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Kevin  Seavers  

SOC  001  
 
  Racial  profiling  is  when  a  police  officers  initiates  action  based  upon  race  or  

ethnicity  rather  than  a  person’s  behavior.  Michael  Brown  is  an  example  of  racial  

profiling.  Reportedly,  the  18-­‐year-­‐old  boy  stole  cigarettes  from  a  convenience  store  

in  Ferguson,  Missouri.  The  police  officer  arrived  on  the  scene  after  receiving  a  call.  

The  police  officer  ran  into  “likely  suspects”.  Michael  Brown  was  unarmed  and  was  

shot  6  times.  Racial  profiling  happens  all  across  America.  I  have  been  the  victim  of  

racial  profiling  in  department  stores.  When  I  turned  21,  I  wanted  to  buy  myself  a  gift  

for  my  birthday.  I  went  to  the  Louis  Vuitton  store  to  purchase  a  wallet  I  had  been  

researching  for  weeks.  When  I  walked  into  the  store,  the  store  clerk  followed  me  

around.  All  of  the  supplies  at  this  store  were  behind  the  glass.  Eventually,  he  walked  

away.  I  asked  another  clerk  to  help  me  purchase  my  wallet.  I  felt  like  I  stole  

something  when  the  clerk  was  following  me  around  the  store.  Racial  profiling  is  also  

used  among  Arab  groups  because  of  the  9/11  terrorist  attacks.  They  receive  racial  

profiling  at  airports.  Contact  hypothesis  can  help  because  we  are  co-­‐operating  for  

one  common  goal.  If  police  officers  view  all  citizens  as  individuals  and  equals,  then  

the  stereotypes  and  generalizations  may  cease  to  exist.      

  Prejudice,  racism,  and  the  color-­‐blind  system  are  all  practices  used  

historically  by  those  in  power.  Many  times  the  group  in  power  is  unwilling  to  

address  the  issue  at  hand.  How  can  we  address  the  issue  when  some  people  don’t  

believe  that  racism  exists?  Some  groups  judge  other  groups  based  upon  standards  of  

their  own.  How  can  one  succeed  when  there  are  systems  of  inequality?  
  The  social  construction  of  race  is  based  upon  the  stereotypes  and  races  of  

how  races  are  typically  portrayed.  Race  is  not  biologically  identifiable.  You  don’t  

have  to  look  like  what  mass  media  or  what  society  says  to  be  apart  of  that  culture.  

Mass  media  can  portray  a  certain  image  of  a  group  of  people.  In  a  symbolic  

interactionist,  race  can  provide  a  strong  symbol  of  identity.  If  Sally  never  met  a  

Mexican-­‐American,  she  might  use  the  symbols  portrayed  in  movies  to  identify  with  

Jose.    

  A  model  minority  is  a  group  of  people  that  have  succeeded  economically,  

socially,  and  educationally.  The  textbook  provides  us  with  an  example  of  Asian  

Americans.  Despite  the  past  prejudice  of  being  thrown  into  interment  camps  during  

World  War  II,  Asian  Americans  have  succeeded.  The  advantage  is  that  they  are  

striving  as  a  whole  group.  The  disadvantage  is  that  they  are  all  being  grouped  

together  and  not  being  acknowledged  as  individual  ethnicities.