NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Call it the tale of two New Yorks. Some natives are allowed to walk, shop and hail cabs freely. Others are not. It is more than economic inequality; there is a racial divide.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, New York picks its 109th mayor, in a race that has become about race, crime and the city's Stop-and-Frisk policy. Republican Joe Lhota is going toe-to-toe with Democrat Bill de Blasio, a relative unknown until a few months ago.
De Blasio gained voter support from liberals, progressives and minorities by campaigning against the city's Stop-and-Frisk tactics. Many believe the policy is divisive as it routinely targets lawful African Americans and minorities.
Stop-and-Frisk is seen by critics as an institutionalized form of racism. The Tea Party's lack of steam in the north has liberals happy. But there is still a quiet race war brewing in the city -- one that could become deadly, if it goes unchecked.
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Rather than narrowly targeting stores, de Blasio is addressing a breakdown in the system.
De Blasio says he will fire Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly; Lhota supports Kelly. De Blasio wants an independent group to oversee the NYPD, which Lhota is against. De Blasio called Kelly "the architect of the overuse of Stop-and-Frisk that has had such a negative effect on the relationship between police and community and so many communities of color," during the televised debate.
De Blasio is not alone. In August, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that Stop-and-Frisk is unconstitutional and that it relies on racial profiling. A few days ago she was dropped from the case and her sweeping reform orders were put on hold. A de Blasio win could change that.
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