American History : Racism, Discrimination, and Prejudice

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Updated: Apr 05, 2021
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Throughout America’s history, racial profiling continues to plague this country. Racial Profiling refers to any actions initiated on the erroneous presumption that individuals of a particular group are more likely to engage in illegal activity than individuals of other groups (Pg. 3.6). Many people have questioned whether tasks against specific minorities changed over time, or whether the issues of discriminatory practices just differed, but the central problem remains the same. Given America’s long history of racism, discrimination, and prejudice, many would say certain minority groups are still being pursued and targeted through legal means such as racial profiling as they have been throughout American History.

Racial profiling has been a constant battle as this societal disease is rooted deeply in this country. From a functionalist perspective, racial profiling can be viewed as the harmonious interdependent parts of societal order and stability that keep society tougher, whereas the conflict perspective believes that racial profiling may be an important influence and permanent feature of life in terms of its distribution of power and social change. On one hand, some would argue that racial profiling is necessary for social safety. For instance, in the eyes of many Americans, racial profiling is acceptable when used for national security, like when a person is being stopped at a checkpoint at the airport to rule out possible drug smuggling and any illegal criminal activity.

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However, on the other hand, some would argue that such profiling is often based on people racial characteristic which includes an act of discrimination within itself- because in essence people are being stopped because of their racial background. The “categoric knowing” regarding such stereotype of people is often based merely on the perception or belief -visually or verbally of racial categorization of an entire group of people which often leads to the racial profiling of those people. Overall, any form of racial profiling is wicked and immoral because it only perpetuates negative racial stereotypes.

According to research, the cognitive, emotional, and action-orientation levels of prejudice surrounding racial profiling have shown negative serotypes about minorities groups. And, although the ideology of these feelings and or behaviors differ such selective perception have for the most part been problematic and harmful to society. Given the recent controversy surrounding institutional discrimination which some would suggest having a direct link to racial profiling among minorities specifically black Americans have caused people, Blacks, Hispanic, Whites, etc. to step up and demand change in contradiction of “ethnoviolence,” by the hands of the police including accountability at all levels of government.

It is important to note that social stratification of cultural determinism can also be another racial barrier that has played a role in racial profiling by which people of the outgroup who has less power, resources, and prestige are expected to adopt the social and cultural norms of the dominant group. For example, a person who comes from a lower-class family is in some way excepted to conform to middle-class values and standards. Thus, perpetuating racial profiling and negative stereotypes towards minorities. More importantly, ethnocentrism from the dominant group can also be the causality for the misinterpret and negative outcome of racial profiling as well.

In conclusion, throughout America history racism, discrimination, and prejudice has also been linked to racial profiling and may continue to exist until we as a people eliminate this societally rooted diseases within our own attitudes. This discriminatory practice has been proven to be a constant injustice that has contaminated society today. Lastly, racial profiling in any facet of society will prove detrimental to our development and well-being as a society.

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American History : Racism, Discrimination, and Prejudice. (2021, Apr 05). Retrieved from