Next, the third part will discuss the argument in favor of racial profiling, and the fourth part will discuss the argument against racial profiling. Finally, the fifth part will consist of a critical reflection on whether racial profiling should continue within the United States, as well as whether it is possible for the practice to not continue.
To start with, then, racial profiling refers to the practice of law enforcement paying more attention to some individuals than to other individuals on the basis of those individuals' demographic characteristics. This is in accordance with the definition of the practice provided by the American Civil Liberties Union:. In principle, racial profiling is based primarily on the characteristic of race, although it can also expand to include other characteristics as well, insofar as a given person's race is often associated with characteristics such as religion or national origin.
In general, racial profiling has been conceptualized within the United States has both a civil rights issue on the one hand and a pragmatic issue on the other.
At the level of civil rights, it is potentially problematic for a person to be targeted with special law enforcement attention simply because of his demographic characteristics.
And at the level of pragmatism, it can potentially hinder the practice of law enforcement itself. As the National Institute of Justice has written:. Racial profiling can cause multiple problems. Several law enforcement agencies have gone through expensive litigation over civil rights concerns. Police-citizen relations in those communities have been strained, making policing all the more challenging.
So, on the one hand, there are concerns about whether racial profiling is morally acceptable; and on the other, there are also concerns about whether racial profiling pragmatically works. Racial profiling works in different ways depending on the specific historical or cultural context in question within a given society.
For example, during World War II , people of Japanese and German origins were targeted by racial profiling, due to the fact that the United States was at war with the nations of Japan and Germany. Japanese-Americans were rounded up and placed in internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Today, people of Japanese origins are generally viewed as a relatively harmless security threat by law enforcement. People of German origins have more or less been simply assimilated to the overarching racial category of Caucasian , along with the Irish who were largely discriminated against in the infancy of the U. Other forms of racial profiling, however, have emerged over time; and some forms have proven to have disconcerting staying power over the course of American history as a whole.
What is clear, however, is that racial profiling—that is, directing selective law enforcement attention to certain demographic groups of people—has also been a significant practice within the context of law enforcement within most societies across time and place. It will now be worth turning attention to some of the more important forms of racial profiling within the United States today.
One of the most prominent and ongoing examples of racial profiling within the contemporary United States surely consists of the profiling of African Americans—and more specifically, of young black men.
This kind of racial profiling has been responsible, in a virtually singlehanded way, for the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the movement itself has written: Rooted in the experience of African-Americans in this country who actively resist our de-humanization in this country, BlackLivesMatter is a call to action paragraph 1.
Essentially, police officers have recently directed lethal force against young black men in a way that they probably would not against civilians of other racial groups. First with Al-Qadea , then the rise of ISIS , and more general threats to national security emerging from nations in the Middle East, tensions are high. If he had been speaking any other language, he likely would not have been removed from the flight.
The fact he was Muslim and a speaker of Arabic, the fellow passenger immediately made a mental connection regarding terrorism. Such examples, some extremely serious could be multiplied endlessly, and together could constitute a broad picture of the racial profiling of Muslims not only by law enforcement but every-day non-Muslim civilians. Some stakeholders have suggested that racial profiling is in fact a valid law enforcement practice that should be permitted to continue within the United States.
This argument has always been a pragmatic one in nature. Advocates of racial profiling contend that it's a necessary tool during an investigation. Law enforcement officers rely on their training and experience when developing a case and if their expertise leads them to believe that a subject is involved in. For example, it is an undisputed fact that most terrorist threats targeting the United States today originate from Muslim countries ; therefore, if law enforcement observes numerous Muslims about committing this sort of crime, then it would perhaps be appropriate for him to in the future pay more attention to young Muslim men than say, elderly White women when attempting to prevent such crime from happening in the future.
This argument is based on the fundamental insight that at a statistical level, people from certain demographics often are more likely to commit certain crimes associated with that background than those from an unrelated background.
From a law enforcement perspective, it would make no sense whatsoever to disregard this insight simply because it may strike some as politically insensitive. Rather, law enforcement officials must use all the information at their disposal to detect crimes in the present and deter future crimes. If some level of racial profiling were to provide crucial intelligence that did indeed deter crime, the conclusion is perhaps that racial profiling should in fact remain a part of law enforcement's more general professional arsenal.
Racial profiling would thus constitute a direct violation of civil rights. It would deny the right of every American to be legally treated first and foremost as an American and not primarily as a member of any one demographic category. There is also the obvious point that even the potential benefits of racial profiling may not always cover the costs.
The fact that most terrorists today happen to be Muslim does not conversely imply that most Muslims are actually terrorists. In short, innocent people are getting being persecuted for no reason whatsoever. This is clearly a serious moral dilemma. Police have used profiling to target the characteristics of certain individuals as more likely to commit certain types of crimes, often observed by police officers.
For example, a poor individual who spends a large amount of time in affluent enclaves may be targeted as someone likely to commit a crime. While this type of profiling has often been seen as unfair and biased, law enforcement agencies consider it a necessary practice to intercept possible criminal activity before it occurs Pampel, Racial profiling was first termed during the war on drugs in the s and s, when police officers were accused of pulling over motorists based on race and then searching their vehicles for illegal substances.
However, there are incidents of racial profiling in other situations and instances throughout American history. Even more currently, after the September 11 attacks in , the War on Terrorism was announced and individuals across the country were arrested, questioned, or detained by federal law enforcers. Other instances of racial profiling include pulling over Hispanics near the Mexico border in an attempt to capture illegal immigrants en route to the United States or questioning or searching minorities in high-crime urban areas Pampel, In April , Arizona enacted SB , which made it a misdemeanor crime for a a nonresident of the United States to be in Arizona without carrying required documents.
The arguments that surround the issue of racial profiling are connected to the inherent racism found in our communities and the tensions between law enforcement officials and various communities of color. Statistics have shown that African-American individuals are much more likely to be arrested and imprisoned than white Americans.
As of , 60 percent of all imprisoned men were African American, and 1 in every 15 African American men was in prison versus 1 in every white men. Additionally, 1 in every 3 black men can expect to go to prison as some point in their lives, and convicted blacks receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than their white counterparts.
Blacks were also three times more likely than whites to be searched during traffic stops Kerby, Other ethnic groups in the United States have also experienced negative effects from racial profiling.
While the term racial profiling has only recently come into use, law enforcement agencies have long used race, ethnicity, and national origin as grounds for police action in the United States. During the years of slavery, blacks were not allowed to leave their plantations without passes, and they could be questioned or detained by any white individual without any reason for suspicion. After slavery was outlawed, many states continued to control African Americans through curfews and the use of Jim Crow laws throughout the South Pampel, Throughout history, conflicts and tensions between police officers and communities of color have endured.
Hispanics and Latinos have faced intense scrutiny from law enforcement officials under suspicion that they are illegal residents; Asian-Americans were discriminated against by police officers in the communities in which they lived when they began immigrating to the United States in large numbers in the s.
Those of Middle Eastern descent face profiling in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A report released by the United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics BJS provided results from a survey in which contacts between police officers and close to 17 million drivers were analyzed.
The results were significant for several reasons. First, although white drivers were more likely than both black and Hispanic drivers to be stopped by police for speeding, both blacks and Hispanics were more likely to receive a ticket.
Free racial profiling papers, essays, and research papers.
Racial Profiling essays Racial profiling is the tactic of stopping someone because of the color of his or her skin and fleeting suspicion that the person is engaging in criminal behavior. This practice can be conducted with routine traffic stops, or can be completely random based on the car that is.
Free Essays from Bartleby | There has always been racial profiling in our history. The problem here is that at some point the ones who are oppressed and. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now!
According to Williams (), the practice of racial profiling tends to judge people based on their way of life. The African-Americans are someti. Essay on Racial Profiling Racial profiling is a method used by local and federal law enforcement agencies to determine whether a person may be suspect of a criminal act. Racial profiling is wrong and is a form of racism, and it also goes against the basic parameters of the Bill of Rights.