Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

The New Black Codes: Stop and Frisk

When slavery was legally abolished, a new set of laws called the Black Codes emerged to criminalize legal activity for Blacks. Through the enforcement of these laws, acts such as standing in one area of town or walking at night, became the criminal acts of “loitering” or “breaking curfew,” for which Blacks were imprisoned. Because of Black Codes, the percentage of Blacks in prison grew exponentially, surpassing whites for the first time.

Scene in Western North Carolina. Courtesy of Millions for Reparations

via Rooted in Slavery: Prison Labor Exploitation | Urban Habitat.

The New Black Codes: Stop and Frisk – are unfairly criminalizing overwhelming numbers of young black men. They are arrested and FINGERPRINTED because of minor offenses, if there is any offense at all. Statistics indicate there is a disproportionately small number of arrests because of illegal hands guns. So what exactly does Stop and Frisk reinforce? What does a night in jail reinforce? You do the math: the Social Math.

(Prosperity+Penthouse)(Privilege+Police Protection) = PLACE

(Poverty+Projects)(Perpetrators+Police Persecution) = place

The common denominator here, Personality + Perseverance, who you are and how hard you are willing to work has a universal bearing on ability to beat the social math odds. But lower caps for place in the second equation is not an accident because if you begin with elements perceived to be of lesser value, impacted by negative modifiers, the potential outcome could be affected. Consider the national income averages for Blacks versus the rest of the population.

The false assumption is that everyone in low income areas or the “projects” is a potential perpetrator of a crime, therefore they may be challenged at any time by the police. Sound familiar? In New Mexico, anyone that appears to be Mexican is considered a possible illegal alien and may be stopped, questioned, detained and arrested because they might be a drug trafficker. This sort of Social Math creates unacceptable stereotypes and reinforces place in society, defined and reinforced by social and police policies like Stop & Frisk.

This sort of Social Math isn’t new, it was called the Black Codes after the Civil War, and it continues to equate to inequity in low income communities, which in New York are generally communities of color/immigrant communities.

Social Justice is New Math. It’s about coming up with different conclusions and better solutions. New Math means stop counting your fingers because they look like the rest of your hand and don’t afford different options. New math means count someone else’s capable fingers, with credit where due, in creating equations we can all benefit from. Social Justice demands New Math. There is no room or patience for the Black Codes: Stop & Frisk. Social Justice = New Math.


Filed under: Blacks, Community Green, It Takes A Village, , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. morganpowellny says:

    Thanks Chuck:

    This was an interesting read.

    Treasuring the world we share,

    *Morgan Powell*, Landscape Designer and Farmer November 2013 Conference to watch:


  2. Thanks Chuck:

    This was an interesting read.


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