Eradicating the devastating influence of racial bias requires that all charged with the administration of justice acknowledge our collective past and take action to remedy it. Only when those who “substitute racial stereotype for evidence, and racial prejudice for reason,” are taken to task does America begin to fulfill its constitutional promise of equal treatment under the law. Although Justice Sotomayor’s statement in Calhoun’s case is a good place to start, unfortunately, by nearly every measure, we have a long way to go.
Vincent Southerland is an assistant counsel in the Criminal Justice Project of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
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