Stanley Crouch is an ugly bastard with a face that only his Momma could love. He also has an amazing way with words and is a poignant and compelling writer, essayist, and jazz critic. His current gig as a columnist for the New York Daily News, a neo-conservative cog in Mortimer Zuckerman’s news empire, is one in which he is paid big bucks to playa hate on black activists concerned about police misconduct and lead the cheering squad for the thugs in NYPD blue.
He does not have to be paid. You see, Crouch has a thing for the thugs in NYPD blue that damn near borders on unrequited love.
He has written a series of columns over the last six years cheerleading for the NYPD that has never been critical until now. On Thursday, November 30, 2006, he wrote a column, “KILLING MAKES POLICE THE PERPS NOW” acknowledging for the first time that I can find, the truth about the thugs in NYPD blue. In it he opined, “We always have to look closely at any event involving homicide by the cops in the black community. The reasons are simple. First, there is a long history of racist violence against black people that has just as often been committed by white police as by freelance rednecks….those defending almost any police action will say that it was a mistake. Yeah, right. Sure thing. Bull dung.”
Glad to see Crouch finally got the damn Memo. Too bad brotha Crouch couldn’t have seen the wisdom of that perspective six years ago when he wrote a column on March 1, 2000 about the death of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Guinean immigrant gunned down in a hail of 41 shots, ” no matter how much howling and whining there might be, no matter all of the sanctimonious denouncements, I do not see police officers as bigoted white demons who arrive in so-called minority communities thinking that they are the anointed zoo keepers who must sometimes subdue the animals, and sometimes use deadly force against them.”
Really? Brotha Crouch was too busy playing a black conservative flunky to Mayor Giuliani and Police Commish Howard Safir, serving on a police-community whitewash taskforce and the police academy board of visitors. Playing his assigned role of NYPD apologist, he wrote a March 8, 2002 column entitled “LOUIMA CASE IS ABOUT A COPS RAGE, NOT RACISM.” In it he wrote, ” I have had some encounters with racist cops in my time, and I’m not convinced that the Louima case had any racial elements-at least not of the most obvious kind. Louima was never called a racist name.”
Abner Louima, you’ll recall was the Haitian brotha sodomized by the thugs in NYPD blue with a broken broomstick, and was so grieviously injured that he almost died. His intestines were so damaged that he will wear a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. After raping him with a broken broomstick, they were supposed to call him a Nigger too? Marvin Kornberg, a lawyer specializing in defending dirty cops, alleged that Louima’s injuries were the result of gay sex, not the sadistic beat down performed by the NYPD. Brotha Crouch heard all of this, the convictions of three officers involved in holding Louima down were overturned on appeal, and still he pulls the above funky pearl of wisdom from his ass and offers it up to the public. Amazing.
When not failing to castigate the NYPD for the murder and assault against Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima, Crouch used his column to lobby for NYPD pay raises and champion racial profiling. On June 17, 2002 and August 15, 2002, Crouch wrote columns cheerleading for pay raises in the wake of 9/11. Understandable, however, these men and women took an oath to protect and serve the public and knew that they could be called upon at any time to make the ultimate sacrifice. Nobody told Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell that they could die because they were black men and that could be blown away without provocation because they are mistakenly presumed armed and dangerous.
Crouch’s advocacy for racial profiling disturbs me profoundly. His June 19, 2003 column, “IT’S NOT PROFILING, IT’S GOOD POLICING” attempts to provide the rationale that if the police didn’t use racial profiling, police would be accused of neglect for “allow[ing] so much crime to take place in Negro communities.” He also, in a fit of delusional mania, attempts to insert his own view of the police and attribute it to everyone: “most New Yorkers, no matter their color, their sex, their religion, their profession, their neighborhood, feel much safer now. Even professional haters of police have to admit that.” Not content in rubber-stamping racial profiling of black folk, he put in his two cents for racially profiling Muslim men and halting legitimate immigration of Muslims into this country unconscionably buying into the racial fears of others.
Until last Thursday, Stanley Crouch was a professional publicist and part-time plaything for the thugs in NYPD blue. His betrayal allowed the cacophany of voices calling for reform to be stifled and lent credibility to those whose agenda was inimical to folks seeking justice for the unjustifed and disproportionate assault and homicide of people of color by the NYPD. Now that another brotha’s senseless death has cured him of his right-wing racial amnesia and gotten him on the good foot, I hope he stays on it. Sadly, it will be of no consolation to the friends and family of those killed by the NYPD’s racist reign of terrorr.