Congressional Caucus Drafts Racial Profiling Bill in Aftermath of George Zimmerman Verdict

Congressional Caucus Drafts Racial Profiling Bill in Aftermath of George Zimmerman Verdict
Congressional Caucus Drafts Racial Profiling Bill in Aftermath of George Zimmerman Verdict (Photo credit: BET)

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has readied bills that will address racial profiling, stand your ground laws and non-violent training for neighborhood watch volunteers in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict for the death of Trayvon Martin.

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an icon of the civil rights era, said the decision “seems to justify the stalking and killing of innocent black boys and deny them any avenue of self-defense.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), head of the CBC, decried “the presumption of guilt so often associated with people of color.”

But CBC members said they strongly believed that race was a motivating factor in the incident in arguing for the racial profiling law.

“George Zimmerman targeted Trayvon Martin as a potential criminal because Trayvon Martin is black,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC Monday.

“Anyone who denies that racism isn’t alive today, particularly in the so-called justice system, is exceedingly delusional,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who wore a hoodie on the House floor last year in a demonstration.

“This verdict points to the reality that there are far too many walking America’s streets wearing a hoodie, carrying snacks and soft drink, which can result in a ‘death sentence’ particularly if they are young, black and male.” [The Hill]

  • pelmo43

    Janet can you honestly admit that you have not profiled a group of black teens as you have walked down the street, fearing for your safety or clutching your purse tighter. Even the Reverend Jesse Jackson has admitted to doing so, not knowing if they were just a bunch of teens or a group hell bent on a criminal act.

    Look at Chicago and many other major cities where large groups of black teens have swarmed stores and stolen thousands of dollars of merchandise. Or the large groups of black teens that are terrorizing on Michigan Ave as they beat white individuals and steal their electronic equipment.
    Until the Black Community looks in the mirror and admits that maybe there is probable cause for blacks being profiled we will never find a viable solution. Yes I do admit that their are racists in the white community that will hate blacks because of the color of their skin and no other reason. You have to admit that many others have just cause, like in this case where all the offenders arrested in the area were black, that there is just cause to look at someone suspiciously.

    • Pelmo — My oldest son was racially profiled by an over zealous homeowners’ association board member for no other reason but the color of his skin. So, I take these incidents very personal. My son is a honor student, a college-bound athlete (who wears hoodies at times) and an all-around good kid, who watches the company he keeps. Why shouldn’t he had the right to feel safe in his neighborhood? I reported the matter to the police and there is an investigation underway because this man has picked on brown and black children in the subdivision repeatedly.

      When I confronted him about threatening to call the police on my son and his two friends as they were at the playground he said kids are doing drugs in the area. I asked him if he saw my son and his friends engaged in such behavior. He said no. So, what’s the problem? George Zimmerman wrongly assumed Trayvon Martin was up to no good. That’s my point. It’s not about my reaction to other black teens, who may look menacing. Not every black teen is a thug as not every white person is a racist. What gives you or any white person the right to walk freely in their communities and my sons and others not to have that right?

      You are talking about two different issues and somehow blaming the black community for the stereotypical perception by some whites. H.J. Ewing, the board member I referenced also said he’s tired of latch key kids in the subdivision. Again, that’s a racist comment to make. My kids aren’t latch-key kids. They have never been and never will be. Two wrongs don’t make one right. Racial profiling of blacks, Latinos, Muslims, gays, etc., must stop. Too many innocent people, particularly children are losing their lives. When you can walk in the shoes of my son, who was very confused and hurt by the actions of Mr. Ewing, then you can tell me what I should believe and who should be blamed for this issue.

      • pelmo43

        No where in your reply did you condemn the actions of black teens that cause people to profile. The one question a majority of blacks do not ask, is why are black men profiled. Could it be the actions of a handful of blacks that are causing it. Until the black community protests and condemns them as much as they are Zimmerman, then the profiling will continue.
        What happened to your son is wrong, but until you start condemning those that bring this on, it will never stop.