Donald Trump today said something so ridiculous as to stand out against his other remarks—in the middle of an effort to reach out to black voters, he said he plans to enact a nationwide version of stop and frisk, New York’s most embarrassing, racist and ineffective practice.
The policy has since been abandoned in New York due to its disproportionately racist effect and lackluster results, which is exactly why Trump wants to bring it back, if his recent remarks are any indication.
“One of the things I’d do,” he said Wednesday, when asked how he’d reduce violence in black communities, “is I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive.”
It worked well, if the metric was profiling young minorities whose only crime was living a poor neighborhood. In fact, it worked so well that at their peak in 2011, police stopped more than 600,000 people, 84 percent of whom were black or latino. According to the ACLU, 88 percent of all the people stopped that year turned out to be innocent. Those are some harrowing psychological effects to inflict based on hunches that keep turning out to be wrong.
And yet... the New York Times reports “largely white audience” before Trump “erupted into applause” over the proposal. The man does know his base.