Racial profiling Essay

Racial profiling is a very common, but sometimes unobtrusive thing that takes place in everyday life. This type of profiling starts at a young age and can take many forms. Once planted into a child's brain, it can be exceptionally hard to discard. Although these no good racial biases can be hard to get rid of and appear to only cause harm, some believe there are pros to this epidemic.

Racial discrimination violates a person's rights. If a person looks guilty or fits the bias, they are treated as so. There have been many cases of black people doing something that any other person would do and having the cops called on them. I have been followed closely a handful of times while shopping, been asked if I was stealing my own mail, and almost got the cops called on me at my own elementary school because my hood was on (something that normally wouldn't happen to a white student with their hood on in the winter). Daily, thousands of people experience these degrading situations. Darren Martin, a 29 year old black man, “ was moving into his own New York apartment when a neighbor called police saying he was an armed burglar” (everyday racial profiling). Not only does this wrongfully accuse someone of doing a normal task, but it can also make them feel entirely out of place and like they don't belong.

There is an endless amount of dangers to racial profiling. One being, that these biases have a big impact on minorities and can also put them in harm's way. Many have been stopped, frisked, and even killed for doing everyday activities like driving or walking down the street. When most people see a cop on the highway, they slow down, look at the speedometer, and then go on with their drive with very little worry. Sadly, the same can’t be said for people of color. Brent Staples shared, “ I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere, or make an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman” (Black Men Public Spaces). The constant worry of possible death is exhausting and shouldn't have to be thought of or worked around continuously.

Profiling, like stereotyping, provides immediate, and often incorrect, information about another person or group of people. It allows snap judgement without analysis. People defending profiling often explain that it is done to permit speedy determinations when speed is of the essence, such as a police determination that could result in injury or worse. If it provides any value, which is not 100% true, it expedites responses to dangerous situations. Debbie Schlussel stated, “Racial profiling is necessary, if evil, to combat terrorist activities against Americans” (Why We Need Racial Profiling). Just claiming that this is true proves nothing. In fact, Schlussel fails to provide any statistics or hard evidence to support her claim.

Although racial profiling has a very negative connotation, there are some limited benefits. For example, the medical field makes positive use of racial profiling. “They know, for example, that Pima Indians have the world’s highest diabetes rate, Vietnamese-descent women’s cervical cancer rate is five times white women’s and black men are twice as likely as white men to develop prostate cancer” (Embrace Racial Profiling). This type of profiling is positive because it isn't used to discriminate against certain groups and instead helps the target of the profile.

Profiling happens daily throughout our society. It is usually discriminatory and the target suffers consequences that sometimes include death. Generally, profiling is based on inaccurate stereotypes. Although, some believe profiling can put an end to criminal activity such as terrorism, statistics are not stated to support that opinion. Profiling based on discrimination has negative impacts. Yet, if the tables are turned, it can be used in a beneficial way while working in the medical field.

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