A Definition and Examples of Racial Profiling

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Racial profiling is the assumption of someone commiting a crime based on race or culture. Along the united states everyone does it. It plays into those huge stereotypes we have for all races and religions however racial profiling sets us back even more. It makes us believe an innocent person has committed something wrong based on someone’s past actions and past experiences. Police officers pulling people over because they look suspicious based on their skin tone or religion is morally wrong and could put somebody in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is many things wrong with racial profiling from media headlines and personal stories that exclaim the dangers and moral wrongness of the act.

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Media headlines play a huge role in how a person reading or listening to a report will view the suspect and the victim, The media will often do this because of the race of the suspect or killer. According to the Huffington Post. Demonstrating the power that news outlets wield in portraying victims based on images they select (Wing). The media can portray victims and suspects however they want and they can make people feel the same whey they do or a way they want the people to feel by selecting images of the suspect or victim that represent them the way the media wants them to be presented. This is the case far too many times for black victims. News reports often headline claims from police or other officials that appear unsympathetic or dismissive of black victims (Wing). This shows how when the media is looking for ways to portray the victim they will often ask and print the words of authorities that will purposely make whoever is reading the headline feel as if the victim is the reason why they died, all because the color of their skin. According to Wing.. Sometimes, they appear to go out of their way to boost the suspect ‘s character, carrying quotes from relatives or acquaintances that often paint even alleged murders in a positive light(Wing). The edia will cover up important details and specifics in order to get a good or selling title. Those are some ways the media can defend the actions of even the most brutal murders all because of skin color.

It isn ‘t just skin color that causes racial profiling, often times a faith, a way of life, a culture, a religion are all it takes for a person to be treated unfairly by the media and officials to treat a human unfairly, this is the case a majority of the time for Muslims. The Washington Post has published…Without a doubt, if these individuals had been Muslim, it would not only be called terrorism but it would have made national and international headlines for weeks,(Farhi) The media treats Muslims very harshly and makes them the center of the word terrorist. They are unfairly called this word and often times the media will carry a story of a Muslim hate crime for weeks to get the image in people ‘s minds that Muslims are terrorists. But what happens if the people that commit these crimes were white. What do you call a couple who espouse an extremist anti-government ideology and kill two policemen and a bystander while draping one of their victims in a flag associated with a political movement? (Farhi) The actions of these individuals were horrific and the media could very easily label them extremists or terrorists, but the media chose not to call them that because they were not Muslims. Muslims are unfairly targeted and called terrorists by the media because of actions based on a small percentage of people that then use Islam to defend their actions. It was an act of terror, but when it ‘s not associated with Muslims it ‘s just a day story that comes and goes.(Farhi) Often times acts that can be labeled as terrorism and that can easily label the people involved as terrorists but that do not feature Muslims as the suspects are gone very undiscussed and receive little attention from the media. That is some ways how religion can cause racial profiling.

Many cops take the oath because they want to protect and help people. But when an officer ‘s feelings get the best of them it can poison their initial sense of purpose. Often times when an officer is dealing with a black man and they have to arrest or feel they have to take serious action against them it leads to very terrible things. Consider the case of a 46 year old Baltimore man named Anthony Anderson, who was slammed to the ground, he died moments afterwards. (Daly) When Anthony Anderson was slammed he suffered multiple fractured ribs and a lacerated spleen, the death was deemed a homicide. Yet the officers found blameless. When this man was being attacked unfairly and unjustly the cop let his emotions get the best of him and slammed Anderson to the ground so hard he broke his ribs and damaged his spleen, it was obvious this was the reason for Anderson ‘s death yet the cop was was let go freely and no charges were brought up on him. This was not only unjust to Anderson, but to Anderson ‘s family who saw him be hurt brutally and know that the cop who killed him is still out there and can do it to anybody else. Police also do not have much care for black suspects some of the time. Batts further confirmed that Gray has not been strapped in with a seat belt, required by department regulations.(Daly) Freddie Gray was a black man who was killed by police brutality and was not treated the same as if he were a white suspect, Gray was not strapped in to the police car so if something was to happen his life would be in danger because of police not following regulations because of Grays skin color. But that ‘s not all that happened to Gray, He says he needs a medic, Batts said, yet no paramedics were summoned for more than 20 minutes after they arrived at the police station and realized he was unconscious.(Daly) Gray clearly stated he needed medical attention and the police payed it no mind until they saw he was really unconscious and needed actual help. Shows how police are treating black suspects unfairly. Another account of black suspects being treated unfairly was When a Baltimore man named Dondi Johnson suffered a fatal spine injury after being placed in a Baltimore police van without a seatbelt in 2005, one officer thought he was lying when he said he could not move. (Daly) Even if this was the first time a black person was treated unfairly by an official all the ones after this could have been prevented. Johnson suffered such a serious spine injury it did not let him move and again an account of the police not following protocol for a black suspect. These are just a few examples of when an officer ‘s feelings of racism towards a black man go too far.

Many black Americans are not getting the same treatment on the roads from authorities. In Ferguson, Missouri “African-American drivers there represented 86 percent of all traffic stops despite making up only 67 percent of the city ‘s population; white drivers, by contrast, accounted for only about 13 percent of the traffic stops in Ferguson despite making up 29 percent of its population” (Zengerle) This evidence from reports show the drastic differences between traffic stops of blacks and whites. This isn ‘t just happening in Missouri, It ‘s also happening in Connecticut, Of the total 620,000 traffic stops in Connecticut, 13.5 percent of the drivers were black and 11.7 percent were Hispanic (Weizel) These percentages display how the authorities have stopped blacks at a higher rate than whites. This percentage can be linked to the high crime rate in Connecticut that is led by blacks. This shows how the authorities use race to find a crimes suspect, solely using the way a person looks to pull them over.

In the article Racial Profiling by Kenneth Jost, he talks about the issue of Racial Profiling and brings to light the two major sides of this issue and the major points each of them use to support their position. First, Jost talks about how the side that believes minorities aren’t unfairly targeted by police; they believe that police are targeting areas with high rate of crime, which happens to have a high concentration of minorities. To counter that Jost talks about how their maybe a larger crime rate in areas with a large minority groups, but Of 4.4 million stops logged from 2004 to 2012, 53 percent involved African-Americans and 32 percent Hispanics. The city’s overall population is only 26 percent African-American and 29 percent Hispanic. Secondly, the issue of Racial Profiling in Department stores and how many people, including President Obama and Oprah Winfrey said recently they have felt profiled by store clerks for shopping while black. The opposing side countered that by stating that racial profiling isn’t the cause of minorities being stopped, these minorities are stopped because of suspicious behavior. Finally, Jost states Police use stop, question and frisk negatively against minority groups. He supports this by using the story of a young man that has been stopped multiple times by law enforcement for “walking while black”, and he believed that he was a victim of police using excessive force. After these encounters, this young man was released with no charges, leaving him to believe that he was only stopped because he was African American. (All quotes from Jost)

Personally, I’ve had issues with racial profiling myself. It’s a terrible feeling when you can be called rude names and attacked verbally all because of your name and the meaning it came from. Being born in America and never traveling to my home land i never turned into a super religious guy however i am a follower of allah and believer in what allah says and will teach me. In a simple coffee shop I was getting a coffee and police come through the door and start talking to me asking to see inside of my car and what im doing. After explaining my intentions they ask to search my car and without anything to hide i refused cause why would they need too. An elderly african american man ran outside to where i was at my car with the officers and screamed There’s the arabic pig with the drugs sir and immediately i was disgusted with actions of society and everything associated with it. Again the cop asks to search my car and this time i allow because it has gone from something stupid to something serious. Obviously they find nothing and i continued with my day still oblivious to why that man would believe i had anything on me. Even though i didn’t have anything on me the cops could have planted something and i would of been screwed with further punishments ahead of me. All because this man had something wrong with my religion and name. Racial profiling is a huge risk for people’s lives and endangerment because one false claim could cause a rippling effect on their futures.

The authorities are mainly held responsible for racial discrimination carried out in cities, however, the media’s influence on the matter only complicates the situation. Racial profiling can have an effect from labeling, media propaganda, the disparency of races questioned at traffic stops, and even the selective singling out of a particular race. The outcomes of these acts of discrimination verily outdo the pros. The fear within the authorities of specific races can lead to outcomes of racial profiling to be clearly displayed. Racial Profiling can see many inopportune actions executed by the authorities, influenced by tension, fear, or human error.

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A Definition and Examples of Racial Profiling. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from

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