Conor Friedensdorf writes about how the NYPD police commissioner has been brought up as a potential Secretary of Homeland Security, and how Obama has praised him. This is a problem:
Under Ray Kelly, the NYPD infiltrated Muslim communities and spied onhundreds or perhaps thousands of totally innocent Americans at mosques, colleges, and elsewhere. Officers “put American citizens under surveillance and scrutinized where they ate, prayed and worked, not because of charges of wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity,” AP reported, citing NYPD documents. Informants were paid to bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements. The NYPD even conducted surveillance on Muslim Americansoutside its jurisdiction, drawing a rebuke from an FBI field office, where a top official charged that “the department’s surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created ‘additional risks’ in counterterrorism.”
Friedensdorf highlights the hypocrisy of liberal elites, who denounce some profilers (like Sheriff Arpaio) but is at the very least implicitly endorsing racial profiling when it comes from other whom they like a bit better.
Racial and ethnic profiling isn’t a dealbreaker for Democratic elites anymore. A few Democratic congressmen are speaking up. But the Democratic establishment is largely fine with Kelly, just like they’re mostly willing to extol the leadership of his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg…So long as you have the right persona, come from the northeast, and refrain from attacking prominent Democrats, racial and ethnic profiling is tolerated.
Below the fold: The overlooked Supreme Court decision that could make it really difficult to file harassment charges at work, and Jelani Cobb’s take on the Riot paranoia surrounding the Zimmerman trial.
Elsewhere on The Atlantic, Kay Steiger writes about the recent Supreme Court decision that no-one talks about, but which could make filing harassment charges incredibly difficult in the future:
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Vance v. Ball State University does something subtle, but with far-reaching effects: It narrows the definition of the word “supervisor.”
And, worryingly, though Vance v. Ball State was about racial harassment, there’s no reason it wouldn’t apply to other kinds of protections provided for in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, including sexual harassment and harassment due to religion. This is a ruling likely to disproportionately affect women, since, according to data collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, just 16.3 percent of the more than 11,000 sexual harassment charges filed in fiscal year 2011 were from men.
Read it here for more details.
Jelani Cobb, whose coverage on the topic has been by far the best I have read (read everything here) writes about the Riots that were supposed to occur after the Trial, but which of course didn’t – because, you know, maybe people of color are not intrinsically violent.
The Zimmerman alarmists fit into a broader, increasingly popular narrative, wherein whites are the primary victims of racism. It’s not solely a matter of historical revisionism—it’s also contemporary revisionism, reflecting a skewed perspective on the events in Sanford, Florida, and what followed them. Thousands of people gathered without hostility in cities across the country last year to ask that Zimmerman be arrested, and that the justice system be given a real chance to work. They sought legal redress, not bloodletting.
Read it, it’s thought-provoking and lyrical.