The Corner

Politics & Policy

Who Is Most Offended by Stop-and-Frisk?

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren appear on monitors in the media filing center during the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Nev., February 19, 2020. (David Becker/Reuters)

New polling from the progressive think-tank Data For Progress contains results that will confound some.

When pollsters reminded voters of the stop-and-frisk policies Mike Bloomberg enacted as mayor of New York City, the effect it had on support for the Bloomberg candidacy varied significantly by race, but not in a way that the prevailing progressive narrative about the policy would suggest.

Reminding white voters of stop-and-frisk decreased their support for Bloomberg by 1.6 percent. Mentioning the policy to black voters, however, yielded only a 0.1 percent decline in Bloomberg support, while Asian and Latino voters were more likely to support the candidate (0.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively) upon being reminded of the former mayor’s stop-and-frisk policy.

Vicarious aggrievement — where white liberals take offense on behalf of putatively disempowered minority groups and appoint themselves as those groups’ political saviors — is effectively a signaling mechanism for rich, progressive, white voters.

As George Baca wrote, “political correctness and what we may call progressive politics in the West actually functions as a class marker that is used to draw class boundaries.”

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