Race, Racism and the Law 
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Racial and Ethnic Conflict and Violence

United States Report on Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
  Initial Country Report (Sept, 2000). 

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Vernellia R. Randall
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 The Community Relations Service (CRS), created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a specialized federal conciliation service available to State and local officials to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence and civil disorder. It sends experienced mediators to assist local communities' efforts to settle destructive conflicts and disturbances relating to race, color or national origin.

CRS lends its services when requested or when it believes peaceful community relations may be threatened. It relies solely on impartial mediation practices and established conflict resolution procedures to help local leaders resolve problems and restore community stability. CRS has no law enforcement authority and does not impose solutions, investigate or prosecute cases, or assign blame or fault. CRS mediators are required by law to conduct their activities in confidence and without publicity; and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information. Working in partnership with the Civil Rights Division, local United States Attorneys' offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, CRS plays a critical role in easing tensions in the aftermath of hate crimes and allegations of misconduct by law enforcement officers, especially where the race of the victim is alleged to have played a role in the officers' misconduct. 

CRS race relations skills were called upon to restore stability and order in the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the Rodney King case (where four White Los Angeles police officers were caught on videotape beating Mr. King, a Black motorist), and countless other civil disturbances across the country. In response to President Clinton's call for a comprehensive response by federal agencies to address church burnings, CRS staff worked directly with more than 180 rural, suburban and urban governments in seventeen states to help eliminate racial distrust and polarization, promote multiracial construction of new buildings, conduct race relations training for community leaders and law enforcement officers, and provide technical assistance in ways to bring together law enforcement agencies and minority neighborhoods.

Other areas of CRS involvement include the prevention and resolution of racial conflicts arising from the integration of public and private housing. CRS works with community leaders and local law enforcement officials to coordinate responses to issues raised by integration activities. CRS also assists in disputes between tribal nations and outside communities and addresses federal, state and local government concerns over tribal jurisdiction, housing, schools, environmental, gaming, and tax issues. 



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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law