New York City mayor de Blasio, under fire by the city’s police union, recently announced a decision to rescind a ban on student cell phones in public schools.

This antiquated law stands as a perfect example of racial injustice. Officials freely admit schools in well-to-do, predominately white neighborhoods did not enforce the ban and why should they? As a parent, I can attest to the fact that the ability to be in immediate contact with your children, from a safety measure, is about on a par with wearing a seatbelt. Deliberately failing to do so borders on lunatic.

Of course, only in poorer, mostly African-American neighborhoods, where metal detectors and a heavy police presence are common, did schools deprive students of what these days is tantamount to a basic human right, the ability to have ready access to a cell phone.  You know, the kind of neighborhoods where black men are, or until recently, were routinely illegally stopped and searched without probable causes for marijuana possession, and arrested for hypothetical offenses such as loitering.

The tragic deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police, and the wave of protest they engendered, may have allowed our nation to reach a tipping point in regard to the horrific “broken windows” policy of policing. A heavy-handed approach to so called quality of life crimes served to make for more arrogance by law enforcement, more racial injustice, a shocking increase in the number of incarcerated Americans, and finally a diminishment of the quality of life for blacks in urban areas, a cruel irony indeed.

We ended up with an Orwellian type of outcome, where War is Peace. We broke windows to avoid broken  windows, like making love to advance the cause of virginity. Two decades of a dumb policies wrought catastrophic consequences to its victims.

Maybe now the madness is finally beginning to end.  Hold on, I just got a text from my high school son: he needs to stay late at school today, pickup delayed. Thank goodness he has his cell phone with him.


 


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