Statement by Carl Dix

Outrageous Ruling by Federal Court on Stop-and-Frisk

November 4, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On October 31, a panel of judges on the federal appeals court in New York City delivered a slap in the face to the millions of people who have been harassed, disrespected, and worse under the NYPD's racist stop-and-frisk policy, to all the people who don't want to live in a society where people are criminalized because of the color of their skin and to the 10,000s of people who have marched and spoken out against stop-and-frisk.

Press Conference November 1, 2013 to protest federal appeals court ruling on stop-and-frisk.

An October 31 press conference denounced the Federal Appeals Court ruling that halted reform of stop-and-frisk laws. Carl Dix said, "This is a major attack on the rights of Black and Latino people." He urged people to step out and oppose this now. Photo: Special to Revolution

The appeals court issued a stay of a lower court ruling that the NYPD's approach to stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional. The appeals court also stayed the remedies the lower court had set in motion to reform stop-and-frisk. Going further, the appeals court dressed down the lower court judge, Shira Scheindlin, claiming that she acted improperly by bringing the case onto her calendar as a related case and for failing to maintain the appearance of impartiality and removed her from the case. On top of being a major attack on the rights of Black and Latino people, this ruling sends a chilling message to anybody, whether in the legal arena or not, that they better not stand with the people on the bottom of society in the face of attacks from the powers-that-be.

This appeals court ruling is a major attack on the rights of Black and Latino people. It is a statement that, once again, this system is determined to treat the basic and fundamental rights of Black and Latino people as "up for arbitration" and, in this instance, something to be denied at the whim of those who hold power. Once again, white supremacy is legally consecrated by this system.

This has been the case since the very beginning—from slavery days when Africans were dragged to these shores in chains and worked from can't see in the morning to can't see at night to build up the wealth and power of America. Thru the century of Jim Crow segregation when Black people were sharecroppers on the same plantations, being cheated by many of the same plantation masters, who had enslaved them and their ancestors, and who were kept down by Ku Klux Klan and lynch mob terror. Up thru the period after World War 2, when millions of Black people migrated to cities across the U.S. to end up on the bottom tier of the work force, faced with discrimination, police terror, and inequality wherever they turned.

And it continues today, with the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, the intensifying nationwide epidemic of police murder in which killings of unarmed, innocent people by cops has become almost a daily occurrence. And with the horrific reality of mass incarceration and all its consequences, which comes down to a slow genocide that could easily become a fast one aimed at Black and Latino people.

All along the way, there have been legal decisions that made white supremacy the law of the land. This goes back to 1857, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared, in the Dred Scott decision, that Black people "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." It continued thru judicial decisions that literally overruled the rights granted to freed slaves by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution and made separate and "unequal" the law of the land in the late 1800s; thru the exoneration of the white men who lynched Emmett Till in 1954; thru not guilty verdicts in the rare cases where cops end up in court facing charges for having brutalized and even murdered people; and thru the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. This tradition legally consecrates white supremacy. It is unacceptable, and it must be stopped!

The brutal oppression of Black people has been deeply embedded into the very fabric of this system from the very beginning, and it will take revolution, nothing less, to deal with it, once and for all. Things don't have to be this way. We should live in a society where those entrusted with public security would sooner risk their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person, and where the legal system would protect people's rights, not criminalize them. To bring that kind of society into being will take a revolution.

We in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are building a movement for revolution. We have the leadership needed to make revolution and bring a totally different and far better way for people to live into being in Bob Avakian. The RCP has laid out the vision and strategic plan for making revolution in its statement, "On the Strategy for Revolution," and for building a new society in a country like this in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) [CNSRNA].

If you hate the horrors this system inflicts on humanity and want to see them ended, you need to get with the movement for revolution. Watch the DVD, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS! Read and engage the CSNRNA and the strategy statement. Join us in spreading BA's voice and his works and the need for and possibility of revolution everywhere. And join us in Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution.

And if you have an ounce of justice in your heart, join us in rejecting this ruling and calling for an end to stop-and-frisk as part of saying NO MORE to the whole slow genocide of mass incarceration and all its consequences. A very broad fight needs to be waged over this. There will and should be ongoing struggle over the bigger question of revolution – but getting with the revolution is not a "prerequisite" for acting. EVERYONE who finds it outrageous that people are being criminalized because of the color of their skin should be taking action NOW. This needs to be taken up in neighborhoods all across NYC. Religious leaders must address it in their sermons. Students and faculty must mobilize people to take this on in the high schools and on college campuses.

Everybody needs to refuse to turn their heads and walk away in the face of this outrage but should step out and oppose this. NOW. This appeals court ruling must be denounced and rejected, and we have to blow the whistle on stop-and-frisk.

See also: "Behind the Outrageous Ruling in the Stop-and-Frisk Lawsuit"

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