Send Racial Profiling into Retirement

Think racial profiling — using a person's race, color, ethnicity or national origin to determine whether to stop, search or investigate him or her for alleged criminal activity — is wrong and ineffective? So do President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, former President George W. Bush, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

So why did the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD, the independent group of experts that oversees compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a treaty the U.S ratified 15 years ago) "note with concern" that racial profiling "continues to be widespread" in the United States? Indeed, when reviewing the United States government's track record on racial discrimination, the Committee highlighted the persistence of racial profiling as an especially troubling issue.

A new report by the ACLU and the Rights Working Group shows just how pervasive the problem is. The report, submitted today to the Committee, includes information about racial profiling in 22 states and under a variety of federal programs. It tells the story, for example, of how the 287(g) program, designed to permit local police departments to enforce immigration law, has given police officers license to stop, question, harass and detain anyone who looks "foreign." The report also highlights the discriminatory ways in which special registration programs, border stops, airline profiling and other government initiatives have victimized people who are (or appear to be) Arab, Muslim and South Asian. These policies and practices have wrought destruction on individuals, families and communities, tearing them apart through unjust detentions, deportations, raids and more.

We rely on the police to protect us from harm and to promote fairness and justice in our communities. The despicable practice of racial profiling, however, has led countless people to live in fear and created a system of law enforcement that casts entire communities as suspect. Surely the land of the free can do better.

Read the ACLU/RWG report, which includes a long list of recommendations for truly eradicating this troubling (and, study after study shows, ineffective) law enforcement technique.

Listen to a podcast with Dennis Parker, director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program.

And learn more about the ACLU's work to end racial profiling at our website.

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Hmm. Muslim males from~19-45 commit most of the terrorist activities in the world in the past 40 or so years. Why would we focus our attention on them. I cannot believe anyone with a braincell supports the aclu.


This is starting to sound like double talk. You don't want the police to profile anyone. You don't want ICE to do their job of enforcing immigration laws. You don't want airline profiling. You approve of affirmative action, sounds like profiling to me.

However when you are in trouble who do you call? The police, CERD, RWG, ACLU?
Do we need to check first before we take some action? I guess the next step will be when someone gets hurt or something happens we will be in trouble for not allowing the police etc to enforce the law.


Maggie you are right. As soon as something happens the ACLU will be screaming we should have done more. Which side are they on?!?!??!?!


Eric, Maggie, Rob...Profiling is OK when you are not the target?

White males commit most of the non-government sponsored serial killings in the world. Should we randomly stop white males? Women commit virtually all of the postpartum killings of infants in the world. Should we randomly stop all females?

Law enforcement should enforce laws without regard to race. Smugglers pick mules based on not fitting a profile. Irish people also try to immigrate illegally (or did until our economy went bad).

david krause

ive been a victom for years and was assulted neerly murdered 10 years ago need help to solve this matter thank you for your unety to helpopert. ps Ive been homeless because of there neglagence now in seattle wash trying to help myself from there vishous hold.

david krause

please get back with me soon my phone number is (206)683-0418


police have the right to be stop any one they suspect but not the right to discriminate. do they know the difference?


education is key to law enforcement


police have no right to discriminate they probably can"t even spell it.


i know you guys can do better than this. hello?


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