Racial Profiling

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Guilty Before Innocent
Imagine being guilty without having done anything to deserve this title. This is a reality for many African Americans who face discrimination simply because of the color of their skin. In the article, “Hounding the Innocent,” Bob Herbert states, “Most Americans have no idea of the extent of the race-based profiling that is carried out by law-enforcement officials and the demoralizing effect it has on its victims.” Herbert is only half right. Most White Americans “have no idea,” about how much racial profiling is actually going on. Most non-White Americans are unaware of how often profiling happens. Racial profiling is a bigger problem than most of us realize because authority often abuses their power.

Herbert gives examples of racial profiling, which occurs in many parts of the world. Furthermore, he explains the tragic story of a man, Rossano Gerald and his son Greg who were pulled over and interrogated by police because of their race. The police separated the man and his son from each other and searched the car with the help of drug-sniffing dogs. He was discovered to be innocent after being put through this unjust interrogation. This shows that racial profiling is a common occurrence that results often from the prejudice minds of law-enforcing officials.

Some people may say that racial profiling is necessary and reasonable because those guilty are often ethnic and theredore, it can help law-enforcement official’s arrest terrorists and other criminals. Another argument comes from Mayor Giuliani who says, “The stops are driven by the descriptions of the person who committed the crime.” Herbert refutes this argument by saying that most stops are not connected to any one crime but are, “arbitrarily and unconscionable intrusions.” What should we do about racial profiling? If non-White Americans are already aware of the problem, which it seems to us that they are, then the next step is to make White Americans more aware. This is a place...
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