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Op-Ed Brings Fear of Cops to Life

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Young Black Man Describes Living Under "Stop-and-Frisk"

Philly Mayor Michael Nutter, Editorial Cartoonist 

Reporter Found N. Korea "as Mysterious as It Is Brutal"

Syracuse's Newhouse School Voted Tops in Poll

In North Carolina, "The Last Man to Die for a Mistake"?

Dutch Magazine Apologizes for Calling Rihanna the N-Word

African Praises Hitchens as Critic of Superstition

Short Takes

Young Black Man Describes Living Under "Stop-and-Frisk"

It's been a while since a young black man wrote such an opinion piece in the New York Times, and on Monday, the comments were cut off at 634. There were more, though, in other social media.

Nicholas K. Peart, 23, has been stopped and frisked by New York police officers at least five times. (Credit: Ashley Gilbertson/VII, for The New York Times) ". . . One evening in August of 2006, I was celebrating my 18th birthday with my cousin and a friend. We were staying at my sister’s house on 96th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan and decided to walk to a nearby place and get some burgers," Nicholas K. Peart wrote for the Sunday Review section in a piece headlined, "Why Is the N.Y.P.D. After Me?"

"It was closed so we sat on benches in the median strip that runs down the middle of Broadway. We were talking, watching the night go by, enjoying the evening when suddenly, and out of nowhere, squad cars surrounded us. A policeman yelled from the window, 'Get on the ground!'

"I was stunned. And I was scared. Then I was on the ground — with a gun pointed at me.

". . . For young people in my neighborhood, getting stopped and frisked is a rite of passage. We expect the police to jump us at any moment. We know the rules: don’t run and don’t try to explain, because speaking up for yourself might get you arrested or worse. And we all feel the same way — degraded, harassed, violated and criminalized because we’re black or Latino. Have I been stopped more than the average young black person? I don’t know, but I look like a zillion other people on the street. And we’re all just trying to live our lives."

Susan Lehman, deputy editor of Sunday Review, explained how the unusual op-ed came to be. "I received a number of submissions about NYPD's Stop and Frisk Operations, a topic of continuing interest," she told Journal-isms through a Times spokeswoman by email. "Most of the pieces were policy type analysis. It occurred to me that most readers probably had no idea that the NYPD stopped and frisked 600,000 citizens last year and that the best way to bring the various issues to life was to find someone who could describe his/her own experience. I told a number of people in justice fields what I had in mind and one directed me to Nicholas Peart."

Sunita Patel, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, told Journal-isms that she had recommended Peart, who had agreed to be part of Floyd vs. City of New York, a class action suit filed in 2008 that alleges a widespread policy of suspicionless stops. The case is before Judge Shira A. Schiendlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. "I thought Nicholas' story was very representative," Patel said. "The comments on Facebook and Twitter have been inspiring. It's moving to me that so many people can identify with his experience," she said. Many whites, especially, Patel said, were unaware of the police practices Peart described.

Peart wrote in his essay, "As a teenager, I was quiet and kept to myself. I’m about to graduate from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and I have a stronger sense of myself after getting involved with the Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a neighborhood organization in Harlem. We educate young people about their rights when they’re stopped by the police and how to stay safe in those interactions. I have talked to dozens of young people who have had experiences like mine. And I know firsthand how much it messes with you. Because of them, I’m doing what I can to help change things and am acting as a witness in a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights to stop the police from racially profiling and harassing black and brown people in New York."


Philly Mayor Michael Nutter, Editorial Cartoonist

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter filled in Monday for Signe Wilkinson, the Philadelphia Daily News' editorial cartoonist.

"In the spirit of seasonal peace, famed editorial cartoonist Michael Nutter drew today's Daily News editorial cartoon," Wilkinson wrote Monday on her Facebook page. "More to come later in the week!"

Mayor Michael NutterShe told blogger Jim Romenesko: ". . . Tomorrow Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans fills in. Wednesday is City Councilwoman Marian Tasco and Thursday Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley. With the last two contributions, I’ve significantly upped the number of women editorial cartoonists in America.

"I offered the spot to a number of local pols whom I’ve drawn (and quartered) over the year and assured them they could take on whatever or whomever they wanted, including me and my paper."

Some of those evaluating Nutter's cartoon on Wilkinson's page were less than kind.

"Looks like Nutter working with his buddies at the Chamber of Commerce, sweeping things out of sight," said one. "They already managed to 'work together' to sweep earned sick days away from Philadelphia's working people. He's a tremendous disappointment."

Another said, "Look's like [they're] sweeping more dirt under I-95 to me..lmbo MERRY CHIRSTMAS EVERYONE....."

Reporter Found N. Korea "as Mysterious as It Is Brutal"

Kim Jong Il spoke to his countrymen only once. (Credit:"National Post reporter Peter Goodspeed is one of the few western journalists to have ventured inside the Kim Jong-il’s Hermit Kingdom," Canada's National Post wrote on Monday, the morning after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il died.

"He has seen the grey, empty streets, the 'plodding, determined, stoic and sullen' people as they go about their daily life; he has heard the officials 'worshipping' the now-dead Kim Jong-il as their god.

"In a five-part series six years ago, Mr. Goodspeed described it as 'an experience that mixes the theatrics of The Wizard of Oz with the megalomania of ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.' During his tour of North Korea, he visited the grave of Mr. Kim’s father, toured a school with a curriculum heavily laden with propaganda, was invited to feast with the elite in a country where most of the people are starving, and saw for himself how the threat of war hangs over the country. Inside the Hermit Kingdom is a fascinating insight into a reclusive, autocratic country that is as mysterious as it is brutal."

In Foreign Policy, Isaac Stone Fish wrote Monday, "It's probably the most difficult country in the world on which to report.

He began his story, "In an age of connection, it's both refreshing and sobering to think that most North Koreans have probably heard Kim Jong Il's voice only once. In 1992 he stood next to his father, then-President Kim Il Sung, and shouted the words 'Glory to the heroic soldiers of the Korean People's Army!' And that was it."

Syracuse's Newhouse School Voted Tops in Poll

"Respondents made a clear choice in the first ever NewsPro Top Journalism Schools poll, selecting Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications as the top J-school in the country," [PDF] Jarre Fees reported for the NewsPro magazine of

"Syracuse easily claimed the top spot, followed by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, University of Missouri at Columbia School of Journalism and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

"The survey was distributed to and NewsPro readers, with 438 respondents participating.

"Placing just below the top five were Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, New York University’s [Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute], the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs."

Army Spec. David E. Hickman, shown at Al Asad Air Base in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, was killed in Iraq on Nov. 14. (Credit: Courtesy of Zack Zornes via the Washington Post)

In North Carolina, "The Last Man to Die for a Mistake"?

"To find Army Spec. David Emanuel Hickman on the morning after his unit returned to Fort Bragg from Iraq, you had to drive 100 miles north, to his home town," J. Freedom du Lac reported from Greensboro, N.C., Sunday for the Washington Post. "Up Highway 29, less than two clicks from the northeast Greensboro cul-de-sac where he grew up, Hickman was in Lot 54 in the Garden of Peace at Lakeview Memorial Park Cemetery.

"Freshly turned red soil covered his coffin, which went into the ground two weeks and a day before he was due home. There were two shriveled carnations on the damp dirt. There was no marker yet, no indication that this was a soldier’s grave.

"Hickman, 23, was killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb that ripped through his armored truck Nov. 14 — eight years, seven months and 25 days after the U.S. invasion of Iraq began.

"He was the 4,474th member of the U.S. military to die in the war, according to the Pentagon.

"And he may have been the last.

"With the final U.S. combat troops crossing out of Iraq into Kuwait, those who held Hickman dear are struggling to come to terms with the particular poignancy of his fate. As the unpopular war that claimed his life quietly rumbles to a close, you can hear within his inner circle echoes of John F. Kerry’s famous 1971 congressional testimony on Vietnam:

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

" 'Thank God if David is the last one to die, because that means nobody else will have to go through this,' said Logan Trainum, one of Hickman’s closest friends. 'But it’s crazy that he died. No matter your position on this war — if you’re for or against it — I think everybody thinks we shouldn’t have been over there anymore.' ”

Dutch Magazine Apologizes for Calling Rihanna the N-Word

Rihanna (Credit:"In an article published in the latest issue of Dutch fashion magazine Jackie, the magazine offers a little advice on how to dress like Rihanna without looking like the 'ultimate niggerbitch.' That’s right," Parlour magazine reported. "No typo there. Check out the full English translation below:

" 'She has street cred, she has a ghetto ass and she has a golden throat. Rihanna, the good girl gone bad, is the ultimate niggabitch and displays that gladly, and for her that means: what’s on can come off. If that means she’ll be on stage half naked, then so be it. But Dutch winters aren’t like Jamaican ones, so pick a clothing style in which your daughter can resist minus ten. No to the big sunglasses and the pornheels, and yes to the tiger print, pink shizzle and everything that glitters. Now let’s hope she won’t beat anybody up at daycare.' "

Jackie Editor in Chief Eva Hoeke posted an apology on the magazine’s Facebook page in which she said, ". . . While the author meant no harm — the title of the article was intended as a joke — it was a bad joke, to say the least."

African Praises Hitchens as Critic of Superstition

"Africa has just lost one of its greatest allies in the fight for human rights," Michael Mungai wrote Sunday for the Huffington Post. "The death of Christopher Hitchens, one of the most prolific adversaries of pernicious superstitions, is a big blow, especially to a continent where children and elderly women are subjected to physical harm on suspicion of witchcraft."

Mungai is the co-founder of Dagoretti 4 Kids, an East African organization whose mission includes, "To protect the orphaned, neglected, abandoned, abused and misused children in our community."

"While the legendary author will be missed in the West for his outspoken criticism on political issues," Mungai continued, "some of us in Africa will miss him for his stand against religious impunity, which is responsible for disease, political instability, and deaths in the world's most impoverished continent.

" 'The Hitch,' one of the most brilliant minds that I have ever encountered, will be remembered for his audacious renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI's (and his predecessor's) rejection of condoms' efficacy against HIV/AIDS in Africa. I have personally witnessed women dying of AIDS back home in Nairobi, Kenya, based on the fraudulent opinion that condoms aggravate the spread of the dreaded disease. Hitchens exposed how religious dogma by the Church has been held paramount to African lives. He stood for justice no matter how powerful and influential the transgressors were."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Response of Ali Zelenko of Time Inc.


Wow! What a dismissive response. Clearly, Zelenko feels she can ignore legitimate requests about staffing when it comes to black and brown people. Would “Time” blow off “60 Minutes?” Or questions from Bloomberg? No! What’s the big deal about giving Journal=isms the racial head count? Minorities already  know what time it is. The clock is ticking backwards. 


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