Racial and Criminal Profiling: a Deductive Argument
Erin Callihan, AIUSA, states that "Increased national security should not equate to decreased civil liberties. All people are entitled to due process and other basic human rights and constitutional protections" (Amnesty International). Racial Profiling, according to Amnesty International, occurs when race is used by law enforcement or private security officials, to any degree, as a basis for criminal suspicion in non-suspect specific investigations. The Constitution, which is arguably the most important document of the United States, clearly states that every person has the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This document sets the American people apart from many other countries in that it is supposed to give us equal rights. An issue that has risen in the United States time and time again and has threatened this equality is that of race and racism. Now in law enforcement from the levels of your local police department to that of prestigious FBI units there is the specialization in profiling, racial profiling to be more exact. Racial profiling has not only proven to be largely unsuccessful, but it is violating our equal rights ending up in over representation in America’s prisons and discrimination in the real world. Race is a socially constructed form of categorization that has often been misunderstood, leading to different forms of racism. It is a set of shared interests, characteristics, and culture. Race is an illusion that has been created to construct identity. Identity is not totally decided by you, but chosen for you by what people have decided about you. The way that people see other people and things as right or wrong depends on the culture you, the individual, is living in. This then makes identity as something that is mostly cultural. Race is like a stereotype, or over generalization, that is making prejudices that lead to racism. A prejudice is any preconceived opinion without correct or adequate information. Through something that
Cited: Amnesty International | Working to Protect Human Rights. Amnesty International USA, 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2011.
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Saperstein, Aliva, and Andrew M. Penner. "The Race of a Criminal Record: How Incarceration Colors Racial Perceptions." Social Problems 57.1 (2010): 92-113. JSTOR. Web. 20 Mar. 2011.