The Taboo of Stop-and-Frisk

Konrad-Schafer-0709

Konrad Schaefer fifteen year old white boy who was arrested for murder last week, who is a very unlikely candidate to be stopped by a police officer if he went out at night with a hoodie.
(Photo by Osceola County Sheriff’s Office)

By Camila Thomas

If you think this article will try to convince you that stop and frisk is legal racism, go back to the main page and forget about this. I am not here to rant about how racist America is and how the system is controlled by white supremacy. No sir. Today, I’m here to say that you, just like the system, are “racist”.

Two days ago, when the jury for the trial of George Zimmerman came to the decision that Zimmerman was not guilty of the shooting of seventeen year-old Trayvon Martin, social media users exploded with comments. Some more ignorant than others, but all with the same message: Zimmerman should be convicted for killing a black boy who did nothing wrong but buy some Skittles at night. Race, inevitably, was involved in the case.

Stop and frisk is doing the same thing Zimmerman did, but making it legal. A police officer has the right to stop anyone that he believes is suspicious. Of course, blacks and Hispanics disagree with this practice because it is “racist”. But is it?

This “system”, which has been around for as long as anyone can remember, is now under the magnifying glass for favoring a certain group of people. White people. Cases like Martin’s and stop and frisk are seen as the reflection of a society that condemns a black man walking around a corner and favors the guy who shot him. To me, this is all racist. But why do I think that way?

Is it because the first thing they mention when the 11 o’clock news anchor talks about a robbery in a store is the accused race? Is it because New York is only the Manhattan, while the rest of the boroughs are “just there”? Is it because I always seem to hear my teachers saying, “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it” and yet I’ve never met a single person who’s gone to college in my street?

Or maybe, just maybe, we have come to a state of mind where everything bad that happens in this country has to do with minorities?

The answer is simple: Regardless of your race, when you hear that News12 anchor talk about an armed robbery, you think “He’s black”. It’s amazing. I’m sure those who are screaming “Justice for Trayvon!” in the streets of Oakland have the same thing passing through their minds when they watch the news on TV.

Nowadays, it’s easy to blame society or the government for problems in the country. It seems like people have forgotten that they are society.

Why be surprised about a Mexican being stopped by the police for walking to his job early in the morning? Why raise your voice in protest for the missing five year-old black girl who went missing on 1990 and was never heard of again while white parents lose sight of their kids for a second and the nation sets off the Amber Alert?
Why, when you, who claim to hate racist people, think twice before asking a black man for directions?

The real problem with stop and frisk should not be race or disparities in the people stopped by the police who get injured and arrested when they are obviously doing nothing to resist them.
Regardless of what made an officer suspect of a person, police officers should not use violence unless it’s necessary. So what if an officer found weed in your pocket? As long as you don’t threaten them, they have no right to hurt you.

Of course, NYPD is not made of nice, gentle people all the time. There are countless cases of officers getting away with beating up people they arrested because they supposedly did what they had to do. People should be worried about that, not of fear of being stopped. Like my mother says, “He who owns nothing, fears nothing”.

The sad reality of this country is this: Protests, riots, strikes, and rallies can change laws, abolish acts, and create bills, but they cannot control ideologies. Perhaps racism is worst once the group affected believes in the stereotypes. Young black men will continue to be stopped twenty years from now.

Stop and frisk is just another way of saying, “Y’all knew this guy was gonna stab someone sooner or later anyways.” Would a black police officer, (yes, there are minorities in the police), stop Konrad Schafer, a fifteen year old white boy who killed a man because he “thought it would be fun”, if he saw him sitting on a park bench at 11 pm? If your answer is “no”, congratulations. You just helped prove my point.

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4 responses to “The Taboo of Stop-and-Frisk

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