Rush Arts Gallery will be having a closing reception for Post Code Criminals, a collaboration with artist Dread Scott and Joan Kushner this Sat October 20th from 3pm-6pm. This collaboration focuses on Brooklyn NYC and Liverpool UK youth as they respond to the Stop and Frisk policy using cell phone photography.
Proposed by New York based artist Dread Scott, Post Code Criminals is a eye-opening exhibit that puts a face on the people being affected by this stop and frisk policy. Here is a clip that gives great insight into this project.
When I saw this exhibit I was shocked at how parallel the Brooklyn, New York males lives were to the males living on the other side of the world in Liverpool UK. As a woman I’ve never been stopped and frisked but have heard many accounts from my african american male friends who have been. People will say “it’s how they dress” but I actually disagree I think it’s less of the dress here in New York and more of your nationality, as two of my friends who were stopped are professional men no hoodie or fitted cap on “not that that should make the least bit of a difference” and one was actually handcuffed and searched. I feel fear and improper training of officers contribute to so many unwarranted stops. If you put a white cops from long island whose never had much interaction with minorities and then you place them in the middle of the hood or a primarily black section of course they are going to be fearful and tense which can and does make for unnecessary tension between the police and the community. When I watched the 3 black males from Brooklyn speak about how many times they’d been stopped I felt a sadness because to me none of them fit the “thug” stereotype. For goodness sake one guy had on a Hollister shirt with converse sneakers on,my initial thought wasn’t oh he’s a thug I thought what a handsome black man. Maybe it was his dark skin and dreads that took him into the “thug” category as he’d been stopped over 80 times?
Looking at the males from liverpool who are constantly being stopped, they were much different than our males in Brooklyn New York. First the males in Liverpool UK weren’t all black, actually it appeared to have more to do with your social class and your dress verses your race. In Liverpool UK the children can’t walk in groups,wear hoodies or even stay out past a implemented curfew. One of the males that really stood out to me was a local track celebrity who will probably be in the olympics next year, everyone knows him there and he gets stopped at least 7 times a week. Protection for the people? Or harassment on the youth?
Please come and make your own decisions on the Stop and Search/Stop and Frisk policy Sat Oct 20th 3pm-6pm at Rush Galleries located at 526 W 26th Street Suite 311OR you can tune in to my live stream by clicking here. There will be great giveaways from Jlani Jewels and live performances. This event is free and all are welcome.
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