When I was a little boy, I used to dream a lot. I don’t dream as much, anymore. But I had a few dreams I still remember. I had the dream like most kids and adults that I could fly. And, then I had another dream that was a sure-fire nightmare.
When I was a young boy, I actually had this awful nightmare of being chased by the police for a crime I did not commit; petty theft. In the dream, I was mistaken for someone else and it always ended with me waking up before the capture. But, in New York City today, there is a crime that makes my dream not too far off base, the unconstitutional, New York, ‘Stop-and- Frisk’ law.
Harry Belafonte, a true philanthropist and warrior for justice and race equality spoke up and brought the injustice to light in his address at the DeBlasio Inauguration. He read from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to show parallels of New York City today as it compares to the classic piece of fiction. The bitter sweet report that Bloomberg leaves with the lowest number of murders in New York history is only at the expense of the loss of citizens’ constitutional rights.
Politically, you can make your own decision. But, I feel like it’s clear that as much as we want to be safe when we walk the streets, we should also want to be certain we’re not targeted because of the way we look. He and a lot of New Yorkers are looking to DeBlasio to put an end to the law that already disproportionately targets people of color and of lower socio-economic means.
It strikes me as strange that I could have two dreams so different; one that gave me limitless freedom and another that sought to keep me in captivity. Let’s hope that one day in the future, other little boys and girls of color only dream of a roof with no ceiling and a life of endless possibility.