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100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care


There is a funny type of math going around that is similar to what I saw as a child.  It was the type of arithmetic that my older cousin would use whenever he divided up the Oreo cookies that we purchased together.  He would first empty the entire box of cookies out on the table and then issue us both small brown paper bags to put our share of cookies in.  After doing this he would start using the funny math.

I can still hear his voice saying, "one for you two for me, one for you two for me."  As clock work I would then object and say, "Hey something is wrong with that order."  He would satisfy my complaint by changing the order.  Cousin would then say, "two for me, one for you, two for me, one for you."  Little did I know that the change in order still produced the same outcome.   The full scope of the results was hidden from me because both our shares of cookies were concealed by the brown bags that they were in. 

This same math is being used each day against America's communities of color.  Graduating from the same school of thought city, state and federal governmental officials are duping us into thinking that we are obtaining our fair share of resources and governmental positions.  An example of this on the federal level is the appointment of Secretary of State Condelezza Rice.  On first glance one would commend President Bush on making her the first African-American woman Secretary of State.  All across America citizens are using this appointment as a barometer as to how far Blacks have come. 

A closer examination will reveal that this appointment uses my cousin's funny type of math. When using this math all one has to do is move one person around many times to several different positions and this will give the impression that barriers are being torn down.  If you take note that when Ms. Rice was moved from her previous title as the National Security Advisor. An African-American was not moved in her place.  The result has therefore left a mathematical net loss of one Presidential Cabinet position.  To compound this lost we must look at her transfer over to her new Cabinet position.  She is replacing Colin Powell, a male Black.  The total sum of her move equated to the lost of one cabinet position and minus one male Black off the Presidential Cabinet.  The question becomes, "where is the gain?" 

Similar forms of this type of math is used on the state level where our school districts receives less funding then their statewide counterparts.  State officials used all sorts of equations to justify this shortage, but it still comes down to the same fact, we obtain less monies per student. 

City officials are not immune from using this math.  All one has to do is look at some of the recent appointments that were made by city agency heads and you will see that my cousin's funny math is alive and well. 

Commissioner Kelly's recent appointment of Chief Joyce Stevens to the Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs position is an example of how the math is used on the City level.  The local media and the Commissioner's spin doctors were quick to jump on this appointment and comment on how fair minded Raymond Kelly is.  If we take a closer look at this move we will see that "funny math" again.

Joyce Stevens at the time of this appointment was the first and only African-American woman to reach the rank of Chief in the New York City Police Department.  By being in that rank she was in line to possibly becoming a Borough Commander or possible Chief of the Police Department.  Both of these ranks are a stone throw away from being the Commissioner of the entire NYPD.  They are titles that have an awesome amount of power, prestige and authority.  When Raymond Kelly moved her from her chief position he took her out of that career path.  Her previous Chief position will not be replaced with another Black male or female, but a white male. 

The current as Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs was once held by a detective.  To those outside of police circles let me informed you that a detective has no supervisory responsibilities at all.  In spite of how Detectives are portrayed on TV, in the real world of policing, the rank is one step above police officer. 

This form of movement and math is taking place all over city government.  A close look at the transferring of power and positions shows that Blacks are being relegated to insignificant roles in how this city is ran.  This is being done out of public sight and behind the close doors of government board rooms, the new brown paper bags. 

I can almost here them say, "one for you, two for us, one for you, two for us."

Eric Adams

Co-Founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care


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