” in this building. Granted in order to enter the building you NEED a key card to enter EVERY part of the building which EACH of our team members individually have. We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us. We are sick and tired of tolerating this type of behavior on a day to day basis and we feel that we had to bring light onto this situation.
The three Black men have rented office space in the WeWork building for over a year and regularly used the shared gym offered to anyone who has a keycard, which all of them do. Austin can be seen in the video demanding to know which office it is that they rent, and the Black men refuse because that’s none of his business.
“As we were working out this man approached and immediately asked us who we were and if ‘WE BELONG’ in this building,” they wrote on the Instagram video posted to their company page. “Granted in order to enter the building you NEED a key card to enter EVERY part of the building which EACH of our team members individually have. We all pay rent here and this man demanded that we show him our key cards or he will call the cops on us.”
Austin then proceeded to declare that he was calling 911 rather than building security or someone more appropriate, like a manager.
If anyone denies Austin is being racist, let them know that this is the same Tom Austin who fought against a name change for a local lake, formerly named Lake Calhoun, named after slave owner and fierce defender of the institution of slavery John C. Calhoun. In spite of Austin’s protests, the lake was renamed to Bde Maka Ska after the region’s Native American history. He didn’t like that at all.
“American Indian activists seem to have hijacked the discussion,” Austin said according to City Pages. “What is the heroism or accomplishment that we are recognizing in order to justify renaming the lake to Bde Maka Ska?”
This time, Austin’s behavior might become a serious problem for him as his name spreads on social media.
The belief among many white Americans that they have the right to stop, question and police any and all black Americans goes back to the slave patrols and slave laws, which deputized ALL white people to maintain the economic and racial hierarchy of the American caste system. https://t.co/hUz7jfACuO— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) May 27, 2020
Meet Tom Austin of #Minneapolis . He felt uncomfortable when some Black male tenants wanted to use the gym in an office building they share. So Tom became a Man-Karen, and called the police. #WeAintGotNoAllies pic.twitter.com/UW9SXjTmyP— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) May 27, 2020
YOOOOO Stan Herman quit the F2 group Lmfaoo. If you call his number he said “I am no longer associated with f2 or Tom Austin. I don’t share his views and good day”. Lmfaoooo. https://t.co/nzG54Boi1l— YERRRV Gotti (@BryptoQ) May 27, 2020
This is Tom Austin of F2 Group demanding a black entrepreneur to show his slave papers—I mean keycard...— Jailain (@jjdrafttweets) May 27, 2020
The keycard he already used to get into the building and then into the gym that their companies share. He called the police when he refused.
Don’t be racist like Tom. https://t.co/fm8B4yHEvr
Venture capitalist Tom Austin has taken over Dakota land for his crappy development.— Esha 🌹 (@eshaLegal) May 27, 2020
He is an all round terrible person pic.twitter.com/oM4AvktmpI
@WeWork, one of your tenants blatantly racially profiled a group of your tenants and called 911 on them, likely putting their lives at risk. I am requesting that you immediately evict Tom Austin's company F2 Group from the premises and bar him from all @WeWork facilities. https://t.co/7VGBrhEppf— Derek McCammond (@derekmccammond) May 27, 2020
Minding your own business is fun, free, and won’t get your work email plastered all over the internet because people hate you now.