, 4 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Today's #blackout falls on the anniversary of the 1977 blackout, which was much larger & led to some pretty awful things. Spontaneous looting during the blackout led to mass arrests and helped galvanize support for future policies like stop & frisk and “broken windows” policing.
So many people were arrested during the 1977 #blackout that city officials decided to reopen the Tombs, a lower Manhattan jail that was shut down 3 years earlier due to the inhumane conditions. People suspected of looting were held in cells without mattresses or fans.
Conservatives seized on fears of crime following the #blackout. Ed Koch ran for mayor on a platform of reinstating capital punishment in NY. They completely ignored the economic conditions that were driving moms to steal food for their kids. Hence how poverty becomes a crime.
This is how newspapers covered the 1977 NYC #blackout.

Some of the racism was less subtle than others (“New York’s Night of the Animals”...)
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