(The Root) — BREAKING: According to a New York Times survey, 59 percent of New Yorkers believe that whites are treated better than blacks by police in New York City. Overall, 64 percent of the people surveyed said the police favored one race over another. Also — fire is hot. How will this new information change everything?!?!
Maybe I shouldn't be so flip about this survey. Yes, as a black dude living in NYC, I am very much aware of the difference in treatment. It's been this way since I've been alive. But now that the New York Times has published its survey results, maybe it'll be real, as opposed to a figment of my overactive, problematic Negro mind. New York City has come under intense scrutiny because of its stop-and-frisk policies. The numbers show a clear bias. But that makes sense right?
From the New York Times:
"But some New Yorkers, while conceding that the police show favoritism for one race over another, said the stop-and-frisk tactic's ends justified the means.
"If that's what it takes, I find it acceptable," said Jani Kipness, 58, a special-education teacher from Brooklyn who is white. She said that she thought that officers "single out minority groups," but that "if you look at the crime in New York, it's less white people; that's just the way it is."
"I wouldn't want to be stopped and frisked," she added. "But if you look at cities like Detroit and other cities that have a way higher crime rate than New York, I think New York has to be doing something right." "
The fact that the majority of those stopped are completely innocent? That doesn't matter. The fact that the police target certain areas? That doesn't matter. Obviously the Negroes are doing the crime, so they just have to be stopped, right? Stop committing so many crimes, blacks!
Quick question: What if they stopped and frisked down on Wall Street?
I know white folks who casually talk about drug use, and they know they most likely won't be stopped or questioned. When some of my white friends were ticketed by police recently, they were absolutely shocked. They complained to me about getting a ticket for drinking alcohol in the park. I asked, "Well, were you drinking alcohol?"
They replied, "Yes, but everyone around us was!" I shared this story with some of my black New Yorker friends, and we all laughed and laughed. We know the situation too well. When so many of us are stopped for doing nothing wrong, we aren't surprised by a ticket for actually breaking rules.
The stop-and-frisk policies in NYC are problematic. Police don't have the numbers to justify the practice. Recently I was frustrated enough about this problem that I reached out to Pittsburgh MC and advocate Jasiri X about creating something to highlight the injustice. I pitched him the idea of flipping legendary Brooklyn MC Biggie Smalls' classic "The 10 Crack Commandments" to "The #10FriskCommandments." I told him if he wrote it, I'd shoot and direct it. Check it out and also check out ColorOfChange.org's petition to stop stop and frisk.
Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.