Skip to main content

The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative.

Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservative. -Malcolm X

I have a co-worker who is a pleasant cat. I've talked with him about the uneven performance by the Cardinals this season,how good Mr-T looks for his age and rather Tolstoy was a Christian anarchist or a Christian insurgent. But yesterday at work the topic of Stop-and-Frisk came up. The discussion began well enough, but I knew my white male co-worker (who hails from NY) was about to drop a load when he said "I'm a liberal, but. . ."

Just as in the past when white people would say, "Some of my best friends are black, but . . .", the trope used above has become a signifier of imminent verbal violence.

This a man who supported Obama, as he told me again and again, and who generally, I assume, supports the Democratic Party. That, however, doesn't mean he doesn't harbor racist views, or hold positions that harm black and brown people.

Supporters of Stop-and-Frisk are quick to point out that crime has fallen in NYC since the last two Mayors took over. But crime has dropped all over the country including in places like Chicago and L.A. In fact the New York Times Magazine ran a story last month on how LA has reduced crime sans S&F. Social scientists and criminologists have been stumped when asked to explain the drastic drop in violent crime America has seen since the mid 1990s. One explanation, which is getting a lot of attention, concerns the reduction of the presence of lead. Mother Jones published a great piece hereon the subject. So no person can say with validity that the Giuliani-Bloomberg policies are responsible for the drop in crime in NYC, given the contextual evidence.

Moreover, S&F, despite what some may say, doesn't just call for stopping brown and black men in brown and black neighborhoods where crime may be high. From the Judge'sruling striking down the policy:

The NYPD carries out more stops where there are more black and Hispanic residents, even when other relevant variables are held constant. The racial composition of a precinct or census tract predicts the stop rate above and beyond the crime rate.p> (2) Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to be stopped within precincts and census tracts, even after controlling for other relevant variables. This is so even in areas with low crime rates, racially heterogenous populations, or predominately white populations.
So the NYPD was stopping black and brown people in low-crime neighborhoods, that were mostly white by the way, for what reason other than skin color? There is no answer because proponents of S&F would then be forced to admit that the policy is racial profiling, which is illegal. And if the NYPD was illegally profiling black and brown men in white communities with little crime, then one can rest assured they were carrying out the same unconstitutional practice in black and brown hoods, which is why the judge declared the policy illegal.

The next line you hear is what my dear co-worker argued: "Yeah, but 10% of the people stopped had done something illegal, so that the shows the policy is effective."That 10% number consisted mostly of weed possession charges, which is an absurd waste of resources, as the growing consensus on the issue demonstrates.

There is no logical or empirical defense of S&F. And the reason many white NY liberals support the policy, and reelected Giuliani-Bloomberg, is that they want to feel safe with policies like S&F and egomaniacs like G&B.

I asked my co-worker if it is right for a black dude in Bed-Stuy to be stopped just so a white person on the UES can feel safer; the white liberal co-worker, without hesitation, replied "Yes. Because those people pay taxes."

That's the sentiment that allowed Giuliani-Bloomberg to be reelected in a city that is called the liberal capital in America. But anyone who visits NY knows that the city has a rich history of racist violence against people of color and black people more specifically. Bell, Hawkins, Diallo, Louima are just a few of the black men that have been slaughtered by the NYPD. White liberals stood by and supported the politicians who encouraged the environment that made it okay to kill black men.

The connection between the black liberation fight and white liberals has always been fraught with tension, as evidenced by the words of Malcolm X above. But when I hear people say some white liberals in NY support S&F so that must mean something, all I can do is shake my head;I know it means a lot more than white liberals are willing to admit.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site