ACTION ALERT: Support the ‘End Racial Profiling’ Act
April 18, 2012
END RACIAL PROFILING IN AMERICA
Racial profiling in the U.S. has led to thousands of people being stopped, interrogated, and discriminated against simply based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Law enforcement’s assumptions that these individuals are likely to commit crimes has led to the deepening of racial divides in the U.S. while undermining public safety and betrayal of the Constitution.
The End Racial Profiling Act would define racial profiling and ban its practice by federal law enforcement agencies. The legislation would also create an enforcement mechanism to ensure that anti-profiling policies are being followed and victims of profiling are able to report complaints against police officers.
Without a comprehensive federal law that includes a strong enforcement and oversight mechanism, racial profiling will continue to plague our communities and our citizens. Federal legislation is the key to ending racial profiling in this country.
Today we’re asking you to take a moment to help end racial profiling by law enforcement agencies in America.
Last fall Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (S.1670 / H.R. 3618). If passed, this act will promote measures to eliminate profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion by federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement.
At the same time, Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Conyers have gathered signatures from signatures from 13 senators and 53 representatives asking the Department of Justice to change its policy on racial profiling. Revisions to the guidance include measures that will prevent profiling based on religion and national origin and eliminate loopholes that permit profiling at U.S. borders and for reasons of national security.
As we highlighted in CAIR’s submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Ending Racial Profiling in America,” CAIR believes that profiling is not an effective law enforcement tactic and that it diverts precious law enforcement resources away from following actual leads and preventing illegal and violent acts.
CAIR-Chicago believes one of the best ways to get your point across to an elected official is to personalize it. Give an example from your own life that shows how the issue has affected you and why it is important to you and the group of which you are a part. How does this affect your job? What does it mean for your family? What will it change in your community? A personal example is a great help in demonstrating the passion you have for the issue without having to resort to overly-emotional language.
Your personal example doesn’t have to be very long. Two or three sentences at the beginning of your message should be enough to show the recipient why you care so strongly about the issue. You can make your message stand out if you take the time to fully explain your experience.
CAIR has drafted a letter to help get you started – please, take a moment and tell Congress to help end racial profiling in the U.S.!