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Journal Articles Philosophy and Public Affairs Year : 2005

Why Racial Profiling is Hard to Justify


In their article, “Racial Profiling,” Risse and Zeckhauser offer a qualified defense of racial profiling in a racist society, such as the contemporary United States of America. It is a qualified defense, because they wish to distinguish racial profiling as it is, and as it might be, and to argue that while the former is not justified, the latter might be. Racial profiling as it is, they recognize, is marked by police abuse and the harassment of racial minorities, and by the disproportionate use of race in profiling1. These, on their view, are unjustified. But, they contend, this does not mean that all forms of racial profiling are unjustified, even in a racist society, or that one has to be indifferent to the harms of racism to believe that this is so. Indeed, one of the aims of their article is to show that racial profiling, suitably qualified, “is consistent with support for far-reaching measures to decrease racial inequities and inequality” (p. 134), and so to challenge the assumption that “arguments in support of profiling can speak only to those who callously disregard the disadvantaged status of racial minorities.” [First paragraph]
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hal-02506500 , version 1 (12-03-2020)



Annabelle Lever. Why Racial Profiling is Hard to Justify: A Response to Risse and Zeckhauser. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2005, 33 (1), pp.94 - 110. ⟨hal-02506500⟩
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