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MSNBC So White

MSNBCSoWhite

MSNBC’s left leaning prime time shows have become must see tv for me each night for the past 3 or 4 years.  Chris Matthews on Hardball, Chris Hayes on All In, and Rachel Maddow host of Maddow Blog.  Of course the network has never been perfect but they distinguished themselves from other cable news networks by offering a broad range of views and it was the only cable news network to have more than one minority host.  The channel’s minority hosts were Al Sharpton, Joy Ann Reid, Melissa Harris Perry, Karen Finney, Touré, Alex Wagner, and Jose Diaz-Balart.  It was pretty impressive to find that kind of diversity on cable news.  The network also had a lot of minority contributors like Jonathan Capehart, Eugene Robinson, and Michael Steele (just to name a few).  All of these people brought a unique intelligent perspective that was lacking on the other networks.  Almost a year ago I started to see signs that the network wanted to downplay the progressive perspective that made the  network enjoyable for liberals like me.  Hardball with Chris Matthews decided to get behind GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul and predicted Rand would be the republican nominee for 2016.  Chris heaped praise upon Rand and went after the other GOP hopefuls with tough but fair criticism.  I didn’t understand this prediction and I thought it was very strange for a progressive network to give a conservative presidential candidate great press.  Then after the Ferguson riots occurred the network covered some other similar situations where a police officer shot and killed an unarmed African American.

Joy Reid MSNBC So White

Joy Ann Reid

Then I noticed that the network stopped covering “black lives matters” protest and did not cover police shootings at all after a point.  That’s when I really started paying attention because that change was very noticeable.  Then came the firing and demotions of all of the network’s minority hosts.  Joy Reid’s show started to pickup viewers even though they gave her a terrible time slot (3pm).  I loved her show and she was a complete pro.  She made it look easy and that isn’t an easy thing to do.  Not too long after giving her a show, they abruptly canceled it and never really gave a coherent reason for the cancellation.  She still had a contract with the network so they demoted her to “paid contributor” (aka pundit).  Then Karen’s show disappeared.  The show Touré hosted got canceled. Alex Wagner got canceled, Jose Diaz-Blart’s show disappeared with no warning or explanation, and Al Sharpton’s daily show at 6pm got canceled, then brought back once a week on Sundays, but not every Sunday (weird right?).  The impressive roster of minority contributors slowly began to shrink as well.

Then they came after Melissa Harris Perry and her amazing Sunday show.  At first they didn’t cancel her show.  They just didn’t put it on the schedule at all for a long time until she sent them an email voicing her frustration with the executives

MSNBC So White

MSNBC president Phil Griffin, Al Sharpton, Rachel Noerdlinger, & Harold Ford Jr

and programing director snubbing her and not giving her an answer as to when they were going to put her show back in the lineup.  MSNBC knew she wasn’t going to go quietly so they told her she could get her show back for a few weeks but she couldn’t use any of her team, she couldn’t decided what to cover, and the network said they will pick the show’s panel.  Melissa Harris Perry has a masters degree in political science, she’s a professor at Wake Forrest and has taught political science at Princeton and Tulane University.  Obviously she knows a great deal about politics and has hosted a successful show for years.  To ignore her talent and expertise and demote her to “news reader” is a huge insult.  She turned them down and then things got interesting (read more about this at the bottom of this post).

All of those events have upset every progressive viewer who supported the network and looked to them for commentary on a daily basis.  Melissa was the last minority host to get screwed over by MSNBC.  Obviously the network has decided that they no longer want

MSNBC So White

Melissa Harris Perry

minority viewers, and have set a course to be more like Fox News.  Hardball with Chris Matthews is almost unwatchable now.  He constantly defends Donald Trump.  After two African American protesters were physically assaulted, spat upon, and called a slue of racial slurs, Chris Matthews said the Trump campaign look like it was “full of joy” and instead of calling Trump a racist, Chris calls him a nationalist who loves his country.  Chris has also added a new contributor that he likes to book over and over again, and her name is Ann Coulter.  So they get rid of the minorities and replace them with racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic far right wing nut Ann Coulter.  Yesterday on Hardball she said America needs to close the border before “Latin American rape culture” comes over to the United States.  This is the kind of ignorance that she spouts every chance she gets, so I wasn’t surprised she said that.  But I was absolutely shocked at Chris’s reaction.  He smiled and almost chuckled and didn’t challenge Ann’s racist statement at all.  He seemed to enjoy it.

I don’t know why MSNBC decided to insult the entire African American community and marginalize their only Latino host, but it is clear that they no longer care.  Now they invite white pundits to come on and explain the “black vote” just like their idols Fox News.  I could list hundreds of incidents like the few I’ve explained in this post but to sum all of them up with one sentence, I’d say “MSNBC has created the 2016 version of Jim Crow where white men have the only opinions they’re interested in, and blacks need not apply”.

Melissa Harris Perry’s letter to her show contributors:

Morning Joe Turns Racial

Today I watched a segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe where one of the show hosts (Mika) started a discussion about the NFL Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal. There were three other guests who took part in this discussion (Donnie Deutsch, an MSNBC contributor whose name I forgot, and a black man named Steve Stout). Mika started off the discussion with a news report saying the NFL decided to not use Rihanna’s song “Run This Town” during their game broadcast on CBS like they planned to do before the Ray Rice scandal broke out. Mika voiced her opinion that because Rihanna was assaulted by her boyfriend years ago and didn’t become a spokesperson for domestic violence, the NFL shouldn’t use her song. I think that’s pretty ridiculous and here are a few reasons why.

1. Rihanna did not choose to get assaulted by Chris Brown.

2. Rihanna’s song “Run This Town” has no controversial lyrics and it does not speak of abuse or violence.

3. Rihanna was the victim in her assault so she has every right to choose not to become a political spokes person for domestic violence. She’s an entertainer who loves to sing and perform. That is what she’s good at and we should not criticize a victim of domestic violence if they don’t want to talk about it, or if they don’t do what you want them to do.

4. The controversial song Mika was talking about was not the song the NFL was going to use, and it was not even Rihanna’s song. It was an Eminem song that featured Rihanna. It’s appalling that Mika would criticize Rihanna, a victim of domestic violence, for lyrics written by Eminem for a song that was Eminem’s. Not once did she say anything about Eminem. She decided to attack Rihanna instead.

5. In the middle of her attack against Rihanna they show a photo of Rihanna’s beaten and bruised face that was taken after her assault. This victim blaming and slut shaming has got to end. Mika should be ashamed for her behavior in that segment. I think she owe’s Rihanna and all abuse victims an apology.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Mika and the panel decided to connect hip hop with Ray Rice’s abusive behavior towards his wife. This pissed me off almost as much as their unfair treatment of Rihanna.Rihanna GQ Cover Mika and Donnie Deutsch must think all young black men are connected and controlled by hip hop. Why else would they bring it into a discussion about Ray Rice? Many people who are not fans of hip hop think they know what the genre and the music is about. They think hip hop music is excessively violent, and promotes violence toward women. That is not what the genre or culture is about. Of course there are songs with violent lyrics, and some are derogatory toward women. But that isn’t a significant part of the music. Hip Hop is extremely diverse. There are rappers like Common, Outkast, Nas, The Roots, Black Eyed Peas, etc who are very popular and are known for their socially conscious lyrics. But Mika and Donnie aren’t listeners of the genre so they don’t have a clue. Just like some racist, they see a black man with baggy clothes and dread locks and immediately think criminal, or mistake normal everyday behavior by a black man as aggression. Like the black man who was walking around Wal-Mart talking on his cell phone while playing with a toy gun. The police are called and kill him before he could even explain the gun was a toy. It’s sad that we as black men are all painted with the same negative brush.

While discussing Ray Rice, Donnie Deutsch proclaims he’s going to end hip hop with lyrics he thinks are bad. He says Jay Z is responsible for young black men committing crimes. The music influences them to do it he says. But he has never called for Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino to stop making violent movies. This double standard is unfair and the racial implications are clear. I bet Donnie isn’t even aware that whites purchase more hip hop albums than all other races combined. Inner city crime has ZERO to do with hip hop music. Before silencing artist and trashing their 1st amendment rights, maybe we should do something about the lack of opportunity in those poor black neighborhoods. Maybe we should improve the schools in those neighborhoods. Maybe we should look at the over-policing of those neighborhoods, maybe we should stop giving tax cuts to people like Donnie and Mika and use that money to spark growth in those neighborhoods. Maybe we should stop locking up black people for things that white people get a pass on. They don’t understand that hip hop music reflects the current conditions in the artist neighborhood. Right now it’s the only outlet that gives them a platform to speak to the world. Killing the messenger will only make things worse.

My closing advice to Mika and Donnie,

1. I know young black men may scare you but every thing we do shouldn’t be viewed as aggression. Listen to some of the artist I referred to in my 2nd paragraph. Instead of watching a hip hop video, listen to the song and read the lyrics. That’s the only way you can dissociate the thug cliché you have in your head from the socially conscious artist who wrote the song.

2. Ray Rice is not a rapper. His skin color may throw you off a bit, but trust me. He’s an ex-football player who abuses women and should be in prison right now.

3. Hip Hop culture is not the same thing as black culture.

4. Hip Hop music is entertainment. Just like movies, tv, and other music genre’s, it’s an art form. Your network (MSNBC & NBC) programming depicts a lot more violence than hip hop music does. It’s incredibly hypocritical to chastise Jay Z and hip hop for its violence while being silent about the violence your network makes millions off of.

5. Football is a very violent sport. You praise them for pulling a Rihanna song because some other song she was on with another artist contained a lyric you thought was promoting violence. Your logic makes no sense and once again you’re BLAMING THE VICTIM. Stop it!

I hope my harsh critique adds some much-needed perspective so these mistakes and misrepresentations do not gain credibility. I’m actually a really big fan of Mika and she usually serves as the voice of reason on “Morning Joe”. I want everyone to understand that I am not calling Mika racist. Her misguided commentary definitely seemed out of character, so I won’t hold it against her. We all make mistakes.



The Death of Michael Brown

Michael Brown

The murder of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson Missouri has captured the attention of an entire nation. Officials with the Ferguson police department have released very few details as of yet, almost a full week later. The hoarding of investigation details in cases like this are unprecedented and against Missouri state “sunshine” laws. We do not have the initial police report. We do not have a statement from the shooting officer. We do not have his full history and background as an officer. We do not have the results of the autopsy which was concluded days ago. We do not know how many shots were fired. We do not know how many witnesses were interviewed. We do not know if the shooting officer was interviewed or interrogated following the shooting. In normal cases where a shooting leads to the death of the victim all of these facts are released to the public usually within 48 hours. Sometimes it takes longer for them to release the autopsy results but never 7 days after the death. When a police officer shoots an unarmed teen, and that same officer’s colleagues are tasked with investigating that shooting, there’s a clear conflict of interest. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for them to investigate fairly, but everyone is going to be skeptical of their findings. The people need to feel like they are being treated fairly. That is why any investigation should be as clear and transparent as possible to show that community that they can be trusted. But when you withhold evidence, findings, and reports without an explanation as to why, that can inflame tensions and breed further distrust. Everything the Ferguson police department has done so far clearly shows that they are not going to be fair with their investigation, and their goal is not about justice or presenting the truth. Their only goal is to protect the officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager.

Whether or not Michael Brown’s family will see justice for the murder of their son remains to be seen. All of the evidence and details are not out yet. From everything I’ve heard so far it seems as though the officer was not in fear for his life, and he had no reason to take the life of Protester holding signMichael Brown. But that is my opinion, and not fact. It’s important to not rush to judgement in a case like this. So instead of blogging about whether the shooting was justified or not, I want to start a different conversation about perceptions vs reality and how perceptions get warped and manipulated over time and how perceptions can morph into reality both physically and even more interesting, mentally.

Right after news of this shooting started to become national, people were politicizing it. People felt like you had to take sides. We have such a juvenile simplistic way we go about looking at the world and everything in it. Everything has to be good or evil, hero’s or villains. The news media does this as well. I’m not sure if they are reflecting the public’s habit of doing this, or if they are the cause of this. I’m sure that’s a question that can’t be answered in just one blog post. But I do want to talk about our habit of doing this as individuals.Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson Immediately following the shooting most news outlets presented the facts that were apparent. 1 – Unarmed black teenager gets shot multiple times by white police officer in broad daylight. 2 – Unarmed teen had both his hands up as the officer continued to shoot him until his body fell to the ground. 3 – Black citizens of Ferguson felt unfairly and disproportionately policed by local officers. 4 – Unarmed teen Michael Brown just graduated high school and had plans to start his first day of college the day after his death. 5 – Due to a long history of abuse at the hands of police, black people have an inherent distrust of them.

Those were the set of facts being presented at that time. We are programmed to find the hero and the villain in this situation (consciously or unconsciously). A majority of Americans would say Michael is the hero/victim so the cop must be the villain. Then there are those who are sympathetic to the (sometime) dangerous job of a police officer. They have this picture of what a young black male is. They see all of us as threatening, uneducated criminals. So after they hear the initial report they cast the officer as the hero and the unarmed teenager as the villain. As more details and information slowly leak out over the days following the shooting, people have already decided who’s the hero and who’s the villain. So every news story that reinforces their belief of who’s the hero and villain they believe it.Michael Brown Every news story that contradicts their hero villain pick gets ignored or rejected. This simplistic way of casting hero’s and villains have nothing to do with education. Right after the Zimmerman trial concluded I had a friend send me a link with a small note attached. He read my blog about the trial entitled “No Justice For Trayvon”. He wanted me to click the link and read some things about Trayvon Martin that I did not know. I clicked the link and ended up at a “News Of The World” page. They are a ridiculous internet tabloid who ran stories like President Obama gay, Michelle Obama is really a transgender man, and another story about lizard people infiltrating our government (just to name a few). So I read the Trayvon Martin piece they wrote. In it they said Trayvon was arrested 6 times, Trayvon raped a classmate of his, Trayvon was a drug dealer, Trayvon had guns, etc etc. Everything that defines the “thug” stereotype was in that bullshit article. Needless to say, none of it was true, and the source has serious credibility issues. But what shocked me more was the fact that my friend/acquaintance believed it all. He’s a very intelligent doctor but he still got duped by that website. YES, A DOCTOR. He got duped because he looked at Trayvon and saw a criminal.  Trayvon fit the profile he had in his mind of someone capable of everything they claimed in that bs article. The story from that website reinforced who he already casted (in his mind) as the villain… Treyvon.

This hero villain casting started the moment you first heard about the Michael Brown shooting. Then a few days into the investigation Ferguson’s police chief decides to release a video tape that allegedly shows Michael Brown stealing some cigars from a convenience store. Some didn’t want to believe it was Michael, and others thought it verified what they already believed about young black males. If a police officer shot him, he must have done something wrong. For the people who cast him as the hero, it dulls the sense of injustice they first felt for Michael at the beginning. They won’t come out and say that outright, but you’ll notice a change in the level of their activism. They’ll stop talking about Michael’s shooting as much and pivot to a more generalized issue like police brutality, the militarization of police, or the relationship between the black community and the police. All of these are legitimate social ill’s that we need to be talking about and working to change, but what about Michael? Video still of alleged robberyHim being killed unarmed with his hands up in the air? The officer unloading his weapon shooting Michael Brown multiple times until he was dead and on the ground? The officers leaving his body in the middle of the street for four full hours as the blood drained from each bullet wound while the people of the neighborhood looked on in horror? What about all of that? How does a video tape of Michael stealing some cigars change your feelings about his life being taken needlessly?  Michael was 18. Just beginning to enter adulthood. That video doesn’t define who he was, and it doesn’t define the man he would have grown up to be.

We are all human and every human being on this planet has made stupid mistakes at some point in their life.  Especially as teenagers. I know 4 white girls who I went to school with got caught shoplifting in walmart. All 4 came from good families and did it just as a dare. They got caught but no charges were ever filed. They got to go home to their parents and I’m sure it scared them enough not to try it again. One of those girls is a dentist now. I’m sure that incident in Walmart has nothing to do with their character as adults. In that same Wal Mart two male black teenagers I knew through friends got Protest following Michael Brown Jr's Deathcaught shoplifting a few months after my classmates got caught. But this time it was a totally different story. They got arrested and lead away in handcuffs. They both spent the night in jail because their parents couldn’t get bail money.  Both guys took a deal that included no jail time but records of their arrest will show up every time someone does a background check on them. That one stupid decision to steal something at 17 years old will haunt them for the rest of their lives.  It will be harder for them to find employment, harder to lease an apartment, harder to buy a house or borrow money, and even take away their right to vote before they were old enough to vote.  Michael Brown’s alleged crime does not define who he is, does not define who he was, and does not predict what kind of person he would have grown up to be.  His youthful indiscretion and temporary lack of judgement does not make him a villain and it most certainly does not mean it’s ok for police to kill him for it.

 

*Michael Brown’s family is going through some pretty rough times right now.  If you’re not able to join the protest or attend a rally, here’s another way to show your support.  Donate some money to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund at http://www.gofundme.com/justiceformikebrown

 

The Real Donald Sterling Outrage

When I started writing a blog post sharing my thoughts on the racist Donald Sterling recordings I came to the same realization as ESPN columnist Bomani Jones but he said it much better than I, so I’ve posted his video at the end of this blog.

But before you watch the video I’d like to share an observation of mine that Mr Jones didn’t cover in his commentary. It’s about the way the liberal media and right wing media uses these public episodes of racism to reaffirm what they already believe and assure their audience that they are the good guys, while collectively missing the point altogether.  This happens every time an incident of outright racism shows up in the news.  Last week we had the racist rancher Cliven Bundy, and this week we have the racist billionaire Donald Sterling.  I noticed a pattern in the way liberal media covers issues of racism and then noticed some similarities in conservative media coverage on race. MSNBC and other liberal leaning media covered it more as a teaching moment to show how racism still exist (which is the way it should be covered). But liberal media also uses racial situations like both of these stories as “feel good” moments for their white liberal audience. They get to give themselves a big pat on the back for being outraged by racism. It’s a way for them to tap into the satisfaction of political activism without having to do anything.  It’s an opportunity to reaffirm beliefs and let everyone know how great a person they are for caring about minorities.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, so I’m not bashing them for this… but I am saying there’s a need for more depth after the self congratulatory pats on the back are done, and the sensationalism of the story fades away.

Then there’s the conservative media’s take on stories of racism. Just like liberal media coverage conservative media used the collective condemnation of said racial remarks as a “feel good” reaffirmation of their beliefs, and gave their audience a pat on the back for being outraged by racism. But that’s where the similarities end. After the pats on the back, conservative media takes a big right turn.  To understand what I’m about to share with you may require a suspension of disbelief.  Here’s what I mean.  Bundy and Sterling’s acknowledged racism for conservative media proved that racism does not exist in modern America.  This denial of logic takes leaps of mental gymnastics that only makes sense to the conditioned brain of the far far right.  Fox News and the rest of conservative media comes to the same conclusion every time blatant racism is in the news.  First they strongly condemn the racist, which is commendable I guess, but in the very next breath they use the same incident of racism they just acknowledged and condemned, to prove that racism does not exist.  It’s amazing, remarkable, astonishing and a spectacle that every liberal should see at least once before dying (#LiberalBucketList).  This logic defying feat of using the existence of something to prove that the very thing you just acknowledged does not exist is mind boggling to me… but they do it every single time.  Both Sean Hannity and Bill O’Riley agreed that since a majority of American’s spoke out against Bundy and Sterling’s racist remarks, then that proves that America has moved beyond the acceptance of racism.  And that proves that all racism and racist will meet the same rebuke received by Bundy and Sterling.  I know this does not make any sense to anyone on the outside of the right-wing bubble, but this way of thinking is logical to them.  Liberals go for the easy pat on the back while ignoring the burden of institutionalized racism that occurs everyday and hinders the advancement of minorities into the middle class.  While conservatives go for the all out “racism is dead” celebration fiesta.  When it comes to issues of race in this country, neither side of the ideological divide deserves praise.

Bomani Jones calls into the Dan LeBatard radio show and gives the REALEST take on the Donald Sterling drama, and how we all are ignoring the real issue when it comes to racism and how we handle situations of real racism in America and American media. It starts out with a funny observation but keep listening because he shares some pretty serious incite on institutionalized racism and how imbalanced everyone’s outrage is over Donald Sterling’s privately expressed racial faux pas to Donald Sterling’s proven blaten housing discrimination. Everything Bomani says is on point and noticeably missing from mainstream media coverage.

Liberal’s Dirty Little Secret

www.sociallyurban.com

Before i begin this blog post i feel i need to preface it with some important factors to keep in mind while reading it. I am a very proud and vocal member of the Democratic party and even though I’m about to share some harsh critiques about my party and some of its representatives, I feel even at their worst they are still miles ahead of any republican at their best. Now, i felt I had to say that because it was needed to put things in the proper context.

The country-wide debate of New York’s “Stop and Frisk” policy that unfairly targets African American and Latino males has uncovered something surprising about my fellow liberals. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the Trayvon Martin shooting and racial profiling titled “No Justice For Trayvon”. In that blog I highlighted how some whites perceptions of young African American males are based on a subconscious irrational fear that makes them see those males as potential criminals. This is true for both conservative and liberal whites although that perception may be slightly more common among conservatives. After a court ruled that NY’s “Stop and Frisk” policy was unconstitutional and a violation of American civil rights it sparked a huge national debate about the ruling and NY mayor Michael Bloomberg’s defense of the program.Socially Urban Blog Those who supported the policy pointed to the low crime rate in the city which they attributed to Stop and Frisk. To me and a lot of African Americans it sounded like they were saying it’s ok to violate a young black male’s civil rights if it makes whites feel less fearful. That was a huge insult unto itself but what came after that was even more insulting. They tried to spin it in the media by saying the policy is in place to protect African American’s living in poor neighborhoods. African American’s translated this to mean they were racially profiling and violating our rights for our own good. Like a parent punishing a petulant child. To me that insult was beyond disgusting because segregationist used the exact same language in the 1950’s to defend Jim Crow. I felt it necessary to write this blog because there were some very important points that were never articulated in the media and among pundits. Watching panel discussions on MSNBC and CNN became tortuous for me. I found myself screaming my points to the tv like they could hear me. Since I’m not a cable tv news political pundit or host, my blog will have to suffice (lol).

The first and most important point I want to make is about those who think Stop and Frisk is necessary. In order to support stop and frisk you have to believe that race determines behavior. How else can you believe that stopping and searching African American’s and Latino’s almost exclusively is acceptable and necessary to prevent crime. This is a hard truth but it needs to be addressed so we can fix it and move on. I’m sure stop and frisk supporters do not want to ask themselves that question. Especially liberals and cable news pundits like those on MSNBC. Don’t get me wrong I love watching MSNBC because I like their reporting of political news and I’ve come to respect the on-air talent. One of my favorites is Chris Matthews the host of Hardball. He’s a moderate democrat with an astute political mind. His views usually mirror my own, but his coverage and views of Stop and Frisk has been very disappointing. Watching him interview pundits has exposed his support for the policy. Time after time he’s expressed fear of New York returning to the violent city it was in the 1970’s and 80’s. When one of his guest presented the idea of stopping more than just blacks and Latino’s Chris likened it to searching grandma at the airport for explosives. When Michael Smirconish guest hosted End Stop & Frisk Chris’s Hardball he was a lot more vocal in his support for the policy. I naively thought progressives would see this Stop and Frisk policy for what it was. Racial profiling, unconstitutional, a severe violation of civil rights, a throw-back to Jim Crow, and just plain wrong. If equality, your personal ethics, and basic human fairness weren’t enough to convince you that this law is racist and unjust, take a look at the stats and ask yourself is this an effective use of police time and resources. According to a study done by the Center For Constitutional Rights during the year 2011 NYPD officers stopped and frisked a total of 636,288 people. Out of those 636,288 stops, 574,483 were African American and Latino. That’s a shocking 87%. Out of those 574,483 minorities only 2% were found to have contraband. TWO PERCENT!!!!!! Under any other circumstances this program would have been rejected years ago due to it’s ineffectiveness.

When you take an objective look at the overwhelming evidence against Stop and Frisk you have to ask yourself why is mayor Bloomberg fighting so hard to keep this in place and why are some white liberals like Chris Matthews and Michael Smirconish vocally supporting the policy or at the very least why aren’t they vocally advocating for its demise. I think the answer can be found in my Trayvon Martin blog titled “No Justice For Trayvon”. They see all young black males as potential criminals, and Stop and Frisk placates this irrational fear. I’m not saying these people are intentional racist. I believe they’ve been conditioned to think about young black males in that way. Their subconscious has made this connection and every crime committed by a young black male reinforces that belief. It’s very disappointing to see so many of my fellow democrats quietly supporting this vile version of institutionalized racism knowing it dehumanizes an entire race of people. Extremely disappointing. Unfortunately this race behavior linkage is perpetuated by the language we use when talking about inner city crime and violence. When we use terms like “the black community” it lumps all blacks together. Even the president has made this mistake. He said we need to address the crime and violence problem within the black community. But this problem mainly exist in the inner city. So instead of lumping all blacks together, he should have said we need to address the crime and violence happening in the inner city. I do not live in the inner city and I have never been involved in any crime. I’m a college educated law abiding citizen who lives on the coast of North Carolina. I have absolutely nothing in common with a violent gang member hundreds of miles away in Detroit. But since we share the same skin color I’m treated like a suspected criminal and I’m supposed to accept that. It’s ridiculous and extremely frustrating.

I’d like to share one more observation that no one else has brought up. The Stop and Frisk policy was built on a supreme court ruling that relaxed the Stats on Stop and Frisk rules for search and seizure when an officer believes a suspect may have a gun.  Before this ruling law enforcement could not stop and search random citizens without a clear and articulatable reason. But Bloomberg found a way around the 4th amendment by using that supreme court case. He argued that NY police could stop and search anyone they wanted to and justify it by saying they thought the person had a firearm. My question is why aren’t the NRA (National Rifle Association) out lobbing to end Stop and Frisk? It goes against the very rights they say they are protecting. The right to own a firearm and the right to carry a firearm without being searched by police hoping to find and confiscate a legally owned firearm. The lack of action from their organization shows an obvious racial prejudice in the way they choose issues to speak out against. I sent this question to the head of the NRA but got no response in return. The lack of response makes me think my suspicions are valid.

As a result of discriminatory policing practices like stop and frisk, New Yorkers feel as if their communities are under siege.  To learn more about the human impact of these practices, visit www.stopandfrisk.org.

STORY UPDATE:

Chris MatthewsA few weeks after I published this blog post I got the chance to ask MSNBC show host Chris Matthews where he stands on Stop and Frisk. In my blog post I stated that he seemed to support Stop and Frisk. It was very easy to draw this conclusion because he never condemned the policy and never once called it unconstitutional. Instead he would share his fear of New York’s crime rate returning to the very high levels the city had in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here’s a link to read his response: http://sociallyurban.com/reply-headlines/chris-matthews-response/

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