Search Me (Not)

Stop or Power? LightMaybe I had the recent ruling on the Search-and-Frisk practices of the NYC police department on my mind as I was crossing the street at the corner of 40th and Broadway the other day. But the burned out bulbs in the “Don’t Walk” hand looked an awful lot like the iconic raised fist “also known as the clenched fist, a symbol of solidarity and support” according to Wikipedia. My hunch that hand-clenching predated the Black Panthers was correct: The Assyrians depicted the  goddess Ishtar with raised fist. The logo for the Industrial Workers of the World in 1917 was a fist. Taller de Grafica Popular, a Mexican print shop that advanced revolutionary social causes through art,  exposed the fist image to an even broader audience in the late 40s. The symbol has been incorporated around the world by various groups fighting oppression. Right on.


One thought on “Search Me (Not)

  1. After reading this blog post, my friend Rabbi Simkha Weintraub wrote to tell me he had seen a second “Power Hand” on a traffic light on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (photo confirmation pending). He added, “Until recently, the only modification we saw of those hands was the one which leaves only the middle finger…..The newer modification takes that hostility and anger and channels it towards empowerment.” All RIGHT!

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