Why Racial Profiling is Bad

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Racial profiling is the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense. Racial profiling has been a problem since the establishment of this country. Not only is it illegal, but it also continues to occur in the justice and education system. It is a huge injustice to majority of people in local neighborhoods and it hinders the great ability of society as a whole.

Racial profiling is nothing new. In fact, it has been around many centuries. Black people had to show passes to prove they had permission to be off of the plantation, or Freedom Papers to prove they were free. According to the author, Anita L. Willis, “the free negro registry required registration every three years in the Virginia counties and cities. The minimum recorded information included the age, name, color, and stature, by whom and in what court the said negro, or mulatto,was emancipated. Most registrations went further and recorded skin color- dark or light mulatto-, hair texture and color- straight, kinky, red, or black-, height, marks or colors, and the names of parents. The Free Negro Registry was a means to restrict the coming and going of Negroes in Colonial Virginia and other parts of the south.” Not only did this occur in a ‘physical manner’, it began to evolve over the years affecting the economic life of black people. Equal opportunity was no alloted to African-Americans. Job opportunities were less and far different than the ones granted to whites.

They had no way of sending up for themselves. Because they also weren’t granted equal opportunity for decent education. ACLU talks about a “school-to-prison pipeline.” This is seen a lot in schools of minority. Many students in public schools- majority minority- experience poor or inadequate counseling and are made out to rely on harsh zero tolerance policies. For making minor adolescent mistakes,children are facing major adult consequences. When all of this could be avoided or at least lightly mended with the support of a thorough and caring community. The way things are set up communities are not set up that way anymore. Well at least not minority communities. This is stemming from early racial segregation and Jim Crow laws. Blacks never had an equal or fair education system from the start. Now it is evolving in the most way possible. Instead of building up the school systems in black communities, they are being torn down and molded into pre-incarceration facilities. Schools are now preparing children for jail and/or adding to their records.

All of these things that went on in the past strongly resembles current situations concerning the minority. Everyone has to have and ID. and if you are without it, you will face a real problem. As stated in the given article, “today almost every adult is required to carry some form of identification. If you are stopped, and do not have identification, you can be taken to a police station. What were the consequences of failing to carry the required papers during colonial period? For free persons of color, the worst-case scenario was being sold into slavery. Or they could be thrown in jail until a white person came forward on their behalf.

Today, if a citizen is pulled over on a traffic stop, and cannot show proper identification, the outcome is left to the discretion of the officer. Not only can the driver be questioned and detained, the passengers and the car can be searched. If you are a member of a targeted group, you may be taken to the station, and held there until you are cleared.” So not only did things like such happen centuries ago, they still occur to this day. These things mostly occur with people of color. Not to many white people have to even worry about being pulled over for no reason. All because of our skin being darker, our 14th amendment right is violated. And yes people do have the right to go to court with a case to prove that their rights have been violated. But more than likely that person can’t afford to lose that much time.

Minorities get the rough end of the stick. They struggle finding a job to support themselves comfortably and due to lack of a better education, they have to fight to move up because everything requires credentials that most can’t afford. And by the system knowing this, they know that they could get away with almost everything foul that happens because there is no one to stop them. Just like the article exclaimed, “until there is some type of referendum and a movement to abolish laws that target some citizens and not others, whether these laws are written or unwritten, we will remain a country stuck in the past.” That is a sad statement, but looking at the things going on around the world it is seemingly true. There is almost no progress just a grave regression. There are people trying to change the ways of the world, but they can’t do it by themselves.

Another topic that has dragged on into today’s era is the “War on Drugs.” Stated in the text, Rushing Keith explains, “the current incarnation of the “war on drugs” began in 1982 under Ronald Reagan as drug crimes were on the decline. The focus on stopping drug usage and sales through harsh sentencing laws, including mandatory minimum sentences, three-strikes laws and an intense focus on urban black neighborhoods for anti-drug efforts led to more than a tripling of

the prison population in 30 years with substantial racial disparities. In the past few decades, the number of people who are incarcerated has climbed dramatically from 300,000 to 2 million, which is more than six-fold increase. In 2010, the United States bureau of justice statistics indicated that black males had an imprisonment rate that was nearly seven times higher than the incarceration rate of white men. And the rate of incarceration of black women was nearly three times the rate of white women. As human rights watch noted in a 2009 study, blacks are arrested at much higher rates than whites even though they commit drug offenses at comparable rates.” See, this is all a part of racial profiling.

Even though whites do the same things, male and female blacks- and minorities are targeted more. They would be the first to be indicted yet there are people out there with bigger offenses and less time or even no time. They just target and assume that black people are the problem. It’s sad because if blacks are the problem, so many are locked up, then why does the same problem still not getting any better. Because blacks and minorities are not the problem, racial profiling is. If someone believes they are going to fail because of the way the world is viewing them then ultimately they will fail because they know that no matter what they do someone is waiting there to bring them down. How can you live a prosperous life if every time you turn around negativity is knocking at your doorstep and seeping into your life.[image: ]

The consequences of racial profiling amongst minorities are not appropriate. There are whites and other ethnicities performing criminal offenses. Legislation is enacting the rights of initial imprisonment and bringing minorities to justice. However, because racial profiling is discriminatory, the American Civil Liberties Union feels that a multifaceted attempt is mandatory to confront the issue states ACLU members and other civil rights defensors has brung legal proceedings based on display of discrimination by law enforcement agencies, but judicial proceeding is only the start. Legislation at state levels and Federal can incline the propulsion to acquire methodical and systematic measurements on the issue and govern pragmatic and somewhat unconstitutional law enforcement methods. Approximately, 49% of African-Americans are victimized by racial profiling.[image: Related image]

African-Americans are exposed to racial profiling because, as displayed in unnecessary vigilance and stopped by officers when driving through Caucasian communities. Policemen and other law enforcement agencies’ ethics and conduct are not interpreted by blacks’ violation or breach of law, because the measure of business performance associated with sales of product for blacks are lower in white areas. About half of Hispanics in America has reported racial profiling or mistreatment because of their ethnicity.

[image: Image result for hispanics racial profiling graph] Hispanics endure racial profiling largely by age. Hispanics age 18 to 30, 66% report to have been mistreated. By distinguishing, only 34% of Hispanics 50 and more elder reports that they have encountered the same treatment. Also, Hispanics who were born in the United States- 63% or more possibly than migrants- 42% to report their experience of racial profile and discrimination. For instance, 57% of non-white Hispanics confirms that unjust acts have occurred at one margin of their lives, a higher number among white Hispanics- 42%.

Hispanics are consequently less likely than African-Americans- 77% to report discrimination. After all, there is no contrast amongst the ages 19 to 30. Some 68% of African-Americans in this range, and a correspondent number of young Hispanics report they have encountered racial profiling. Statistics illustrate an amount of 18.9% of the total population in America.

Given that the statistics are very unproportioned , Americans can conclude that non-white, people of color are intended for racial profiling. According to PBS Social, when Black people are racially profiled, they are seen as inferior and are continuously being dumbed down by society. As the mother of Michael Brown states, “you bring them down to this type of level when they feel like, I don’t got nothing to live for anyway.” This goes to show the impact of racial profiling and how it allows people to think about others or even themselves. Moreover, the main problem of racial profiling is the fact that it can cause many deaths and sorrow within a community of people not only nationally, but worldwide. America seems to have an envious attitude towards black or minority people in general and of course that only leads to violence and senseless killings. To add on, when these police officers are accused, they aren’t charged and that is a serious problem America has to give up in order for there to be evident change in this country.

Furthermore, racial profiling also contributes with one’s wealth and ability to prosper in America’s Land of the Free. Being  and/or judged by your complexion can also determine what type of occupation or salary they may attain. For example, a white man may earn more money for accomplishing the same duties of a black. Hispanic man. It can all depend on the company and its background and how they perceive and value their employees. When companies are hiring, there may be employees who are prejudice or judgemental. In the workforce, black Americans will undoubtedly be influenced by rampant societal racial stereotypes and antiblack biases. People of color are also denied opportunities in jobs like: increase in wages, time paid off, bonuses, promotion,etc and this can hinder them from feeling accepted in an environment in which they should.

Additionally, blacks are automatically judged by how others view them and this can put an end to any of their successes; a study from Race and Ethnicity in a Renaissance Region conveys “blacks and Hispanics are less intelligent than whites, and blacks are harder to get along with than other ethnic groups.” The problem with this is that businesses and employers can just assume and accuse minorities of something they are completely unlike. Simply put, African-Americans and Hispanics cannot meet their full potential or bring forth what they have to the table due to ignorance. As seen in America’s current neighborhood segregation, also known as red lining, the achievement gap within the school system, etc Blacks are deprived of their rights for a better life than those who are not black.

Overall, we have broken down the main facts and the vertex of racial profiling. Everyone knows it’s wrong and that it has to change. It’s up to society to muzzle racial profiling and unfair treatment because of one’s race. Minorities in America should remove themselves away from the situation when it occurs. And by the system knowing this, they know that they can get away with it.

That is sad, but judging by the chaotic normalities amongst Americans in today’s society it is not a foreign issue and is as expected. Even with it being such an unforgiving act people of minority have to stand up and make a change. Instead of becoming victim we should work harder to make equality a law. Meaning instead of complaining and falling victim people of color should override unjust racial profiling and beat the odds. If you let injustice win it takes over and no one can live a fair life and tell their story just how it is. If enough people stand up against everything wrong,something will most definitely change for the better. Not to say that this will be a very simple or easy task. But it will be the most effective if everyone came together as one. In sum. Having a problem like such. Can only be solved by the people of color standing together tall and strong and beating racial injustice as a whole.


  1. Harris, David A., The Stories, the Statistics and the Law: Why 'Driving While Black' Matters. University of Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 2, 1999; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research. Web. 14 Dec 2018. https://ssrn.com/abstract=199508.
  2. Willis, Anita L, “The Roots of Racial Profiling.” History News Network, Mar 2003. Web. 14 Dec 2018.
  3. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/1167. Rushing, Keith. Huffpost. 01 Mar 2013. Web. 14 Dec 2018.
  4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-rushing/dissecting-racial-profiling_b_2740246.html.
  5. Corlett, J. Angelo. “Profiling Color.” The Journal of Ethics, vol. 15, no. 1/2, 2011, pp. 21–32.
  6. Humphreys, Keith. “White Women are Going to Prison at a Higher Rate Than Ever Before” The Washington Post, 24 Jan 2017. 14 Dec 2018.
  7. Marshall, Barbara. “Working While Black: Contours of an Unequal Playing Field.” Phylon (1960-), vol. 49, no. 3/4, 2001, pp. 137–150. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3132625.
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Why Racial Profiling Is Bad. (2022, Jan 31). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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