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This sample racial profiling research paper tries to establish whether racial profiling is indeed a law enforcement tool or an act of racism. One cannot ignore the positive impact it has had on the general society, but then it has also led to abuse of rights of the minorities.
Free Racial Profiling in America Sample Essay
Racial profiling is the act of linking particular racial or ethnic groups to acts of crime. The American population comprises of several ethnic groups, with whites being the majority. Most of the minority groups in the country consist of migrants and their generations. Laws in the United States and the justice system in the country treats people of the white race more favorably than other racial groups. A discussion regarding the subject of racial profiling in the United States is provided below.
Racial profiling is an issue that a variety of civil rights movements in the United States have continued to condemn. It is an act that is highly accepted and practiced by law enforcement agencies of the majority white race, and that amounts to abuse of civil rights of minority groups in the United States (Risse & Zeckhauser, 2004). The practice is illegal according to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, but the law enforcers and the criminal justice system have defined behavioral criteria that promote it (Risse & Zeckhauser, 2004). The Department of Justice disputes that racial profiling exists, citing that law enforcement officers act on individuals from minority groups owing to their suspicion and not the ethnicity of such persons. Some states in the United States have enforced laws aimed at stopping this vice of racial profiling, but no positive results have been realized so far (Risse & Zeckhauser, 2004). Those who criticize the practice argue that the police should act as guided by legal constraints.
Racial profiling in the United States can be defined from two perspectives. First, as an essential tool for law enforcement agencies and second, as an abuse of the rights of the minority groups. According to research, the incidences of racial profiling in the US increased after the September 2001 terrorist attacks (Schulk, Martin & Glaser, 2012). Reports about the attacks showed that they were facilitated by Arab immigrants who were members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. The nature and damage of these attacks created a whole new picture of Muslims who migrate to the United States. Since then, law enforcement agencies have always treated individuals of Arab origin with suspicion (Schulk, Martin & Glaser, 2012). Evidence shows that racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims has contributed to decrease in the number of terrorist incidences experienced in the United States since the year 2001 (Schulk, Martin & Glaser, 2012). Inasmuch as it is an unacceptable practice, it has helped save millions of American lives and their property. From this perspective, many will agree that racial profiling can be viewed as an acceptable practice for law enforcement agencies.
Drug and substance abuse is one of the most challenging social issues the American government is facing today. Millions of American youth are unproductive owing to their addiction to a variety of hard drugs. Studies reveal that most of the drug businesses existing in the U.S. are run by black people, and Latinos from Mexico (Franco, 2007). Apart from the effects that the drugs have on the American youth, the illegal business has resulted in an increase in violent gun crimes as gangs fight over the control of the streets to sell the drugs. Immigrants from Mexico are linked to a very notorious group known as MS-13, which deals in distribution of drugs and guns (Franco, 2007). This criminal gang has caused the loss of lives of many Americans, including children. In efforts to curb the spread of this criminal group, the United States government in conjunction with law enforcement agencies has resorted to racial profiling of blacks and Latinos (Franco, 2007). Studies reveal that the racial profiling has resulted in the incarceration of a high proportion of MS-13 gang members (Franco, 2007). The practice has in effect led to a decrease in the number of drug-related violent crimes as well as the number of hard drugs evident in the streets of the United States.
Most of the people who facilitate terrorist activities and drug business undertakings are immigrants who belong to Arab, black, and Latino minorities. Law enforcement agencies have a right to use racial profiling in efforts to stop criminal acts discussed above. However, racial profiling is as well meted out on minority individuals who are in real sense American citizens by birth. It is impossible to differentiate between an American born African-American and an immigrant. Therefore, the general practice of racial profiling subjects American citizens who belong to minorities to discrimination that they do not deserve (Level, 2007). Numerous evidence shows that most highway police officers use race as the basis of pulling cars over. The act of using race to stop cars in this manner or as efforts to curb crimes translates to discrimination, which is unacceptable and illegal according to the constitution.
The message that minorities are generally criminals is also passed across by the media. Dijk (2015) observes that the media casts minorities as being second to the “upper class” formed by the Whites. The same media give a negative picture which suggests that minorities are criminals. Unfortunately, such inescapable stigma and negative stereotypes are propagated by such large media companies as the Universal Studio, ABC, NBC and the Paramount Pictures. Many people had hoped not to see such practices ever again in the more liberalized world. Such hopes have however been quashed by big screen movies, newscasts, and sitcoms. According to history, it is a less than ideal idea how minorities are portrayed in television and movies. The “insignificant minority” are suppressed by an industry whose ideas are based on old conceptions that are usually aimed at pleasing the “significant majority.”
It is difficult to establish whether or not racial profiling is proliferated by racism, which has continued to evidence itself among the American population. Law enforcement agencies employ the practice under the guise of crime prevention and are supported by a majority of Americans who belong to the white race. Sadly, the same racial profiling has resulted in the death of numerous innocent individuals from minority groups who get shot by police as mistaken identities (Level, 2007). Racial profiling has as well led to the incarceration of innocent individuals from minority groups in the United States (Level, 2007). Many states in the United States have implemented laws aimed at stopping this practice, but no law enforcement agencies have continued to disregard it. The critical drawback towards ending the practice is the justice system, which is made up of a majority of whites, who are not ready to put the law into practice. The belief that people from a particular population group have a higher likelihood of committing crimes has also contributed to the prevalence of racial profiling cases in the U.S.
Dijk, T. A. (2015). Racism and the press. New York, NY: Routledge.
Franco, C. (2007, November). The MS 13 and 18th street gangs: emerging transnational gang threats?. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Lever, A. (2007). What’s wrong with racial profiling? Another look at the problem. Criminal Justice Ethics, 26(1), 20-28.
Risse, M., & Zeckhauser, R. (2004). Racial profiling. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 32(2), 131-170.
Schuck, P. H., Martin, K. D., & Glaser, J. (2012). Point: profiling is a legitimate practice if used correctly. It can be an effective and necessary tool for law enforcement.
Racial Profiling Outline
Thesis: Racial profiling is an act that is highly practiced by the law enforcement agencies in the United States as a security precaution but amounts to the abuse of rights of the minority groups.
Racial profiling has continued to receive massive condemnation from Civil Rights Movements and is highly practiced by law enforcement offers of the majority white race.
- It amounts to the abuse of the rights of the minority.
- The act is illegal according to the fourth amendment of the American constitution, but the police and the justice system have created avenues to legalize the action.
- The justice department disputes the existence of cases of racial profiling.
- Many countries have implanted policies to stop racial profiling, but no positive results have been realized.
Racial profiling is a valuable law enforcement tool.
- Through racial profiling cases of terrorism have reduced since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- Many American lives have been saved as well as property.
Racial profiling has enabled authorities to lower drug-related gun violence and the number of hard drugs available in the streets of United States.
- Racial profiling has resulted in the incarceration of MS-13 gang members and black men, who are the critical drug dealers in the US.
- A notable decrease in gun violence and cases of drug addiction is evident owing to use of racial profiling.
In spite of the positive implications of racial profiling as a tool for law enforcement, it subjects innocent Americans to discrimination.
- Not all Muslims are terrorists, and similarly, not all Latinos or African American men are drug dealers.
- Use of phylogenetic profiling methods is an abuse of the rights of the minorities.
The message that minorities are generally criminals is also passed across by the media.
- The media casts minorities as being second to the “upper class” formed by the Whites.
- The same media give a negative picture which suggests that minorities are criminals.
It is difficult to establish whether racial profiling is indeed a law enforcement tool or an act of racism. One cannot ignore the positive impact it has had on the general society, but then it has also led to abuse of rights of the minorities. Innocent people have been jailed and incarcerated as a result of racial profiling.