White woman reports black woman to police for canvassing in gated community

Amanda Kemp/Facebook/Google Maps

A white woman has reported a black woman to police for canvassing for a congressional candidate in a gated community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The incident occurred when Dr. Amanda Kemp, a racial justice and mindfulness mentor who was acting as a visiting scholar at Franklin and Marshall College, was campaigning with her husband, Michael for Democrat Jess King.

She and her other half, who is white, were allowed to enter Bent Creek in Manheim Township on Sunday after they were reportedly given the name of a voter they wished to talk to.

However, soon after they began knocking on doors in the neighbourhood, Elizabeth 'Duffy' Johnson, told them to leave as Bent Creek was private property and duly informed the police about their presence.

Although the police didn't approach them while they were in Bent Creek, an officer did check in on them after the returned home and spoke to Kemp's husband and later confirmed that "no criminal event had occurred."

Kemp later uploaded a video to her Facebook page titled #canvassingwhileblack where they spoke about what happened and how they felt about the incident.

In a longer post on her personal page, Kemp detailed the experience in full, including her exchange with Johnson.

WITFreports that Johnson has been canvassing for the Republican candidate in the area, Lloyd Smucker and also works as a dining, social, and personal skills teacher at the Etiquette School of Central PA.

However, her attorney, Edwin Pfrursich, has said that the events described on social media are not an accurate portrayal of what happened, as Johnson was reporting them for trespassing.

This matter is about trespassing. The volunteers from Jess King's campaign entered private property and became aggressive.

They were asked to leave and refused, so the police were notified.

Kemp has said that she believes that there was a racial undertone to Johnson's actions which reinforces "attitudes about inequality."

There was an undertone. Her attitude really reinforces racial attitudes about inequality.

The fact the police came to my house--I don't know what the basis of that was. That was really disturbing.

Becca Rast, who is the campaign manager for King, said that there have been disputes between the home owners' association and political campaigners about what constitutes canvassing before adding:

Bent Creek is a majority white, wealthy community. Amanda felt like her race may have escalated the situation.​

Mike Barely, of the Smucker campaign, added that the matter had been reported to the police but were not adding any further comments.


Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)