STOP-AND-FRISK: Ray Kelly And Michael Bloomberg Have A "Ross Perot Problem"

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Of course this assignment of collective guilt never occurs when violence is perpetrated by White people: the crimes of a White serial killer is never assigned to anyone else but the killer and no one ever talks about White-on-White violence.


 [Black Star News Editorial]
 
Has New York City's Police Commissioner Ray Kelly lost it?

On
Tuesday Kelly reminded us of the time when Ross Perot addressed a
startled audience as  "your people" and "you people" at the NAACP's July
1992 convention.


"I don't have to tell you who gets hurt first
when this sort of thing happens, do I?" Perot said referring to
economic downturn. "You...your people do. Your people do. I know that
and you know that," he told the audience, some of whose members jeered
his remark. Perot also said "your people" suffer the most from
escalating crime, to his listeners.


Here in New York, 20 years
later, Commissioner Kelly unleashed his own condescending and
patronizing wild outburst of verbal abuse direct at unnamed politicians
and activists in the African American community. Kelly wants to divert
focus away from his Police Department's illegal stop-and-frisks of
mostly Black and Latino young males. Last year Kelly's NYPD, backed by
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, stopped 685,724 people; 87% of those were Black
or Latino.


Referring to the recent increase in gun violence,
and the wounding of a three-year old in crossfire while playing under a
sprinkler in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Kelly said: "There doesn't seem to be
any major community response," Kelly said, as reported in The Daily
News
.


"Many of them will speak out about stop-and-frisk," Kelly
added, in Perot-speak," but are "shockingly silent when it comes to the
level of violence right in their own communities." Of course
it was an intentionally deliberate and malicious statement meant to put
critics of stop-and-frisk on the defensive. It's also in line with coded
race-language both Kelly and his boss Bloomberg have been using when
they repeatedly talk about "Black-on-Black" violence. It's a concerted race strategy the two have employed since Kelly wrote an Op-Ed in The Daily News in May proclaiming stop-and-frisk "saves Black lives." The
purpose of the race-coded language are numerous, including: to condition
White New Yorkers into tolerating violations of constitutional rights
of Blacks and Latinos. Under this unwritten and unspoken contract the
police will use any means to keep "these people" at bay; in return New
York's White citizens accept violation of constitutional rights of
African Americans as acceptable minor inconveniences so long as the
results are reduced weapons and gun violence. The race-code also delegitimizes criticism from the African American community by
suggesting that since "their people" are responsible for the crime, how
dare they speak out?


Mayor Bloomberg himself recently stood beside Black pastors at a church and told them, "I don't need to tell you [people] about Black-on-Black violence."

Of course this assignment of collective
guilt never occurs when violence is perpetrated by White people: the
crimes of a White serial killer is never assigned to anyone else but the
killer and no one ever talks about White-on-White violence.


The
Bloomberg strategy didn't muzzle Councilman Jumaane Williams. As
reported in The Daily News, he fired back to Kelly, that "maybe he'd
like to come with me when I go to the families of the victims just hours
after they've lost a son and see just how silent I am."


Kelly
and Bloomberg are disingenuous when they claim that the recent spike in
gun violence exonerates their claim that stop-and-frisk is needed and
that it saves lives by taking weapons off the streets.


The
findings of a study by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and
the continued violence prove that there's need for multiple strategies.


In
2011, the NYPD made some 685,724 stops. Of those stopped, 87 percent
were either Blacks or Latinos: Blacks and Latinos accounted for 350,743
and 223,740, respectively, of those stops. Whites were stopped 61,805
times. The NYCLU found that 88 percent of those stopped “were totally
innocent” of any crime.


The NYCLU also found that, in 2011,
“Of those frisked, a weapon was found only 1.9 percent of the time.”
Moreover, white were “twice as likely to be found with guns.” Guns were
found on Blacks and Latinos only 1.8 percent of the time. Whites were
found with guns 3.8 percent of the time. Whites were also found to be
more likely to be in possession of drugs and stolen property.


A
U.S. District Judge,
Shira A. Scheindlin, has granted class action status to lawsuits
by victims of Kelly's and Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk operations. The
size of the class will continue to grow as Kelly and Bloomberg defy by
failing to adapt and to incorporate additional approaches.


New
York City needs strategies that actually involve working together with
the politicians, activists, existing youth organizations and New York's
hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino youth. The vast majority of
young men don't participate in the gun violence as the NYCLU's study of
the NYPD's own data show. 

 
Rather than demonizing "these people" Kelly and Bloomberg should work with them.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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