Since its inception in 1909, the NAACP has been steadfast in the belief that racial segregation and discrimination limit and diminish human potential, ultimately denying the full benefits of freedom to African Americans. The NAACP has been at the forefront of the struggle to eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
African Americans and America itself are eternally indebted to W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Harrison Villiard and William English Walling for their answering the clarion 'call' for human and civil rights in response to the widespread lynching of blacks that was occurring in 1909. Thereafter, when federal, local government and civil authorities failed or refused to stop the daily lynching, the NAACP took action.
Racism within our criminal justice system has changed its face, having become more subtle and sophisticated, but just as destructive as in the past. Today, the struggle continues as we combat not lynching, but racial profiling “driving while black”. From the beating of Rodney King to the shooting of Amadou Diallo, citizens' distrust of law enforcement officers is growing.