Actor and former Obama administration official Kal Penn recently voiced support for New York City’s “stop and frisk” laws via Twitter — then faced swift backlash and cries of racism from his own fans.
“Great op/ed by @MikeBloomberg on the merits of “stop-question-frisk,” Penn tweeted. Shortly afterward, his followers began questioning his judgment.
In response to one fan, he wrote: “It’s a good policy. Sad to see such activist judges ruling against public safety.”
One individual asked why he believed the laws were sound policy, given how such laws affect blacks and Hispanics. His response, captured by website the Aerogram: “Who, sadly, commits & are victims of the most crimes?”
The actor insinuated that his support for the laws was partly due to personal experience. He said he was the victim of a violent crime years ago, mentioning the incident during the exchange.
BridgetMarieInDC wrote: “That is the same BS argument racists use to justify why the TSA should only hassle brown folks at airports.”
Anil Dash, who has close to 500,000 Twitter followers, replied: “[S]eriously? You’re gonna back stop & frisk with “black people commit most crimes”?
Mr. Penn, best known for his roles in the “Harold and Kumar” movie franchise and the TV show “House,” was named the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2009.