I don't blame you for picking on Bill Bradley, but lay off NJ
Mar 03, 2000 | 167 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor: The following is an open letter to Vice President Al Gore: I was quite taken aback by your comments at the Apollo Theater when you said that "racial profiling practically began in New Jersey." I understand that you were trying to make the point that Senator Bradley did little, if anything at all, to address the problem of racial profiling during his 18 years as a United States Senator. On that point you are absolutely on target. You must have misspoken when you alleged that racial profiling practically began in New Jersey. The fact is, that racial profiling is a national problem that the President and the Department of Justice have indicated goes well beyond state borders. If the public record is correct, in 1988 then-Governor Bill Clinton sanctioned a program by Arkansas State Troopers that profiled Hispanic drivers. That program was declared unconstitutional by the federal courts and was the subject of a consent decree. While it is indeed impossible to identify where in our great nation racial profiling began, I can tell you where it will end-in New Jersey. As I am sure you recognize, New Jersey is first in the nation with respect to eradicating racial profiling. As you may recall, New Jersey was the first state to acknowledge the decades-long existence of racial profiling. We were the first state to have conducted a comprehensive review of the problem and we are the first state to have developed a comprehensive plan to ensure that enforcement of our laws is even-handed, color-blind and without prejudice. Again, I understand that you were trying to make the point that when it comes to Senator Bradley-in areas as diverse as campaign reform or racial profiling-there is often a chasm between his words and his deeds. However, if in the future you reference racial profiling in New Jersey, I would urge you to be more careful, accurate and complete. Christine Todd Whitman
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