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A racial profiling essay may require a student, among other things, to discuss the origin, prevalence or effects of racial profiling in a given country.

Here is a sample essay that discusses racial profiling in the United States.

Free Racial Profiling Essay Example

Introduction

In the 21st century, there is a common argument that the United States is going through a post-racial era. That is, the country is going through a period where it is free from racial segregation and all other ills that come with the vice. However, the issue of racial profiling has continued to be an enormous social stigma for a select few American nationals. Defined, racial profiling is a general phrase referring to the practice of suspecting or targeting people from a particular race on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior rather than on individual behavior. In spite of the claim that the U.S. is enjoying a post-racial era, racial profiling continues to occur. Racial profiling is not only morally and ethically wrong but also legally condemned by the American constitution.

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According to the United States Constitution, every American citizen regardless of their race has equal protection under the law and is protected against any unreasonable searches and seizures. Inasmuch as racial profiling is largely ineffective, it tends to create some form of alienation of specific groups by law enforcers, inhibits community policing efforts, and leads to a lack of trust of law enforcers among the general society which they are sworn to protect and serve. It is without a doubt that a government through the police force has a general duty to protect citizens while promoting fairness and justice (Zack, 2015). However, practicing racial profiling goes against this sworn duty leading to fear among citizens who are condemned due to what they look like, their origins, or the religions they subscribe to among others.

The issue of racial profiling affects different communities of color. One of the most affected groups has been African-Americans who have had to endure more than two hundred years of slavery and more than ninety years of legalized racial segregation leading to their systematic profiling. As noted by Butler (2017), not for one minute in the history of America has there been peace between African-Americans and law enforcers. In the recent past, there have been cases where the police resort to violence when arresting blacks. The most recent case was the one that involved George Floyd, an African-American who died in the hands of the police while being arrested. From the video footage of the incidence, the suspect had already complied with the police but was still chocked to death by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer (Hill et al., 2020). Not even the “I can’t breathe” pleas from the poor man could save him from death in the hands of the four white police officers.

Noteworthy, the violent attacks often meted out on the blacks by the police cannot be related to any situation that the group faced in the past, not even the Jim Crow segregation, the lynching, the restrictive covenants in housing, or the New Deal programs (Butler, 2017). Most of the time, blacks have protested by organizing peaceful demonstrations and attacking symbols of the state. Another group that has been a significant target of racial profiling are the Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians. The group has been profiled by individuals working in airlines, Federal law enforcement officers, and local police. The George Floyd’s case, as already described, attracted mass protests and demonstrations across the entire United States. People, including African-Americans, Caucasians, and people of color organized demonstrations to protest the inhumane racially-instigated act by the police officers. Some of these demonstrations even turned violent and culminated in looting sprees by demonstrators. This single act of racial profiling bordered on racism and even parked protests across the world, led by the Black Lives Matter movement. The world stood together with Americans against what intentional disregard for African-American lives.

It is morally wrong to judge an individual based on their physical characteristics. According to experts, judging an individual based on their physical traits is a significant factor of racial profiling. Nonetheless, there exists a group of American citizens who consider racial profiling as a useful tool in ensuring security and punishing illegality. On the other hand, some critics posit that racial profiling does more harm than good to the affected groups and cannot be a solution towards the problems facing the U.S. On the issue of illegal or undocumented immigration, racial profiling is considered a solution by many, but it cannot be a systematic solution to the crisis of porous borders (Chacón & Coutin, 2018). In its entirety, the issue of racial profiling towards solving the problem of terrorism and illegality overlooks an acute moral issue. By marking specific groups as targets or a source of threats, racial profiling goes a long way in putting many innocent citizens under pervasive scrutiny. In the process, there is a production of a sense of exclusion, alienation, and fear among the targeted groups.

Racial profiling further violates and ignores the foundation of the American spirit and the rule of law. In a fundamental sense, the practice tends to consider a group of Americans as ‘not fully Americans’ and puts them under a continuous trial. It is a devastating force that tends to put the affected group into a devastating psychological and physical harm. Therefore, it is morally wrong and should be condemned and unequivocally rejected by all means possible. It is crucial to pinpoint that racial profiling is not only practiced by law enforcers but also the public. That is, the public tends to paint a particular group of individuals as potential enemies or criminals based on their race, way of dressing, and culture. The practice thus despises people of color in many aspects of life as lawful citizens who are legally American are considered as half Americans or aliens in their own country.

Conclusion

Racial profiling is legally and ethically wrong. The American Constitution stipulates that every American citizen has equal rights regardless of their race, sex, gender, and nationality. Racial profiling goes against this stipulation by painting a specific group of people as potential enemies. The practice is also ethically and morally wrong since it characterized by judging an individual based on their looks and generalizing that opinion on every member of the group or race. The American government should thus actively engage in strategies that are aimed at combating terrorism and illegality without resorting to racial discrimination and profiling.

References

Butler, P. (2017, August 11). “US justice is built to humiliate and oppress black men. And it starts with the chokehold”. The Guardian. Retrieved June 30, 2020 from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/11/chokehold-police-black-men-paul-butler-race-america

Chacón, J. M., & Coutin, S. B. (2018). Racialization through enforcement. Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control: Enforcing the Boundaries of Belonging, 159.

Hill, E., Tiefenthäler, A., Triebert, C., Jordan, D., Willis, H., & Stein, R. (2020). “How George Floyd was killed in police custody”. The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

Zack, N. (2015). White privilege and black rights: the injustice of US police racial profiling and homicide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Racial Profiling Essay Outline

Introduction

Thesis: Racial profiling is not only morally and ethically wrong but also legally condemned in the American constitution.

Body

Paragraph 1:

According to the United States Constitution, every American citizen regardless of their race have equal protection under the law and protected against any unreasonable searches and seizures.

  • Racial profiling tends to create a form of alienation of specific groups from law enforcers, inhibits community policing efforts, and leads to a lack of trust of law enforcers among the general community who they are sworn to protect and serve.
  • Racial profiling goes against the sworn duty of law enforcers of protect and serve all American citizens despite their religion, what they look like, or their religion.

Paragraph 2:

The issue of racial profiling affects different communities of color.

  • One of the most affected group has been African-Americans who have had to endure more than two hundred years of slavery and more than ninety years of legalized racial segregation leading to systematic profiling of blacks.
  • The most recent case was the one that involved George Floyd, an African-American who died in the hands of the police while being arrested.

Paragraph 3:

Noteworthy, the violent attacks often meted out on the blacks by the police cannot be related to any situation that the group faced in the past.

  • Most of the time, blacks have protested by organizing peaceful demonstrations and attacking symbols of the state.
  • The George Floyd’s case attracted mass protests and demonstrations across the entire United States.

Paragraph 4:

It is morally wrong to judge an individual based on their physical characteristics.

  • According to experts, judging an individual based on their physical traits is a major factor of racial profiling.
  • A group of Americans prescribe to the idea that racial profiling is an effective tool in safeguarding security and punishing illegality.
  • Critics argue that racial profiling does more harm than good to the affected groups and cannot be a solution towards the problems facing the US.
  • For instance, on the issue of illegal immigration, although racial profiling is considered a solution by many it cannot be a systematic solution to the crisis of porous borders.
  • Racial profiling leads to production of a sense of exclusion, alienation and fear among the targeted groups.

Paragraph 5:

Racial profiling violates and ignores the foundation of the American spirit and rule of law.

  • In a fundamental sense, racial profiling tends to consider a group of Americans as ’not fully Americans’ and puts them under a continuous trial.
  • Racial profiling intensifies and despises people of color in many aspects of life where lawful American citizens who are legally Americans are considered as half Americans or aliens in their neighborhoods.

Conclusion

In summary, racial profiling is legally and ethically wrong. The American Constitution stipulates that every American citizen has equal rights regardless of their race, sex, gender, and nationality. Racial profiling goes against this stipulation by painting a specific group of people as potential enemies.

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