GR commissioners hold hearing on human rights ordinance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dozens packed the Commission Chamber Tuesday night to voice their opinion on a proposed ordinance that would make it illegal to racially profile people and call police for "participating in their lives."

If passed, the ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to racially profile people for living their lives and could result in a $500 fine. Police and dispatchers would also receive training to ask questions about why a call is being made.

Supporters argued those who have a racial bias need to be called out.

“We are being dehumanized, whether we are disabled, we are gay, straight, lesbian, white, black. We are being dehumanize and we need to come together as a community, and I believe this ordinance is the start,” a supporter said during public comment. “Do I think it will fix things? No, it will not. It will not automatically fix everything; however, it is the start of a new beginning.”

Those in opposition say the ordinance would become redundant.

“We do have the letter of the law, that just needs to be enforced a lot more,” a public commenter said. “Our legislative body needs to really, really consider, is all the laws and all the people and just hear their voices, I don’t think, as someone spoke well, more legislation is just more bureaucracy, that’s the way I see it.”

Grand Rapids would be the first city in the state to pass such an ordinance.

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10 comments

  • lml25

    I watched the meeting on public access.I knew beforehand,there would not be a lot of dissenters walking to the microphone and expressing their opposition–due to a fear of retribution.I noticed blacks in the seated area taking video of the speakers.You had to give your name and then your opinion.What are the chances my house gets shot at due to my opposition?It’s not a farfetched possibility.
    Who WAS there?Many organized groups,a few blacks and Mexicans and the people behind the proposal,pushing hard for passage.
    I’m against it,because its targeted at whites.When is the last time a black has called the police on a white person for noise?FIrst time for everything.
    I’ve never had a good minority neighbor in my life.Something always happens:Drug bust,fights,loud rap musIc,OD,no trash removed,no grass cut etc.
    Bliss is obviously for this plan.Let her live in the bad area of the west side(most of it),the side her and Heartwell destroyed with their diversity plan and she would think differently.Guarantee it.

  • steve

    If “living their lives” detracts from the quality of my life as I see it, I’ve got a real problem with this. But, because we’re looking at a problem that can only be defined subjectively rather than objectively, there are going to be problems. And, because there’s nothing common about common courtesy these days, what seems to be perfectly fine for one is objectionable another. This ordinance will no doubt be adopted by a liberal city commission. But, before that happens, I hope that the spokesperson that I saw on TV8 was wrong when she said that if the ordinance passes “we’ll work out the details in the next couple of months”. Kind of reminds me of Nancy Pelosi on Obamacare when she said “we’ll have to pass the bill before you know what’s in it”. Good luck to us all.

  • Bill

    What a wast of time and money. People need to grow up. Bad things happen to good people all the time. But when bad things happen to black people, right away it’s racially profile. LIFE MUST BE MISERABLE WHEN YOU SPEND ALL YOUR TIME LOOKING FOR A REASONS TO PLAY THE BLACK CARD.

  • Kevin Rahe

    If we’re going to talk about human rights, it’s a travesty of justice to begin anywhere other than with the rights of the most defenseless and silenced among us, which are those who haven’t happened to be born yet.

  • C

    Exactly what does ‘living their lives’ or ‘participating in their lives’ mean? Seems to me that City Hall, in order to mollify a relatively small group of people, is going to try to define something that defies definition. In the end, I’m betting that the liberals will produce an ordinance that is a license to defy what is both common sense and two-way respect to most people.

    • Kevin Rahe

      That was my first thought. I haven’t watched the video, but from what’s written in the story it’s difficult to understand what kind of injustice they’re going after here, or if it’s any injustice at all. I can agree that we all need to treat others with more respect and avoid wantonly offending their sensibilities, but those are things we need to learn from our mothers and fathers, not the government.

  • Tim

    It’s just another typical “Gotta do something” law and it won’t change a thing, but they gotta do something to appease the public. Why not check the records as to what race makes the most calls and what race are the complaining about, my guess is white complaining about white, black on black, etc.

  • Jenny2.0

    This is how liberals govern.
    Get used to it, there is much more to come, looks like Rosalyn has already begun the apology tour. You know that white guilt and all…

    • C

      And, Jenny. Like many of her ideas, the words that she might believe are unifying for all residents are not. They’re divisive.

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