One of the most controversial topics in America’s society today is racial profiling. Racial profiling is singling out an individual based on their race, religion, or color. Racial profiling occurs in many ways and people don’t even realize it. Although racial profiling is sometimes associated with people of color, several other factors including a person’s ethnicity, religion, or national origin can also play a big factor. Racial profiling often conflicts with the 14th amendment and it deprives citizens their privileges as an American. Racial profiling often refers to the discriminatory method often used by law enforcement and is often confused with criminal profiling which is the act of developing a psychological profile of a criminal based on the state of the crime scene. As a society that is already divided by racial tension, this shockingly unacceptable practice has made the people afraid of the very people who are supposed to protect them. The following research paper will examine the history of racial profiling, the population affected by racial profiling, and the victims.
While the problematic history of profiling has been long and tedious the term did not get popular until the 1800s and was used as a larger strategy on the ‘War on Drugs’. There have been cases of racial profiling as early as the 1500s when King Charles 1 commanded that native Americans submit to give up their rights to the Spanish authority or face oppression. Another example is the Nat Turner slave rebellion in 1831. 250 black slaves were rounded up and lynched just because of their color as a warning to other slaves who might choose to revolt (Dale,2001). In the court case of Korematsu vs. the United States, the U.S Supreme court ruled that racial profiling is not unconstitutional and can be practiced during a national emergency (Lever,2007). This ruling defended the involuntary imprisonment of around 110,00 Japanese Americans on the bias of nationality during world war two. During the 19th century and the civil rights movement, southern police officers would sit aside unmindful while the Klu Klux Klan would terrorize African Americans. And In some cases, would release black suspects to lynch mobs (Lever, 2007). After the attack on the Twin towers on September 11th the Bush administration rounded up an unknown number of middle eastern men and women and deported, released, and a hundred that were captured overseas remain imprisoned In Guantanamo Bay (ACLU,2002). These outrages act of profiling has been condemned by people nationwide ever since.
Many people in the united states have fallen victim to racial profiling. The following are just a few cases that have caught the attention of the media. In July 2019 T.J. Maxx made a public apology to a family in Connecticut when Askew-Ferris tells the authority her son was followed by store employees and was mistakenly identified as someone who stole from the store before even though he bore no resemblance to the suspect. Another case of profiling is in April 2018 two black men were arrested from a local Starbucks for waiting on a friend. Additionally, after this incident occurred a video surfaced of an African American man being denied a restroom while a white customer could use it. Another case is when Leonard Mitchell, an African American man, was pulled over by law enforcement and arrested for an outstanding seatbelt violation even though they could not give him a reason as to why he was being pulled over. Furthermore, Leonard Mitchel, who is a 300-pound man, was also charged with resisting arrest because he could not fit into the police car due to his weight and describes how they yelled obscenities and roughly handled him until they decided to place him in the front seat. With new forms of racial profiling coming into existence the wounds caused by this conflict will continue to get deeper.
Although we live in a world where social media often sheds light on injustices of racial profiling, there are still some people who have never experienced it. Some often think of it as a slight nuisance instead of a real serious issue. When the effects of racial profiling can not only will the victims have emotional, and psychological trauma but may even experience some sort of physical violence as well. Not only does racial profiling brings the feeling of fear, and racism. The impact of profiling not only affects the families, but it also affects friends, and neighbors as well which means that the social effect of profiling is widespread. As the country grows more divided with racial tensions, racial profiling in a community can result in distrust in law enforcement and leave community members feeling hurt and angry. Despite the serious nature of this problem, no area in the united states government has come up with a solution that will benefit the nation.
In conclusion, the practice of racial profiling has no place in any type of law enforcement. All law enforcement officials should treat every individual regardless of race, religion, and regardless of if they are a citizen the same dignity and respect, they deserve. No one person is the same if just because they look different does not give officers the right to take away their rights. Racial profiling creates mistrust, impacts our communities, and compromises our society’s future. This Practice can be stopped and eradicated but it is up to the people to be willing to make that change and accept that prejudices do exist and looking the other way will not make them just disappear into thin air.