Earlier this week I had a conversation with a friend, a very conservative Republican, about the Stop and Frisk ruling. His comment to me was “I can’t understand how you and other liberals can applaud the ruling. Don’t you realize that you have condemned the youth you supposedly support to an uncertain future? Don’t you realize how many African-American and Latino youth are going to be killed because this ruling handcuffs the police and does not allow them to do their job?”
I’ve known this person for years and would be one of the first to say that he doesn’t have racist bone in his body. That being said, it goes to show how misinformed many people are and how little they know about what it really means to be an African-American. His comments to me sounded like something I could have heard by watching FOX News.
So now all of a sudden there’s a concern about the lives of African-American youth? Is that really the case? I don’t need to share the statistics. It’s a well-known fact that Stop and Frisk did not yield the results that it’s proponents touted. When looking at the broader picture Stop and Frisk did accomplish something: it instilled fear. The same fear that the overseer used to control the master’s slaves. The fear of control. The fear among many youths that they better stay in line or else they’ll end up becoming part of the system.
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility.
The Marketplace is an educational and charitable organization formed for the purpose of promoting and supporting programs, initiatives, and events that address the needs of culturally diverse and economically challenged youth.