Second Debate Transcript: Page 8
Oct. 11 --
LEHRER: Let’s move on. All right — no, let’s move on.
GORE: Far be it from me to suggest otherwise.
LEHRER: First, a couple of follow-ups from the vice presidentialdebate last week.
Vice President Gore, would you support or sign as president afederal law banning racial profiling by police and other authoritiesat all levels of government?
GORE: Yes, I would. The only thing an executive order canaccomplish is to ban it in federal law enforcement agencies.
But I would also support a law in the Congress that wouldhave the effect of doing the same thing. I just—I think thatracial profiling is a serious problem.
I remember when the stories first came out about the stops in NewJersey by the highway patrol there. And I know it’s been going on along time. In some ways, this is just a new label for somethingthat’s been going on for years. But I have to confess that it was thefirst time that I really focused on it in a new way. And I was — Iwas surprised at the extent of it.
And I think we’ve now got so many examples around the countrythat we really have to find ways to end this. Because—imagine whatit — what it is like for someone to be singled out unfairly, unjustlyand feel the unfair force of law simply because of race or ethnicity.
Now, that runs counter to what the United States of America isall about at our core. And it’s not an easy problem to solve, but I — if I am entrusted with the presidency, it will be the first civilrights act of the 21st century.
BUSH: Yes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be singledout because of race and stopped and harassed. That’s just flatwrong, and that’s not what America’s all about. And so we ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling.
One of my concerns, though, is I don’t want to federalize thelocal police forces.