Racial Profiling and Male African Americans

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The attacks of September 11, 2001 were a tragic day in the history of the United States. Law enforcement efforts after these attacks have been construed by many as racial profiling, because they focus on Muslims of Arab and South Asian origin; however, male African Americans have experienced this racial profiling for decades. Defining racial profiling and discussing its impact on America will show that even in the smallest of towns this is a common practice that is just not going away. We will be discussing racial profiling and the African American male; however, let’s begin with explaining that racial profiling is not limited to one race, but all races experience this practice through law enforcement, the medical field and in their education. Racial profiling is nothing new here or anywhere else it is just a new name for harassment of a specific race or ethnicity. Cities all across America have seen cases against different races that have resulted in the loss of lives, some very innocent. Racial profiling can be found in the medical or health field, the educational system and is very apparent in law enforcement. Immediately after September 11th when travelers were allowed to begin boarding planes, several instances were reported through the media of racial discrimination or profiling of passengers. Many of these searches have turned into litigation and some have settled out of court, while others are still ongoing. One example of racial profiling is the ongoing targeting of Arabs and Muslims because of the September 11th attacks. Arabs and Muslims are detained for minor immigrant violations by police and others that are acting as agents for security in the public or private sectors yet these races or ethnicities have no connection to the attacks in New York or Washington (ACLU, 2005). Racial profiling needs to end. Governments, businesses and families are usually torn apart from within. If we allow racial profiling to continue, the fabric of the country and the world will fall apart. Each race and ethnicity is different and has different customs, yet each must blend together in order to promote a healthy society. Fear, disgust, anguish and hatred are prevalent in today’s society and racial profiling fuels the fire. Racial profiling usually refers to the practice of any police or private security personnel targeting a suspect because of his or her race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. Instead of using evidence of person’s criminal behavior to arrest the perpetrator, the police determine which drivers to stop for minor traffic violations or they use race to determine which pedestrians to stop and search. This type of racial profiling is known as DWB or driving while black or brown (ACLU, 2005). The NAACP is strongly urging Congress along with several Congressmen to pass H.R. 4611, the End Racial Profiling Act of 2007. This legislation introduces three ways of assisting law enforcement in ending racial profiling. The law states: “First, this law will create federal prohibition against racial profiling, second, it provides funding for the retraining of law enforcement officials in how to discontinue ad prevent the use of racial profiling, and thirdly, it holds law enforcement agencies that continue to use racial profiling accountable.” (NAACP, 2007) The NAACP has stated that racial profiling is prevalent at all levels of law enforcement and a study of routine traffic stops in the Northeast show 72% of those stopped are African Americans, although only 17% of African Americans have driver’s license. Karen S. Glover completed an exploratory study on racial profiling from the police officer’s point of view. The study was completed in a small town in Texas and employed interviews of approximately 11 officers and surveys from an additional 16 officers. The research participants totaled 27 and represented 22% of the patrol division. Ms. Glover completed ride-alongs with the 11 officers during a 6-month period as well as...
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