We would like to think we are living in a ‘post racial’ society, where someone would be judged based on their merits rather than the color of their skin or national origin or religion. But we only need look at the last political election to realize that racial and other discrimination issues continue to exist, along with a rising ‘victim mentality’ in the white and Christian majority communities that complicates any progress towards finally ending the conflict.
The issues trickle down to the way people are treated by police, and has been detailed by a group calling themselves “Racism Still Exists” (RISE), who have been putting up posters in bus shelters around New York City for the past several months like the one pictured at the top.
Here is some of the data they are sharing:
In 2010: 52 percent of the 601,285 stops were of black people (Blacks make up about 26% of the City population), and of the 32,375 black people stopped for having a “suspicious bulge,” exactly one was found to have a pistol.
In 2011: 685,724 stops were made in New York City in 2011; 88% of those stopped were not charged with any crime; 84% of those stopped were African-American or Latino (via MSNBC).
For the past couple of decades crime in NYC has been on the decline, but has recently started rising again, so it is unclear if any claims of increased patrolling reducing crime can be made. What do you think?