Stop and Frisk and Single Malt Scotch

The Daily Show says the NYPD should start doing stop-and-frisk searches on Wall Street to fight white collar crime. That same week, the Times says says that Johns Hopkins University did a national study of which brands of beer are most likely to put someone in the emergency room. You can read it, or I can give you the gist: The top five are Budweiser, Bud Lite, and three malt liquors.

I have a can of Bud in my fridge, but my experience with malt liquors is limited to Mickey’s big mouths, the malt liquor of choice among caucasians for some reason. Memorable headaches! It stands to reason, aside from the social problems in the neighborhoods where these brews are marketed, that you become aggressive after a few bottles. Each one is like a boilermaker, and they conveniently sell them in 40 ounce bottles for the budget-minded. Halfway into your second one, and you’re ready for a fight.

So what kind of liquor causes white collar crime? Should we demand that the Securities and Exchange Commission do a thorough study of which single malt scotches lead to the most violations? Does Laphroig cause securities fraud? Is 16-year-old Oban, when mixed with cigar smoke, the extra environmental factor that tips law-abiding Ivy League alumni clubs into crime zones?

Known or suspected causes of crime.

Known or suspected causes of crime.

I’m not saying all white people who like talking about how much peat they like in their firewater are cocky egomaniacs who’d have no compunction about breaking the law to make their numbers work. I just have a suspicion that the criminal types congregate in the same places where guys who happen to be white drink these malty liquors.

And that’s the crux of the problem with prejudice. When we see a product, we invent a biography. Sometimes a red-haired guy in Midtown with a glass of scotch is a UNICEF administrator unwinding after a long day of frantic phone calls about emergency aid. But I’m as fast at inventing biographies as the cops who see kids moving their hands “furtively” are. I see Dartmouth. I see lacrosse team. Chip on his shoulder about WASP old money. Dewy-eyed about some invented Scottish heritage in which white people are magically a little soulful. Specialist in male bonding. Successful with the ladies but ended up being a dick to every one of his girlfriends. Doesn’t do coke any more. Dabbles in cigars. Of course he’s breaking the law!

If the kids of East New York were as politically connected as guys like that, we never would have let the abuses of stop and frisk go on as long as we have.

What do you think?

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