The Truth About Racial Profiling

Topics: Police, United States, Crime Pages: 7 (2470 words) Published: November 25, 2008
Crime and Stereotypes
The world has seen many different types of racism, race riots, hate crimes, etc. The most common one in the United States is racial profiling. For many decades, minorities have been the primary target of police departments around the United States. Supporters of racial profiling agree with the profiling system that police departments have adopted in recent years. However, many will argue that racial profiling just cannot work. Even though racial profiling sometimes does work, it is not the most effective technique police departments can use. Racial profiling is used by police officers in the United States. Many will agree that minority groups are more likely to commit a crime simply because of their needs and their situation. Many, including police departments, see racial profiling as a precaution method rather than racism or discrimination issue. Racial profiling is a crime-fighting strategy that is based on the assumption that by treating African-Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups as primary suspects police officers will increase the odds of catching criminals. Statistically, racial profiling makes sense because members of minority groups are more likely to be involved in criminal activities (Harris 11). “Many analysts refute the assertion that the U.S. criminal justice system is biased against minorities” (Crime 3). Racial profiling is not a “racist propaganda” but, a worrying fact. Facts like these are very upsetting but that does not make them any less true. Police officers would be taking a risk if they try to stop or make it less of a priority. Minorities a greatly overrepresented in arrest rates, incarceration rates, drug trafficking, etc. A law professor at Harvard law school defends racial profiling as “statistically based” (Harris 74). The system is backed up by statistics. It accurately punishes the ones who deserve it. There is a reason why black are more often arrested. “Blacks are more likely than whites to live in poor neighborhoods where frequent crime is an unfortunate fact of life, because more crime occurs in these neighborhoods, police make more arrests there” (Crime 3). Racial profiling should not be considered as a racist action. Crime is one of the social problems associated with poverty, and since many minority groups live in poor areas, they become the main target (Crime 3). The difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanic is that Hispanics are likely to get robbed. Hispanics are arrested at a slightly higher rate than other ethnical groups (5).The huge gap in arrests and incarcerations rates between minorities and whites proves the argument that skin color and ethnical background are “valid indicators of a greater propensity to commit crime” (Harris 11). Supporters of racial profiling come to the conclusion that police focusing on: Asians, Latinos, African-Americans, and other minority groups is nothing but a logical strategy of law enforcement and it simply makes senses (11). Several black leaders are trying to raise awareness in the black community about their responsibility for social problems such as crime rates and the “break-up” of the family (Racial Disparities 2). Poverty levels and income are usually linked with family structure by many analysts. Analysts note “that single-parent households are much common in black households than in white ones. 57% of black children live with a single parent compared to the 21% of white children and the 32% of Hispanic (Hispanics can be of any race). “The medium income of a household headed by a never-married woman was $9,272 in 1993. (The median is the figure on the income scale at which half of all households’ incomes are larger, while half are smaller.) The median household income of a two-parent household in 1993 was much higher-- $43,578” (3). Black unemployment is still twice as high as that of white (4). Civil-rights groups say that many black men turn to “illicit work”, for instance illegal drug dealing, to...

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