This past week, the television screens have been flooded with people arguing for the end of New York’s proactive policing strategy called stop-and-frisk. New York City councilman Jumaane Williams, actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP; Benjamin Crump, Amy Holmes, Angela Rye and Nathaniel Pendleton, father of Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed as a result of gang violence in Chicago earlier this year all came out in one form or another against this program all referring to it as “racial profiling.”
Particularly disturbing was Nathaniel Pendleton. Appearing on The O’Reilly Factor, he was asked if he wished stop-and-frisk had been used prior to his daughter’s murder. Surprisingly, Mr. Pendleton said no and he questioned the effectiveness and the intent of stop-and-frisk policing. This came as a tremendous shock considering his loss. He too began parroting the “racial profiling” meme. It was astonishing to see and hear Mr. Pendleton side with the notion of ‘race’ opposed to supporting a process that could’ve potentially saved his daughter’s life and the lives of countless other children in Chicago.
Frankly, it was almost sickening.
In light of all facts to the contrary, including the fact that blacks and Hispanics- both in New York City and nationwide- commit a disproportionate amount of crime relative to their population, all of the aforementioned came on television to (self) righteously oppose stop-and-frisk. With very little evidence to support their position(s) they all parroted the same basic theme– stop-and-frisk intentionally, unfairly and racially targets minorities, creating an “environment of distrust” between minorities and cops.
Newsflash- only criminals distrust cops and cops distrust criminals; those who aren’t guilty or in violation of the law have nothing to fear. Why that’s new, I’m unsure.
With this said, it should be clear that the reflexivity of the response of “racial profiling” against stop-and-frisk without any semblance of thought or evidence indicates that these responses- aside from being saturated with emotion, reflect on one hand how deeply rooted racial grievance and racial solidarity has become in America, and on the other how destructive social virtues without principles have become.
That anyone who disagrees with stop-and-frisk would call it ‘racial profiling’ ignores the criminal element to the process. In the Trayvon Martin trial, the evidence and testimony confirmed that Trayvon wasn’t racially profiled; he was criminally profiled.
And if stop-and-frisk is merely racially profiling without regard to crime, why is Detroit’s police chief James Craig- himself black, intending to continue stop-and-frisk in Detroit? Anyone who says that Chief Craig or Detroit is engaging in racial profiling has intentionally ignored Detroit’s escalating violent crime.
It’s the same for New York’s policy. Again, blacks and Hispanics commit a disproportionate amount of crime relative to their population (largely against other blacks and Hispanics). Criminal statistics from the BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics), FBI, and state and local law authorities confirm this unfortunate bit of reality. As such, stop-and-frisk will be primarily enforced in black and Hispanic areas. That’s where most of the violent crime is. If people don’t like that reality, don’t simply whine “racial profiling.” Get off your chair and do something constructive like encouraging young blacks and Hispanics to stop committing so much damn crime!
These stop-and-frisk opponents are the people who would prefer a social profiling scheme similar to the labored and inconvenient form found at U.S. airports. Rather than actively seek out those people who fit a very specific profile for hijacking planes, flying planes into buildings or having the affinity for suicide bombings, our TSA agents are forced to sexually-molest seventy-year-old white nuns and military veterans who’ve had limbs amputated, while searching baby strollers for contraband so as to not offend – or “racially profile”- those who fit the criminal profile.
More to the point, most of the people who advocate the program’s termination are doing so from the comfort, safety and convenience of their homes in wealthy, overwhelmingly white and low crime areas. Amy Holmes appearing on MSNBC, admitted as much. She lives in a predominately white, wealthy area of Manhattan. It’s disingenuous and immoral for people who don’t live in high crime areas, to argue for a laxation of proactive policing knowing they will continue to be unaffected by the results of their thoughtless positions. By trying to appear socially virtuous, they’re putting more poor black and Hispanic people- those who don’t have the means to be geographically or upwardly mobile- at tremendous physical risk, up to and including death.
It’s especially shortsighted considering that many of the minority residents in these cities appreciate stop-and-frisk because it improves their safety. By arguing for the program’s end, the policy’s opponents and so-called civil libertarians are arguing in favor of the potential criminals literally at the expense of the poor, law-abiding citizens whose neighborhoods will be directly and negatively impacted if stop-and-frisk is suspended.
I’d like to ask Judge Scheindlin, Jumaane Williams, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Sybrina Fulton, Ben Jealous, Benjamin Crump, Amy Holmes, Angela Rye, Nathaniel Pendleton and everyone else who’s against stop-and-frisk- who intentionally mislabel it racial profiling rather than criminal profiling- don’t poor people deserve the opportunity to live in peace and safety ensured by police presence? Or are peace and safety only for those who can afford it?
Wanting to appear socially virtuous may feel good but in this case the results have the potential to be deadly.