The Daily Outrage

The CCR blog

New York's Latest Export: Broken Windows and Stop and Frisk

Last week, CCR reposted a new video by dozens of activists about Black-Palestinian solidarity, “When I see them, I see us.” It draws attention to the parallels between the experiences of Palestinians living under military occupation and African Americans contending with militarized police forces in their communities. In particular, the video highlights the killing of Palestinian civilians and unarmed Black people in the U.S.

But for anyone who missed the point that Black people and Palestinians alike are subject to profiling and systemic state violence, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a helpful illustration during his trip to Israel this past weekend. De Blasio recommended the city’s “broken windows” policing methodology to leaders combating anti-Semitism. In theory, broken windows is about preventing serious crimes by cracking down on minor offenses. In reality, of course, it is a recipe for racial profiling that has resulted in the wholesale harassment of entire communities of color, with sometimes deadly consequences.

There’s more. Even as de Blasio was offering NYPD-inspired advice in his speech at the Holocaust Museum, broken windows’ offspring, stop and frisk, was making news in Israel. Sunday’s headlines reported “Government approves new 'stop and frisk' authority for police,” a move decried by Israeli civil rights groups, who say it is “selectively enforced against minorities including Arabs or dark skinned men.”

The pretext under which heavy-handed policing targets “suspect” communities varies slightly – deterrence against crime in the U.S. and against terrorism in Israel and occupied Palestine – but the intent, the methodology, and the resulting profiling and violence are the same.

When I see them, I see us.

Last modified 

December 14, 2015