First a few statistics, and then some sarcasm and then let’s talk reality.
New York’s Stop and Frisk has removed guns from the streets, particularly in challenged neighborhoods. That has undoubtedly saved lives. Mayor Bloomberg’s figure of thousands saved is bullshit, because, for one, we don’t know how good of a shot those potential future shooters would be. Oops, sorry, mixed a bit of sarcasm and reality there prematurely. It is an easy mistake when our elected leaders think and communicate in cartoonish terms. Maybe that is the caliber of people with the capacity to purchase so-called elected positions, or maybe it is a culture of condescension by those same pseudo-elected autocrats who feel they must pander and “sell” issues to constituents. Damn, more reality. Apologies, it just keeps slipping out. Back to the numbers.
Rudi Giuliani is responsible for the law, not the current Bloomberg. Curiously, it came at a time when crime was down during the spastic reactionary foolishness in the days after September 11th. That also coincides with the start of the age of police militarism. Giuliani simply suffered from a racially-informed fundamental lack of imagination on dealing with crime. Bloomberg suffers from taking full advantage in growing and supporting that failure of imagination.
From 2002 until 2012, the use of Stop and Frisk, an abuse of the so-called Terry v. Ohio law regarding reasonable suspicion-sort of like rape when he reasonably suspects she wanted it (Damned Sarcasm again!)- the use of this tactic by police went up more than 500%, or from 97,000 to more than 650,000. Without exception in those years between 86 and 91% were innocent. How about we allow cavity searches for 90% of white kids in, say, Park Forest, Barrington, Wilmette or Naperville for the few who might have some sort of contraband? No, that wasn’t sarcasm, that would be a reality.
More than 85% were people of color, mostly Black, were the targets of Stop and Frisk. Between 9-11% were white, except in 2003 when apparently white people ran amok at 12% (That’s just funny) Nearly 9 of 10 stopped and frisked by police were completely innocent of any wrong doing. Also, if you say the police must stop and frisk Blacks and Hispanics because they are the ones causing most of the crime-knowing full well 90% are innocent-statistics show you are 100% more likely to be an asshole.
So those are the numbers, and I suppose now I owe you a bit of sarcasm. Except that this issue writes its own sarcasm, and not a small amount of outrage, as this decidedly racist policy creates something of a passive gulag, and is endemic of a governmental and law enforcement attitude that you are innocent until we can find something you are guilty of. I am never one to advocate violence, but the situation now with police no longer serving and protecting citizens equally and a government that is a facilitator of greed interests looting the nation enough has got to be enough! Reality!
The media and politicians like to play partisan charades, but what the parade of civil rights perversion perpetrated and grown from the Republican Giuliani regime into the behemoth of oppression under Bloomberg shows us is that it isn’t the civil rights amendments that need revision, it is a narrowing of the criteria for getting into office.
If you make or have made more than $100,000 a year in your life, you are banned from ever holding office. If campaigns are funded by the people, across multiple parties, and you take a glass of lemonade from a corporation, bank, money troll or foreign entity, you go to jail and your mansion turned into a retreat for the poor and homeless. More than that, if you leave office richer than when you went in, and it wasn’t for an inheritance, a great book, song or painting you created, off to jail, because you didn’t come by that wealth serving the people. And if you are a cop and you clobber or arrest a protester exercising their rights of grievance against someone actually damaging the nation, we can replace all those incarcerated for smoking a joint with police officers who have forgotten their oath and their duty to serve and protect.
And just to really boot whip this dead horse, the Nazis learned how to stop crime in Jewish neighborhoods, and under Pol Pot crime virtually ceased in Cambodia, except at the top, which is where the worst crime in America is currently concentrated. If a Black kid on the south side of Chicago shoots another kid, the kids their neighborhood and families are the ones who suffer most. If a mayor shuts down 50 schools under very suspicious circumstances amid a confusion of numbers, that devastates thousands and destroys whole communities. If you pander to industrialists and buy their bottom line argument on everything, and place those arguments above the lives of people and communities, closing a factory in America for one that collapses in Bangladesh killing hundreds, that’s called Detroit.
That isn’t reality, folks, it is fucking reality!
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