Racial Profiling in America: The Problem and the Challenge

ACResolution, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 2003

5 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2003

See all articles by Roger L. Conner

Roger L. Conner

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Marvin E. Johnson

Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution


This article, which appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of ACR Resolution, discusses the major issues and stakeholders involved in the dispute over racial profiling. It describes the issue as classic conflict in which the parties - political leaders, police executives, line officers, civil rights leaders, and residents - are entrenched in opposing positions. They also have shared values and interests that can only be advanced by cooperation and trust. Existing legal strategies - politically charged class action lawsuits leading to negotiated consent decrees supervised by plaintiffs' attorneys - have not proven successful. The tools of conflict resolution could help improve these outcomes. The authors, one White and one African-American, suggest that Americans should not expect to become "color-blind" when discussing issues such as racial profiling, but rather to become "more conscious of the ways that race distorts and colors what we see. So that we can hear."

Keywords: Conflict Resolution, Racial Profiling, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Police, Victims, Crime,

JEL Classification: K14, J70, J71

Suggested Citation

Conner, Roger L. and Johnson, Marvin E., Racial Profiling in America: The Problem and the Challenge. ACResolution, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=472921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.472921

Roger L. Conner (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-3207 (Phone)
615-469-3207 (Fax)

Marvin E. Johnson

Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution ( email )

P.O. Box 4744
Crofton, MD 21114-4744
United States

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