Problem of Racial Profiling

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Should racial and ethical profiling techniques be used in the war against terrorism? The objective of this essay is to provide comparative analysis as to whether the idea of racial and ethnic profiling techniques in the war against terrorism should be used. In recent memory, many law enforcement agencies have used racial and ethnic profiling to target a certain group of people, especially minority groups like blacks. There are enough data out there to support the claim that September 11, 2001, triggered the rise in racial and ethnic but prior to that incident, profiling began to decrease throughout the United States.

Every issue that exists right now will always have both advantages and disadvantage to it depending on the individual which will depend on the person’s interest in the topic. This means that if one supports a certain idea, the advantage will be publicized as compared to the disadvantages in order to gain support. One of the important parts of this essay will be to provide convincing evidence as to why these techniques be used in the war on terrorism. It is an understatement that when it comes to racial and ethnic profiling, the commonality between the two is sometimes indistinguishable. There are many violations of privacy especial with minorities throughout the country. It is sad to know that the violations of people privacy have become the new norm and people are becoming acceptable because they have the notion that regardless of they do, there is no privacy for them. problems with racial profiling are that it violates the civil liberties of innocent people and denies minorities the equal protection of the law. The it has not only led to a shift in the target population, but it has also changed the ways in which racial profiling is conducted.

This paper examines the problem of racial profiling before and after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Since it was masterminded by Muslims, many Muslims have been targeted and seen as a terrorist even though many are not or were not in support the attacks. It focuses on three kinds of changes that are crucial for understanding the current problem of racial and ethnic profiling. These are the changing rationale for racial profiling; the shift in the target population; and the diminishing efforts to combat racial profiling. The rationale for racial profiling has often been linked to the government’s responsibility to protect the public against crime, violence, and other forms of social disorder. Prior to the 9/1 1 attack, the rationale for racial profiling centered mainly on the need to protect the public against drug trafficking and illegal immigration. Blacks and Hispanics were the primary targets for racial profiling. Since the September 11, 2001 attack, however, terrorism has become the primary security concern. This concern has led to a dramatic increase in the profiling of Arabs and Muslims, who are often considered terrorists. Furthermore, the problem of terrorism has led to the erosion of the intolerance toward racial profiling that characterized the pre-September 11, 2001 period.

This erosion is reflected in the swift introduction of new security regulations that target Arabs and Muslims as well as the sharp decline in the efforts to combat racial profiling. As previously mentioned, the use of racial and ethnic profiling in the war on terrorism has advantages which will be discussed below. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of racial and ethnic profiling, it is important to know that racial profiling refers to the act of suspecting or targeting a person of a certain race on the basis of observed or assumed characteristics or behavior of a racial or ethnic group, rather than on individual suspicion and ethnic profiling is defined as the use by police, security, immigration or customs officials of generalizations based on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin rather than individual behavior or objective evidence – as the basis for suspicion in directing discretionary law enforcement actions. Those who favor the use of racial and ethnic profiling techniques argue that one, it offers the potential of stopping crimes. This is based on the assumption that when a law enforcement official can stop someone because they suspect that the person is up to no good, then there is the potential to stop a crime before it starts. An example of this advantage would be to stop and question someone who looks Arabic or maybe a practicing Muslim because there is the risk of a terrorist attack occurring soon.

The second advantage of racial and ethnic profiling is that it can be a practice that is most unrestrictive. This practice has long existed in certain states within the United States most noticeably New York. Even when the stop and frisk policies were in place in New York City, the event was mostly unrestrictive. A law enforcement official could stop someone and search them on demand, which would take a minute or two to complete. Assuming there weren’t illicit drugs or illegal weapons on the individual, then they could be on their way once again. The third advantage of racial and ethnic profiling techniques used in the war against terrorism is it offers the potential of reducing crime over the long-term. When crime can be proactively stopped, then the crime rates in our neighborhoods can be reduced over a longer period. It forces those who would be the most likely to commit a crime to move elsewhere or change their actions because of the higher chances that they could be stopped before they accomplish their goals. The fourth advantage is that it saves money.

When an individual fit a specific profile, it becomes easier to know where to look for them. This results in fewer resources being consumed and less time being required by law enforcement to track down leads. Spending less means more money can be put toward community initiatives, pension programs, officer salaries, and other needs that would normally not be addressed. The fifth and final advantage of racial and ethnic profiling technique is that it fits the demographics of crime. In the United States, people in racial minorities commit a crime more often than people in racial majorities. Racial profiling fits the demographics of how crime is committed, these are presumptions from those who are in favor of racial and ethnic profiling even though minorities are targeted more often as compared to the majority.

On the contrary, there are several disadvantages of using racial and ethnic profiling techniques in the war against terrorism. One of the disadvantages is that it violates a person’s individual right. The second disadvantage of racial and ethnic profiling is that there are zero guarantees that a crime will be successfully stopped. Racial profiling is still just a guess. Example, if there are 100 people in an area and a suicide bomber is known to be one of those people, what would be more effective: looking for someone who looks like a Muslim or someone who looks nervous, suspicious, and likely to carry out an attack? Many whites like Darren Osborne committed a vehicular attack in London, killing one and injuring 9, and he was a white man. The third disadvantage is that it can make an entire community feel unsafe and this situation raises many questions like If you don’t know when or where a law enforcement officer may stop you, then how safe do you feel? Would you want to venture out into your community? Or would you rather stay at home, where you know that you are reasonably safe?

Racial profiling can make everyone feel unsafe because it creates division. The people being profiled, feel unsafe because they do not know how an official will react if they suspect a crime. The people not being profiled, feel unsafe because they are told that people not like them could hurt them. In the words of comedian DL hugely, “Muslims have now taken the action from black people”. The fourth disadvantage is that racial and ethnic profiling is very costly. It is important to note that accurate profiling can save money. If a crime were committed by an Asian the police start to look for a black man, this will become very costly because the resources will not be allocated to the correct place.

One can either recognize a threat by a specific community and pull the entire community into questioning to stop a crime or one miss that person because the wrong community was targeted. A miss not only costs, financial resources, but the crime will still likely take place at the same time. The fifth disadvantage of racial and ethnic profiling techniques is that it can lead to other types of profiling, which includes: Religion, sexual preference, and gender identity are common forms of the profiling that occurs outside of racial and ethnic profiling and this enhances all the negatives that such a practice brings to a community. The sixth disadvantage of racial and ethnic profiling is that it dictates the actions of an officer before any action occurs and finally the ineffectiveness of racial and ethnic profiling. The idea of being able to stop a potential crime is more important than the reality of stopping crime.

As a result, I do not support the idea that racial and ethnic profiling be used in the war against terrorism. The brings about segregation and mistreatment of innocent people throughout the world. Many innocent people have been detained for a very long period of time and released without proper justification as to while their arrest occurs in the first place.


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Cite this paper

Problem of Racial Profiling. (2020, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/problem-of-racial-profiling/

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