Stop and frisk

I never met Questlove, but when I was a little kid, my aunt and cousins lived in Bartram Village, where we could hang out in the stairwell and listen to Lee Andrews (Questlove’s father) and the Hearts practice their harmonies. When I listened to his story about the constant indignity of “stop and frisk,” I wanted to cry — especially when a Philadelphia cop explained to him he was driving the “wrong” car.

Democracy Now:

On the heels of this week’s historic ruling declaring the “stop-and-frisk” tactics of the New York City Police Department unconstitutional, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots joins us to talk about his own experiences being racially profiled by police. Questlove describes the first time he was harassed by police, as a young teenager in Philadelphia on his way to Bible study, to the most recent: being pulled over in his car by the NYPD two weeks ago, despite being one of the most acclaimed artists in hip-hop. He also discusses the message he took away as an African-American male from the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin: “You’re guilty no matter what, and you just now have to figure out a way to make everyone feel safe and everyone feel comfortable, even if it’s at the expense of your own soul.”

One thought on “Stop and frisk

  1. When you’re living in a corporatist-fascist police state the oligarchy (1%) doesn’t need to pick on everybody. Although everybody must be monitored. In such an environment you need only harass the “other” to keep the rest of us in line.
    Those in the lower economic strata who are different in appearance from everybody else become the victims of all of us. We share in their victimization by either supporting the tactics of the police (conservatives) or by remaining silent when it’s obvious that we should be speaking up to right the wrong (most of the rest of us most of the time).
    We have seen the fascist police state and it is us.

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