How it works
“Is racial profiling still an issue today? Racial profiling is not a product of modern times, Racial profiling has existed since the formation of America. Individuals of the Anglo Saxon community have always been a part of a dominant race which has led to problems with minority groups. Racial profiling is a problem in society and will continue to be an issue with our justice system because people fall victims to discrimination based on the color of their skin and other personal characteristics.
According to Schmalleger, racial profiling is defined as, “any police action initiated in the basis of the race, ethnicity, or natural origin of a suspect rather than on the behavior of that individual, or on information that identifies the individual as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity” (Schmalleger, 2018, pg. 196). In other words, authorities must not base their judgements off of the appearance of any individual.
How it works
Law enforcement officers must protect the people, not harass or discriminate them because of their identity. However, it is often that authorities take advantage of their positions and continue to take part in such profiling. Racial profiling is illegal, and occurs often. Black people live fearing being hurt or discriminated by the police. In the “Vox” website, Lockhart tells stories that have to do with African American people being racially profiled by authorities for being black, or light skinned.
Racial profiling stories are published frequently in the media, and have obtained the phrase “Living While Black.” According to Lockhart, “it is a phrase that encompasses the myriad ways black people are seen as suspicious, profiled, and threatened with responses from police for minor infractions, or less” (Lockhart, 2018). Lockhart tells the story of how two African American men were arrested at a Starbucks coffee shop for simply being black.
The two men entered the establishment for a business meeting, and while waiting, they soon found themselves surrounded by police officers. The two men did not commit a crime, but instead fell victims to racial profiling by white spectators within the coffee shop. The store manager who was described as a white man called the police on them with the excuse that they did not purchase anything, nor wanted to leave the coffee shop. The two men were charged for disturbing the peace and trespassing without actually committing such crime.
Schmalleger states, “racial profiling is unacceptable because it weakens the public’s confidence in the police, thereby decreasing police-citizen trust and cooperation. Numerous states have enacted legislation banning the use of racial profiling by justice agencies,” (Schmalleger, 2018, pg.198). In Lockhart’s story one of the men stated to the media, “When I saw the police officers, I feared for my life,” (Lockhart, 2018).
This statement resonates the fact that black folks are afraid of law enforcement officers and fear authorities’ presence. Black Lives Matter is a civil rights movement that originated from African American communities to campaign against violence and racism against black people. According to the BLM movement, “young black men are 21 times more likely than white counterparts to be shot by police” (A Civil Rights Movement for the 21st Century). This movement was organized after the not-guilty verdict in the injustice killing of Trayvon Martin, a young black man in the hands of an American man. Trayvon was racially profiled by his killer for appearing to be a suspicious and black man.
Racial profiling is an issue today. Although illegal, many individuals face this dilemma with our justice system. The ones that are most affected by it are the African American people and many people of color. In order for racial profiling to not exist, we must have a colorblind justice system.”