by Yvette Carnell
In his radio commentary on Tuesday, CNN’s Don Lemon defended the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy, asking listeners whether they’d rather be safe or politically correct.
Commenting on today’s mayoral election in New York, Lemon said the outcome of whatever choice voters make could mean the end to “stop and frisk.”
“If you question many people in New York City, even some black and Hispanic people,” Lemon asserted. “They will tell you that on the surface they don’t really have an issue with stop-question-and-frisk. Not the idea of it, at least. Not if the controversial policy was conducted like the occasional, random airport screening.”
Lemon said minorities want to be treated nicely and have officers to ask, “Sir, I’m sorry, but I need to check your bag and your person,” but then added, “they know that that’s not the reality of things on the street.” (Yes, somehow Don Lemon knows how things go down “on the street” now.)
“They know that in reality they will probably be ordered to put their hands up, spread their legs, or lay on the ground and be handcuffed while an officer or officers have their ways with them,” explained Lemon, “touching them wherever they’d like or handling them however they’d like.”
Lemon somberly asked, “would you rather be politically correct or safe and alive? That’s the real issue facing the citizens of New York and, pretty soon, ultimately you.”
Let’s upack this: First, the idea that the only two choices available to citizens are being politically correct or safe is, in itself, a false framing. Remember when black lawmakers pushed for mandatory minimum sentences as the only way to keep black neighborhoods safe? How’d that turn out?
Race spokesman Don Lemon then boldly asserted, without any polling data to back it up, that as minorities, “we’d rather be inconvenienced by being stopped by police than shot by gun-wielding criminals on the street.”
He then bemoaned the possibility of an increase in crime if the “stop and frisk” policy outlawed, not acknowledging studies which show that crime reductions as a result of “stop and frisk” are nominal:
“Stop and frisk appears to have been an effective city-wide strategy against murder resulting in a drop of -.0002 murders per thousand people for each increase of one stop per thousand,” they find. But for other violent offenses, namely assault and rape, the results are nonexistent. Further, they find declining returns to scale on most crimes, which suggests that paring back stops could have relatively small costs even in regards to crimes where stop and frisk was found to work.
What CNN’s Don Lemon does not understand, among at least a thousand other things, is that the fervor of opposition aimed at “stop and frisk” isn’t over political correctness, but the Constitution. It is the Constitution that bans unreasonable search and seizure, and if Lemon would take a moment away from the spotlight, he could wrap his head around that.
In siding with the NYPD, Lemon is acknowledging that black men like himself don’t have the same rights as whites under the Constitution, which is a remarkably backward pronouncement, even a throwback to Jim Crow America.
The more Don Lemon talks the worse it seems to get. Please, Black America. Get your boy.