Kal Penn, the Indian-American star of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and two-time aide to President Obama (seriously), is getting denounced for tweeting support for Mayor Bloomberg`s stop-and-frisk policy. The movie star called out “activist judges” and defended his anti-crime position by citing his being robbed at gunpoint in Washington`s Du Pont Circle in 2010:
@CWmsWrites lol well already been a victim of violent crime. It`s a sound policy and we need to stop trying to get rid of it
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 13, 2013
The Atlantic writer scoffs at this erstwhile liberal hero:
But as Penn`s tweets suggest, stop-and-frisk needn`t be legal or sound to work as a placebo for worried city dwellers.
A couple of observations:
- Crime victims are the least recognized identity / interest group around. You are allowed to laugh at their victimization because they are mostly just random people who got unlucky. They`re like lefthanders — organized baseball discriminates like crazy against left-handed catchers, but nobody cares because lefties are largely randomly distributed around the population. So they don`t have other ties, such as kinship, to tie them together politically and allow them to achieve what Jonathan Haidt calls “sacralized” status.
- Indian-Americans have a tiny street crime rate, and that`s widely understood by urban cops, so they, on the whole, benefit from harsh anti-crime policies like stop-and-frisk. They seldom get stopped and they benefit from the decline in violence.
That raises the question: If blacks and Hispanics are encouraged to condemn stop-and-frisk as being bad for blacks and Hispanics, why are Asian-Americans discouraged from supporting stop-and-frisk as being good for Asian-Americans?
I think one answer is because the dominant media mindset includes a subliminal awareness of how rickety the diverse Obama Coalition actually is. The only way to hold together demographic fringe groups like blacks, Mexicans, Asians, gays, single moms, white liberals, and so forth is to encourage resentment of the core of the country.
Thus, for the most famously ardent Asian Obama-supporter in the country—a man who scaled back his successful Hollywood career to serve Obama in Washington—to step off the reservation and suggest that the crime problem isn`t just white rural gun nuts, to imply that the crime problem is partly the fault of blacks and Hispanics for committing so many crimes, well, that`s the kind of heresy that the hivemind immune system immediately sends its antibodies after.
This immune response idea may help explain one reason why the media doubled-down on George Zimmerman.