END RACIAL PROFILING ACT 2015: DEMOCRATIC US LAWMAKERS RE-INTRODUCE MINORITY PROTECTIONS BILL

by audreylegault on April 27, 2015 - 11:39pm

Aaron Morrison wrote in the International Business Times on April 22nd that democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a legislation that would combat racial profiling in local police departments. Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Ben Carding announced their intention of presenting "the End Racial Profiling Act for the third time in the last three sessions of Congress". The previous bills were not able to obtain hearings.

This bill, motivated by the recent tensions between the police and people of color throughout the country and the unjust killing of unarmed black men, would have for goal to stop law enforcement from racially profiling people of color and other minority groups that have been known to be targeted by police departments. The majority of the attention on this issue was brought through social-medias and petitions. As I explained in my previous posts, the movement #blacklivesmatter and #handsupdontshoot emerged after the wrongful killing of Michael Brown. This is a form of new power since it was the combined power of thousands of people that brought awareness on racial profiling and the abuse of power in the United States. New power is “the deployment of mass participation and peer coordination” and it is “made by many” (https://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_heimans_what_new_power_looks_like/transcript?language=en). Racial profiling has been a frequent problem in the United States, but the awareness and peaceful protests were organized due to this new form of power that was created by many people on a social platform

This form of power enabled people to be aware of this issue, which travelled all the way to Congress. Morrison explained that studies have demonstrated the ineffective use of racial profiling as a tool in law enforcement. Most officers are not objectives anymore and are blinded by stereotypes. They are more likely to see people of color as threats because of this practice. Racial profiling has gained popularity throughout the years even though it was proven to be an inappropriate tool because of “the counterterrorism and immigration enforcement” that followed September 11.  Furthermore, this law was presented after the “March 2 Justice”, an event created by activists against racial profiling that walked 250 miles to meet with members of Congress to urge a ban on racial profiling. In other words, the reason people are so aware of racial profiling is because of the collective outcry of thousands of people throughout the world.  

 

Links:

1.      http://www.ibtimes.com/end-racial-profiling-act-2015-democratic-us-lawmakers-re-introduce-minority-1892669

2.      https://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_heimans_what_new_power_looks_like/transcript?language=en

 

Comments

First off, you've detailed the base information of the issue very well. I'd like to add some ethical backing to your argument. Your post shows the ineffectiveness of racial profiling combined with its social harm. Above all else, we should not forget that the practice is equally reprehensible on moral grounds. For the Kantian, racial profiling uses people as a means to an end (reduced crime) instead of as the end. This is ethically impermissible. Kant's universal maxim applies to everyone, in any situation, regardless of race. A utilitarian might counter by saying that the practice is justified by moral calculation, in that a general reduction in crime from racial profiling justifies it. However, your post outlines the actual ineffectiveness of racial profiling as a crime-fighting tool. The utilitarian approach ignores justice.

First off, you've detailed the base information of the issue very well. I'd like to add some ethical backing to your argument. Your post shows the ineffectiveness of racial profiling combined with its social harm. Above all else, we should not forget that the practice is equally reprehensible on moral grounds. For the Kantian, racial profiling uses people as a means to an end (reduced crime) instead of as the end. This is ethically impermissible. Kant's universal maxim applies to everyone, in any situation, regardless of race. A utilitarian might counter by saying that the practice is justified by moral calculation, in that a general reduction in crime from racial profiling justifies it. However, your post outlines the actual ineffectiveness of racial profiling as a crime-fighting tool. The utilitarian approach ignores justice.