Talib Kweli appeared earlier today at a police reform rally outside of City Hall in New York City, New York. The Brooklyn native gave an impassioned speech that criticized the stop-and-frisk practices, claiming that it encourages racial profiling through legislation and that he will not support it.
“In a fair and equal world, stop-and-frisk might make sense,” he said. “But we don’t live in a fair and equal world. We live in a world where not everyone starts at the same place. We live in a world that was built on the backs of slaves, some of them are still buried right here under City Hall. You understand what I’m saying?”
He continued by addressing Mayor Bloomberg’s position on stop-and-frisk that says it’s only done on reasonable suspicion and not the color of one’s skin. “I heard that man say that no one should ever be racially profiled,” he continued. “What world does that man live in? I don’t know, I don’t live in that world. You can’t stop racism with laws. You can’t legislate compassion. We will not allow you to support policies that encourage racism. We will not allow you to support policies that encourage racism. We will not stand for it. We will not stand to the side, we won’t have it.”
Kwe also spoke with AnimalNewYork at the rally, explaining how he thinks that the police have a poor relationship with the community by focusing more on control than protection.
“Police have an adverse relationship with any poor minority community, because they’re brought in to control it and to protect the rights of the people who own the property as opposed to supporting and protecting the rights of people. I think the main problem is that we have police who don’t have to live [in] and have to deal with communities. They deal with it as a foreign entity, instead of something that’s part of it,” he said. “An ideal NYPD? It’s something that benefits and serves the people. It’s something that the people can depend on. With policies like stop and frisk, they’re destroying the little… whatever’s left of the relationship that the community has with the police.”