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Taylor Willer
Mrs. Adams/Mr. Constable
American Studies Tri 3 Pd. 3
02 May 2016

Why Do We Feel the Need to Racially Profile People?


Imagine a friend getting pulled over and getting ticketed or arrested because of the color
of their skin or their race. Sadly that is the way society works now a days. Innocent people are
being pulled over and arrested just because of their race. A group of students and the Recyouth at
Hansborough Recreation Center put together a great video on racial profiling. In this video we
hear two students share their stories with being racially profiled. They continue on to share how
they have also racially profiled people. The girl states It is easy to call ourselves a victim, but it
is hard to kinda look at ourselves as a like perpetrator, the one who is doing it to other people.
(Racial Profiling PSA). When racially profiling someone we take away their right to be free,
whether we mean to or not. If we would stop racially profiling people there could be less
violence. Racial Profiling is wrong and should not be used; the stereotypical criminal does not
actually exist anymore.
Racially profiling someone is saying someone did something because of their race or
color. An example would be a cop pulling someone over just because they are black. The issue
of racially profiling someone first came up in the 1980s. Rushing considers this to be when
being pulled over for being black first became national headlines. Even though racial profiling
started to become a bigger known issue then, that is not when it started. Racially profiling was an
issue before that even though it was not known as an issue. In the 1700s blacks had to show a
pass that said they were allowed to travel off the plantation (Rushing). If they were free they had

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to carry their freedom papers around. If blacks were said to be runaways they would be
physically beaten (Rushing). Even though it does not seem like a big deal back then it, planted
the seed for racially profiling people. As stated before racially profiling did not really come to
be a problem until the 1980s. This is when the federal government heightened focus on
involving the local police on arresting undocumented immigrants. This has caused all the racial
problems we have now (Rushing). Today black people are often pulled over or suspected of
criminal activities because of their data. In 2010 the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated
that black males were imprisoned 7 times more than white males. That same study said that the
rate for black females was 3 times higher (Rushing). In 2009 the rate for blacks being arrested
was higher even though white males were more likely to be have drugs on them (Rushing).
Figure 2 shows that the number of blacks stopped and searched in New York from 2004-2012
was almost doubled, than any other race(Associated Press). After what happened in Paris earlier
this year; they too are also starting to racially profile people. Muslims are especially alarmed
after the attacks on Paris. They are now living in fear after these attacks because of the house
raids and random traffic stops. Faiola reports that so far, police have done 3,200 house raids and
put almost 400 people under house arrest. In fact racial profiling is technically illegal in Europe
but after the attacks more police are starting to use it. At Berlins Tegel Airport this month a half
a dozen passengers, all who were dark skinned, were stopped and checked for passports(Faiola).
Even Iowa plays a part in racial profiling. Minority students on Iowa campuses find safe places
in teachers classrooms so they do not feel as outnumber or out of place as they do in other parts
of the campus. Hardy and Charis-Carlson suggest that administrators are trying to change this
but are unable to succeed without the help of other students. Not only is it happening on Iowa
campuses but it is happening in communities around Iowa. Dubuque just made an agreement

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with the U.S. HUD that they would house more African
Americans (The staff at Woldcnews). America is supposed to
be a country of freedom, if people feel they are no longer able
to live without being watched, we are no longer a country of
freedom.
My opponent will be arguing that racial profiling in
necessary in life. Racial Profiling can help police arrest and find criminals of a certain race. Due
to the fact that if the police knew the
race of a criminal they are after then
it could be easier to find that criminal
or to narrow down the suspect pool.
Even though this is true, they could
be putting innocent lives or people
who are not guilty in danger. Also by
allowing people to do this we as a
society would automatically be
putting everyone in that race into the
suspect pool. Another reason they
might argue is that racially profiling
is necessary to prevent gang violence.
Last year, there was a surge in
unaccompanied minors who crossed the border into the United States. Chandler states that many
of the young people were seeking refuge from widespread

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gang-related violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. However there is no way to
really tell whether someone is a gang member anymore because, the stereotypical gang member
does not exist anymore (Chandler). Just guessing that a person with tattoos is a gang member is
wrong, a lot of people have tattoos. Overall these things could potentially help but they are not
necessary.
Racial profiling is not needed because, by racially
profiling someone people are just making an assumption about
that person without getting to know them. Most people dont get
to know the person before judging them. The stereotypical
terrorist doesnt exist as terror groups take people that could fit
into any race or group and have them do the attacks (Board
"Will Profiling Make a Difference?"). As figure 4 shows a
cartoon of poster that shows how we racially profile people
because they look like a terrorist. It is the age of modern
time though, terrorist have learned how to have clean
people to do their dirty work and they have started using unsuspecting western planes to help do
these attacks. These screenings would just take more time and essentially be less effective. As
silly as it sounds we would be safer just screening random people weather it is an older lady in a
wheelchair or a young child (Board "Will Profiling Make a Difference?"). Racial Profiling is also
causing more problems than it is fixing. The Michael Brown case in Ferguson caused so many
protest and problems. When we have racial profile it overall causes more problems than it fixes.
Even though there may be good reasons to racially profile it is still wrong and does not
really help. As stated earlier, an example of the controversy around racial profiling is Ferguson.

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Ferguson was big in the news because of the shooting and the racial profiling around it. However
that is not the only town that racial profiling is happening. There are lots of towns and cities all
over the country. People get very defensive when it comes to racial profiling, they dont like the
idea that someone could judge people based on their skin color or their beliefs. Little do they
realize they probably do it themselves. As you can see in Figure 5 whites and blacks have
different opinions on weather we racially profile or
not. Blacks believe that we have not reached racially
equality and yet 34% of whites believed we have.
Both whites and blacks can agree on one thing, we
will not reach racial equality in their lifetime. Let us
change that, we can end it, stop looking at people
for their skin color and start looking at them as
humans.

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Works Cited
Board, Editorial. "More Training and Police Consolidation Would Improve Racial..." St.
Louis Post-Dispatch. 03 Jun. 2015: A.16. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.
Board, Editorial. "Will Profiling Make a Difference?" Room for Debate. The New York
Times, 4 Jan. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.
Chandler, Michael Alison. "As Schools Try to Combat Gangs, Concerns Arise About
Profiling." Washington Post. 20 Dec. 2015: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Faiola, Anthony. "In a Fearful Europe, Racial Profiling Becomes More Common."
Washington Post. 16 Feb. 2016: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Hardy, Kevin, and Jeff Charis-Carlson. "Iowa's Universities Tackle Racism Complaints."
The Des Monies Register. The Des Monies Register, 28 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
Rushing, Keith. "Dissecting the Long, Deep Roots of Racial Profiling in America." The
Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 1 May 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2016.
Staff, Woldcnews. "Dubuque, Iowa Officials Admit To Housing Discrimination Against
Blacks." WOLAM 1450 Dubuque Iowa Officials Admit To Housing Discrimination
AgainstBlacks Comments. Interactive One, LLC, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.
Images Cited
Figure 1: ProQuest Staff. "Hate Crimes Timeline." Leading Issues Timelines. 2016: n.p.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
Figure 2: Goldstein, Joseph. "Judge Rejects New York's Stop-And-Frisk Policy." New
York Times. 13 Aug. 2013: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

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Figure 3: Green, Mark. When Paris Turned out Its Lights the Rest of the World Turned
Them on. Digital image. Fox 13 Salt Lake City. Fox 13, 14 Nov. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Figure 4: Lynderson, Kari. Unfair Treatment and Unkind Words. Digital image. Impact.
N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Figure 5: Bobo, Lawrence D., and others. "Enduring Two-Ness." Public Perspective.
May/June 2001: 12-16. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Videos Cited
Recyouth NYC. "Racial Profiling PSA." YouTube. YouTube, 19 July 2012. Web. 29 Apr.
2016.
Works Consulted
Alvarez, Lizette. "Florida Said to Ticket More Blacks on Seatbelts." New York Times. 28
Jan. 2016: A.16. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
Board, RT Editorial. "Black NYPD Cops Expose Climate of Rampant Racial Profiling in
Force." RT International. N.p., 24 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
Dutta, Sunil. "Not Race Alone." Los Angeles Times. 22 Nov. 2010: A.17. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
Haq, Husna. "Is Facebook Engaging in Racial Profiling for Advertisers?." Christian
Science Monitor. 22 Mar. 2016: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher.Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
Kaenel, Rob Von. "Racial Profiling - A Pragmatic Approach." Sheriff. May/Jun 2011: 50.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.
Simmons, Ann M. "Not Equal in Any Nation." Los Angeles Times. 08 Mar. 2016: A.2.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.