Jamilah King at The American Prospect on the cultural impact of stop-and-frisk How does the New York Police Department's controversial "stop-and-frisk" program alter a city's culture? "In most neighborhoods in America, it is not a crime to play basketball after dark. But in Brownsville, where a majority of the population is black, even the most innocuous activities can lead to run-ins with the cops," Jamilah King writes, referring to the Brooklyn neighborhood. The stop-and-frisk program changes the way people view police, King argues, along with the civic fabric of city life. "Black and Latino communities have long been suspicious of police, but the danger of the NYPD’s program is that it further engrains the idea that police officers are an occupying force instead of public servants who protect citizens." Jonathan P. Hicks at BET, discussing an ongoing trial concerning a class action lawsuit against the NYPD, assented: "The intention, police say, is to deter crime before it moves from contemplation to execution. In fact, it is indistinguishable from unabashed racial profiling. It has become painfully commonplace for young men of color to be stopped for doing nothing more than standing in front of a building, sitting in a park, walking to the subway from a rehearsal at school or from church, only to be detained by police, who rummage through their clothing and treat them with derision."
Jonathan Chait at New York on revising George W. Bush's presidential legacy "The Bush revisionist project has far more ambitious aims than to merely salvage a few specks of decency from the ruins," writes Jonathan Chait of this week's return to the spotlight for former President George W. Bush. "It aims for a wholesale restoration, both characterologically and substantively." Recounting Bush's policy achievements — two long wars, a series of deep tax cuts, Medicare Part D — in light of his intelligence and style of governance, Chait sees an eight-year error in American history: "The failures of Bush's governing method — the staffing of hacks and cronies, the disdain for evidence — was perfectly reflected in the outcomes. The Bush presidency was a full disaster at home and abroad, and whatever small accomplishments that can be salvaged barely rate any mention in comparison with the failures. The general reckoning of Bush is not too harsh. It is too kind." At the Wall Street Journal, however, Peggy Noonan thinks Bush nostalgia — as evidenced by his rising approval ratings — falls out of Obama's present unpopularity: "Mr. Bush has been modest, humorous, proud but unassuming, and essentially philosophical: History will decide. ... This felt like an antidote to Obama—to the imperious I, to the inability to execute, to the endless interviews and the imperturbable drone, to the sense that he is trying to teach us, like an Ivy League instructor taken aback by the backwardness of his students."