Month: August 2013

Is It Worth the Frisk?

This week, a U.S. District Judge ruled that New York’s policy of patting down suspected ne’er do wells known as “Stop and Frisk” was unconstitutional. Stop and Frisk will be allowed to continue, though Judge Shira Scheindlin had ordered that an independent monitoring agency oversee changes in the NYPD related to the policy.

Some of the things the as-yet-to-be-determined agency might find interesting include the following:

  • Last year, 87% of the people stopped under stop and frisk were Black or Latino–groups that make up less than 50% of NYC’s population.

  • Only about 1.9% of Stops and Frisks lead to police finding guns. Police were almost twice as likely to find guns on whites than minorities.

  • NYPD officers stopped young black men 168,000 times. Only 158,000 young black men live in NYC

  • Only about 6% of Stops and Frisks lead to arrests

In addition to the numbers on the page, there was also this video where a young man was stopped and frisked twice in just a few blocks. When he tried to point this out to the officers, they didn’t take it too well.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg plans to appeal the ruling. He has also said in the past that the best way to deal with Stop and Frisks is to be “cooperative” and to accept the policy as a part of urban life.

You might read the above and think it’s unfair. It might sound like a law enforcement tactic really went off the rails.  It might sound like people are being profiled and rights are being violated.

Even if all of that is true, don’t be sad. Be ready.

Here are three things you can do to make sure that your Stop and Frisk experience is as painless as possible.

1. Always wear cashmere. Just like a real lady is never under-dressed  neither should an of color be in New York City. Class it up by investing in a variety of high quality cashmere satin shirts, pants, jackets, dresses, rain coats, corsets, vests, turtlenecks, socks, and shoes and you’ll be ready when a cop starts patting you down. The officer will be so distracted by the glorious texture and your excellent taste that they won’t even notice that gun you’re not carrying. In a pinch, velveteen will do.

2. Stay Moisturized. By keeping your skin moist, smooth and supple, those rough cop hands will slide right over your trembling body, no matter how much you struggle to hide that handful of 57 Splenda packets you took from Hugo’s. Sure they’re not illegal, but it is an embarrassing stash.

3. Be Flexible. Not just with your opinions on social justice, but with your actual body. They’re going to get all up in there, so don’t fight. Let ‘em get all up in there. You never know what they’re going to not find, so practice holding that grand battement and let them have a good ol’ fashioned look around.

Have you been stopped or frisked? What do you think of the ruling? Let us know in the comments!


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Rules Were Made to Be Broken…

…or at least to find workarounds…

One of the most important Oreo rules is that we do not fraternize with other of colors.

Be the only one in a crowd and you add just enough color to make things interesting. You provide a resource for people to ask all those questions they know are annoying, so they realize it’s in their best interest not to ask an RBP never got to ask before. You give people an out when they’re accused of living a sheltered life. You add a touch of surprise and joy when you karaoke to Carrie Underwood instead of Queen Bey. You are a precious gift. Like saffron or a unicorn. Doing your golden unicorn thing.

Show up as two of a kind and you look like a gang. Date another black and you’ve gone from being interesting and worldly to just being predictable. Start pairing up with other of colors and you run the risk of commiserating about society’s structural inequalities, making plans to attend an August Wilson festival, wondering if you do spend too much time and money erasing all the ethnicity out of your hair, and forgetting every single one of your favorite frittata recipes.

So as a young Oreo, you make a promise to never even look twice at another member of the tribe and all is good and right with the world.

Except for days like today when you accidentally watch a trailer for Lee Danile’s The Butler.

I know, I know. Dangerous territory here. It’s a slippery slope from checking out what skinny Forrest Whitaker is up to to thinking to yourself: “I don’t know, maybe Precious based on the novel Push by Sapphire isn’t so bad,” to saying aloud:  “Sure, there are some problems in the denouement, but Madea does make me laugh,” to screaming: “Fuck it, break out the fried okra, let’s put on a do-rag and watch Roots!”

Also dangerous: One Mr. David Oyelowo who stars in this film.


Those eyes. That jaw line. That smirk. Goddarn that smirk. Goddarn it right to heck!!! That way that suit hangs on that shoulder. That…accent?

Fortunately, I hadn’t snapped to my senses and turned off the TV, so I heard a snippet of a soundbite and it turns out he sounds like this:

He’s British! That’s about as far from being an RBP as you can possibly get. The Queen’s English isn’t in the same vein as Ebonics. It’s not even in the same hemisphere!

(…I think..geogrraphy wasn’t my strongest subject)

This star crush might be safe after all.

Watching that preview and invoking the knowledge of Tyler Perry definitely wasn’t, safe however. So please excuse me, I’m going to catch up on my Downton Abbey reruns and practice some Monsters and Men for my next karaoke night.

What do you think? Should I sandwich Mr. Oyelowo in between Hugh Grant and John Slattery (happy birthday to him today, btw!) on my celebrity freebies list? Who are your celebrity crushes? Let us know in the comments!


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Wrong Idea Wedding (VIDEO)

Sometimes you have the best intentions and the worst outcomes.

Special Thanks to:

Director/Editor Shilpi Roy
Director of Photography Anthony Chiappetti Khunz
Producer Reena Dutt
Featuring:  Dan Wingard, Jennifer Meyer, Jason Layden, Scott Narver, Tish Merritt, Gerrard Panahon, Rob Roth, Mark Arana, and Jim McCaffree


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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!