A New York state senator has proposed legislation that would make it a hate crime to call the police on people of color “without evidence of malice,” the Prospect Heights Patch reported (video below).
New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton’s new legislation would make it a hate crime to call the police on black people if they’re found not to be doing anything wrong when police arrive.
Hamilton, who represents Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Flatbush, proposed the new law just a week ago.
“Living while black is not a crime. But making a false report, especially motivated by hate, should be. Our laws should recognize that false reports with hateful intent can have deadly consequences,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The legislator said he had his own “living while black” experience that inspired the new proposed law on Aug. 9, when a woman called the police on him for speaking negatively about President Donald Trump as he campaigned at Prospect Park subway station.
“That’s gonna be a hate crime,” Hamilton said. “This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop.”
The incident, which Hamilton’s people filmed and of which the senator later posted an edited version, showed the woman wasn’t complaining about the lawmaker’s skin color. She was angry about his politics.
Hamilton was passing out brochures with anti-Trump slogans to those who passed him at the subway stop, and the woman was offended.
In the video, it appeared the angry woman had been handed one of his flyers, and taken umbrage at it.
“I support Trump. And I see the difference between Democrats and Republicans,” the woman told Hamilton, whose campaign staffer was filming and egging the woman on. “And I see the difference between you and Trump.”
“So do you support Jesse Hamilton?” the staffer asked.
The video showed the staffer tried to bait the woman into saying something nasty about the Hamilton specifically, but she was not to be dissuaded from what had gotten her goat.
She held up the flyer and pointed to the words “Fighting Back Trump,” the video showed.
“This should not be here,” the woman ranted at him, clearly irate. “If [Hamilton] really wants nation to be as one and fight for the better life and live the better life, you would not put the slogan here.”
Officers from the 71st Precinct responded to the woman’s call and when they arrived, they patiently explained to the woman, who spoke in heavily-accented English, that what the senator was doing was not illegal, even if she disagreed with his politics, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.
But Hamilton saw the disagreement as a matter that should be criminal, and listed out a number of incidents in recent months involving black people who said the police had only been called on them because of their color.
“This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop,” Hamilton said in a statement, according to The Washington Times. “From a student taking a break at Yale, to a student eating lunch at Smith College, to a child selling lemonade, to a person having a barbecue in Oakland, to an Oregon state legislator knocking on doors – the list goes on and on.”
“These 911 calls are more than frivolous. These 911 calls amount to more than just a waste of police time and resources. These 911 calls are acts of intimidation,” Hamilton said.
A Trump supporter called the police on me today, my crime was speaking to constituents about immigration and Trump's racist policies.
— Jesse Hamilton (@SenatorHamilton) August 10, 2018
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 23, 2018
A new study finds that much of the research conducted on President Trump’s voters is marred by prejudicial designs, distorted data, and outright misrepresentation of Trump’s words.
Led by Musa al-Gharbi, a Columbia University sociologist, “On Social Research in the Age of Trump” analyzes three case studies of academic research on Trump to illustrate the various ways that academics have misrepresented the president and his voter base to the public.
One example of this phenomena can be seen in the April 2017 Washington Post article “Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism,” by Thomas Wood, who teaches political science classes at Ohio State University.
While Wood cites survey data to claim that Trump voters were especially motivated by racism, a closer analysis by al-Gharbi reveals that Wood’s arguments about Trump voters can’t be substantiated from the data cited in the article.
“According to Wood’s own data, whites who voted for Trump are perhaps less racist than those who voted for Romney,” al-Gharbi explains, adding that “not only were they less authoritarian than Romney voters, but less racist too!”
“Unfortunately, Wood declined to consider how Trump voters differed from Romney voters…instead focusing on the gap between Democrats and Republicans in 2016, in the service of a conclusion his data do not support,” he adds.
This uncharitable misrepresentation of data is one of many ways that Trump voters are marred by researchers, al-Gharbi says, asserting that the “evidence suggests that the role of race has been widely overblown and misunderstood with respect to Trump’s victory.”
In an interview with Campus Reform, al-Gharbi admitted that he was motivated to research this topic “in part to help Trump’s opposition do better next round.”
“But I also take umbrage at the villainization of Trump supporters,” he added, noting that he “grew up in a conservative, religious, military community in Arizona along the United States and Mexico Border.”
“Trump voters aren’t some mysterious exotic demonic force for me. They are my family, childhood friends, former co-workers, etc,” he said. “Given this background, I strongly suspected that the cartoonish version of these voters [promulgated by academics in the media] was likely not going to be well-supported by any kind of more even-handed analysis of the available data.”
Still, while al-Gharbi has found that many scholars misrepresent Trump’s voter base, he doesn’t ascribe malice to their intentions. Instead, he worries that even academics who strive to be impartial can fall into a “confirmation bias” trap, unintentionally allowing their personal biases to influence research results, oftentimes without realizing it.
To fix this “very widespread” issue, al-Gharbi suggests that research on politically divisive issues could be fact-checked by an editor with an opposing viewpoint. Unfortunately, these types of checks and balances are extremely rare in academia, he says.
“Basically everyone in these institutions hates the president and are willing—eager even—to believe the worst about his supporters,” he maintained.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk