- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Stop and Frisk Policy Considered Harmful
I’ve been thinking about the proposed “Stop and Frisk” policies lately. It took me a while to react, because it’s pretty much par for the course. Candidates being “tough on crime” is the kind of thing that you come to expect. I have always had the position that being tough on crime is almost always being stupid on crime, but that’s not what got me upset. What upset me was the fact that we all know that this is racial profiling, and racial profiling is just plain old wrong. And if you think that it’s OK to do this as long as you have some policy wonkish board where people can go make complaints, then I implore you to read my story bellow.
There was a night when I was a teenager that I remember to this day. It’s an impressionable time in ones life. It’s when you are starting to become more of an adult and are coming into your own. You lose some of your innocence, and you start to see all of the bad things in life that you were sheltered from before, so that’s one of the reasons it had such an effect on me.
That night, my Dad went out to run an errand and took unusually long. Now my father is the kind of person that will go out for a paper and take three hours, but he was taking unusually long. As my Mother and I were sitting on the couch watching the TV, we started to worry.
Finally, my father came home. My mother and I, in annoyance, asked where he had been. It turns out that he was stopped by the cops. Supposedly, he looked like someone or something that was suspicious. So he sat in his car for over an hour while the cops did whatever it is that they do when they stop someone on a routine case of DWB (Driving While Black). This wasn’t the first time that my father was pulled over for no good reason, and it wouldn’t be the last. The funny thing is that anyone who knows my father knows in the first 5 minutes of talking to him that he isn’t a criminal.
I remember the look on his face to this day. He was a broken man, embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, and annoyed. If you love and admire your father as much as I do, and you’ve ever seen him, a man, as strong as he is, look broken, then it is something that you will never forget, ever.
The whole point that I am trying to make is that the policies proposed by Nutter and Fattah are wrong, plain and simple. Supposedly, Nutter’s plan has some board where people can go and complain. I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t know the details of this counter-measure, and frankly, I don’t care. All I think about is that night.
And then I think about all the young Black men who are already harassed by the cops, but will be ever more so if these policies are enacted. I encourage people who support Michael Nutter and think that he walks on water to think about something. What is the probability that most “Urban Youth” will know that this board exists? Out of that group, how many do you think will actually do something about it? And finally, out of that group, how many will actually be heard, and what exactly will come of it?
I am not trying to pick on Nutter and his supporters here. I think that the reactions that many have made to his policies are pretty representative to some of the issues that I have with the progressive community at times. I think that we keep forgetting that politics is about the people. I will yell this at the top of my longs until I’m blue in the face. Good policies and being dynamic are important, but if you forget the people then you are lost.
I’ve seen over ten posts on the main board in the past few days about the contribution limits. Everyone is threatening retribution for people who vote for this Bill. At the same time, some of these same people still passionately support both Nutter and Fattah, who support racist policies. I’m not saying that I would never vote for them, but I am saying that neither deserves such passionate support.
I think that keeping the contribution limits is important, but I also think that we should keep things in perspective.