Racial Stereotyping and Profiling

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I chose the topic of racial profiling because it is of concern for many people almost any place you go. I think it’s very important that people do not overlook or downplay the negative impact of racial profiling. If they do, nothing will get better and no one will do anything to address the problem. I think people could fix this problem by not singling out another human being simply because of they belong to a different racial or ethnic group that is different from theirs. Racial profiling is a difficult issue to change because there are a lot of racist people who believe that they are better than or superior to others. Sometimes law enforcement agencies encourage racial profiling and unfairly target certain groups based on internalized negative stereotypes and prejudice.

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Racially-based profiling usually happens because police narrow their searches down to one race, which may not be right but is the best way to find who they are looking for. Even if there is a law against it, police officers often operate on the assumption that members of certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to commit crimes or violate the law than others. Thus, individuals belonging to certain minority groups are targeted more so than other groups. People have tried many times to stop racial profiling but it usually doesn’t work even when the NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) steps in they can’t even change it. The profiling of people by the police make people scared to go to them because they think that they won’t help them or they’ll be cruel to them. Police officers or agencies that do this affect everyone around them including their family members, friends, and co-workers.

People of color are often associated with gangs, not having a good job, not having a good education, stealing, and drug abuse. If a kid grows up in a poor neighborhood with no opportunities and gangs, he/she is probably not going to turn out very well. For example, if you go through the ghetto part of Miami, which has a high percentage of people of color. Gangs may pressure someone to do a crime just to gain status and rank. Minority students committing crimes, especially of color, are more likely to have lived in a community with higher poverty and less qualified schools. Even if they were a very good student they probably didn’t have access to high level courses that colleges are looking for. They also had trouble getting in to a good college because their school was small and not well known. Here are some statistics. Nearly 40% of inmates lack a high school diploma or the equivalent according to the census data (Orfield, NBC). We do, in the African American community, need to instill a stronger value on education, but minority students in general also need more early childhood education, longer school days, longer school years and more substantial summer job opportunities (Morial, NBC). (People in prison) points to the significant failure in our education system and how we’ve been raising our children (Morial, NBC).

Parents need to stick around and raise their kid. If they don’t want the responsibility well, then tough. They need to make sure that he/she grows up in a good community and that they are being good role models for them. Drugs will also help with that in making people do things they normally wouldn’t do. They can also directly be arrested for taking certain drugs, like crack cocaine. Crack is a commonly abused drug amongst people of color. Drug offenders make up a big portion of people in prison. Crimes aren’t always done because someone is being stupid. Sometimes they are done sincerely out of the need for survival. Whether someone doesn’t have enough to pay off debt, buy food, clothes, or housing. They also couldn’t afford a good lawyer when they get caught up in a bad situation. People may resort to stealing something they need, even if it means hurting someone who stands in their way. Certain ethnic communities that physically have a higher crime rate will be patrolled more which may increase their numbers in jail or prison. There are more than 2,000 drug courts in operation, mostly in cities with large black communities ravaged by violence associated with crack cocaine. White offenders also are increasingly winding up in drug courts for abusing methamphetamine (Fears, pg.2). Other ghetto neighborhoods, of certain race, still have crime and there just isn’t enough policemen around to catch them.

We may have gotten rid of the worst of racial profiling through the civil war and Martin Luther King, but there is still some discrimination. Drugs, like crack, are abused more often by certain minorities, like people of color, have a higher sentence (also because these drug offenders show up in violent communities, and committing other crimes). Some very good examples of racial profiling/stereotypes at work is wars and disasters. Like when after the attack at Pearl Harbor, the United States captured all Japanese Americans in WWII. Also like the aftermath of 9/11 when the United States started to lock up any suspicious Arabians and Muslims.

My conclusion is that racial profiling can be good or thought of as a necessity to do but it is often abused and unfairly carried out. This is a huge topic that humans have struggled over for centuries. There are many sides and subtopics to discuss. We are all responsible to fix this because everyone has a mental image that pops up when they hear about a certain race. I think in general people do a good job of pushing aside those thoughts, but then again I don’t know everyone. In the end it all comes down to opinion and what you think is right or wrong. The civil rights of the profiled individuals are violated and often by people who are entrusted to uphold the just laws of society.

Works Cited

More Blacks, Latinos in Jail than College Dorms. NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 Sept. 2007, www.nbcnews.com/id/21001543/ns/us_news-life/t/more-blacks-latinos-jail-college-dorms.

Fears, Darryl. A Racial Shift in Drug-Crime Prisoners. The Washington Post, WP Company, 15 Apr. 2009, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14/AR2009041401775.html.

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Racial Stereotyping and Profiling. (2019, Jul 31). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from
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