white woman

The white woman who became instantly famous on social media this weekend as “permit patty” for calling the police on an eight-year-old black girl selling water on a hot day is now seeing her own business falter as a result of her actions.

As of Saturday evening, #PermitPatty was a top national Twitter trend, in reference to a video of a thirty-something blonde white woman in the San Francisco, California area (who has since been identified as Allison Ettel) calling the police on a young black girl selling water without a permit. The 15-second video, originally posted by the little girl’s cousin (Twitter user @_ethiopiangold) has since gone viral on the platform, accumulating more than 50,000 retweets an 108,000 likes.

“This woman don’t wanna let a little girl sell some water. She callin’ the police on an eight-year-old little girl,” the girl’s cousin narrated, as Ettel saw her and suddenly ducked down behind a stoop. “You can hide all you want. The whole world gonna see ya, boo.”

“Yeah, um, and illegally selling water without a permit?” Ettel responded angrily, standing up.

“On my property,” the cousin responded.

“It’s not your property,” Ettel said.

The girl’s cousin posted a subsequent video of her eight-year-old relative to show the world that the absurdity of Ettel feeling so threatened by the little girl that she felt compelled to call law enforcement. The girl’s mother is reportedly filing charges against Ettel for harassing her daughter.

After social media sleuths started digging into who #PermitPatty was, they learned that Ettel’s business, Treatwell Tinctures, involves selling marijuana-infused treats for pets. When Twitter users learned about Ettel’s business, they immediately called on her clients to respond to questions of whether or not they would still carry her products. Local dispensary Magnolia Oakland posted to their official Instagram on Saturday that they would no longer carry Ettel’s products after seeing the video.

Allison Ettel was also reportedly a subject in a documentary entitled “Lady Buds,” which filmmakers describe as a project focusing on both the positive and negative aspects of the cannabis industry. In a statement posted to Facebook, Lady Buds director Chris Russo said that Ettel’s values do not reflect the values of the documentary, and her inclusion in the film has since been edited out.

In a delicious twist of irony, Muslim activist Qasim Rashid dug up a 2015 article from the San Francisco Chronicle which reported that, at the time, Ettel’s pot-based dog treat business was operating without a legal permit from the city.

“It’s kind of like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,” Ettel told the Chronicle in 2015. “We haven’t gotten any pushback yet.”

On Saturday evening, Ettel told HuffPost that she actually wasn’t calling the police, but simply pretending to as a means of trying to persuade the girl to stop.

“They were screaming about what they were selling,” she said, adding that she felt “discriminated against.”

“It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, ‘Come and buy my water.’ It was continuous and it wasn’t a soft voice, it was screaming.”

Ettel admitted that the windows to her home office were open at the time, but defended not closing them, because it was too hot.


Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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