ACLU Launches National Racial Profiling Book Tour With Focus on Post-Sept. 11 Issues

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
February 19, 2002 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — A 13-city book tour co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union launches here tomorrow with a panel discussion on the racial, ethnic and religious profiling of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians, groups that until Sept. 11 were not traditionally seen as victims of racial profiling.

The tour, co-sponsored by the ACLU and New Press, features the new book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work, by David Harris, Professor of Law at the University of Toledo and author of the ACLU’s 1999 “Driving While Black” report.

“The goal of this tour is to build on the ACLU’s efforts to raise awareness of the national disgrace of racial profiling,” said King Downing, Coordinator of the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling. “Numerous studies have shown that a majority of people are aware that racial profiling exists and believe that it is wrong,” he added. “By showing the clear connection between the old and new racial profiling, we are calling for an end to a discriminatory practice that doesn’t work in any context.”

Racial profiling occurs when police investigate, stop, frisk, or search a person because of that person’s race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. The practice has come to be known as “DWB” or “driving while black or brown” when referring to the stopping and searching of people of color for traffic violations.

The tragic events of September 11 brought racial profiling to the forefront once again as Arabs, Muslims and South Asians were removed from planes, held in detention, and targeted for questioning and deportation by federal and state law enforcement.

The book tour is scheduled to make 13 stops throughout the United States, beginning here tomorrow and ending on March 25 in Detroit. Events will vary by city, but all will include panels, community meetings and interviews.

Tomorrow’s event is a panel discussion featuring Harris, Downing, Eric Adams, President of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, Sadiq Reza, Law Professor at New York Law School, and Haider Rizvi, journalist and victim of a post-September 11 racially motivated attack. Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, will moderate the panel. A reception and book signing will follow, with copies of Profiles in Injustice available for purchase.

The panel discussion will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the New York Law School’s Ernst Stiefel Reading Room. The program, which is being co-sponsored by the NYCLU, the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling, and the Open Society Institute, is free and open to the public.

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