Racial Profiling: Racial-Ethnic Stratification

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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It has always been racial profiling in our history because the ones who are persecuted and separated sooner or later will claim why they are dealt with unequally. There are numerous examples far and wide, yet one just needs to investigate how American culture was designed to understand the extraordinary contrast between people. It was even typical and satisfactory to see these distinctions amid the making of this country on the grounds that the ones who apparently had the power and learning of overcoming made a point to make an immense division among pioneers and subordinates.

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Despite the progressions we make in our general public as far as race, segregation is something that can not just be deleted. The contention with separation is obvious when we take a gander at the issue of racial profiling.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) characterizes racial profiling as “the unfair practice by law implementation authorities of focusing on people for doubt of wrongdoing dependent on the person’s race, ethnicity, religion or national inception”(Racial Profiling: Definition, n.d.). Racial profiling can be termed as partisanship towards certain groups of people based on their race. Racial profiling emerged as a paradigm employed by the police to help inmc the prevention of crime by focusing on areas where it was most prominent. Racial profiling has however resulted in negative stereotyping and is based on the assumption that members of a certain race are criminals in general.

The conception of racial profiling can be view as the basis of racial-ethnic stratification. This ideology of racial-ethnic stratification comes from the dominance of racial or ethnic group over another. The ideology promotes hierarchical ranking where the race at the top of hierarchy reaps rewards of power, prestige, and privilege. The inequality of race ranking in a hierarchy system generates low economic opportunities in a community that lacks dominant racial status. Thus, in turn, contribute to higher crime rates in these type of communities. Thereby stereotypical association between groups and society are created in the view of lower-ranking communities (Marger,2014).

Racial prejudice and discrimination are also created from the ideology that segregates race/ethnicity by the lack of economic and social power within communities and political policies. The idea of race ranking system creates a by-product of inequality and imposes institutional discrimination. Whereby generating policies and structures in an organization or institution that introduced bias ideas of negative stereotypes of lower ranking race/ethnicities. These Belief systems create segregation among class by the difference of their culture, economic status, and social lifestyle. This types of beliefs have aided to racial discrimination disparity with communities and races. Policies based on belief systems or ideologies that show regards to segregation based on race popularized racial disparity creating a social norm of racist stereotypes for certain race/ethnicity.

Just as affirmative action was a policy that was created to give back equality to those were suffering from inequality. Racial profiling was created to apply justice to an area that was getting unjust results of elevating crime. Both policy ideas were put into place to change inequalities in the environment however, just as affirmative action segregated races and imposed stereotypical racist views on race/ethnicity. The policy of racial profiling produces similar and worst reactions of racial stereotypes of ethnic groups. However, racial disparity has not been the only contributing problem to this policy. The cycle of poverty in these communities produces a lack of resource/opportunity to give members of the community or race upward mobility to obtain higher ranking system within society(Marger,2014).

These factors of inequality have shown that Racial profiling, especially in the United States, has run rampant and seen to culminate by the day injuring the reputation of the state. Risse and Zeckhauser, 2004, in their article on racial profiling argue that profiling is morally wrong if it affects the basic public good elements like security. Apparently, racial profiling has met this qualification reflecting on its current impact in the United States. Rather than the provision of security profiling does the contrary by the victimization of the target group. This is because members of the race are exposed to the use of excessive force, humiliation, and trauma which accompanies the unreasonable searches, seizures, and harassment by police.

Each race has had a significant impact that has contributed to the growth and development of the United States. It is quite prudent to find each race having a representative in various disciplines whose impact is quite significant. Racial profiling makes use of assumptive statistics rather than factual evidence making it quite plausible to manipulation. Such activity leads to double standards and making one race feel more superior or inferior to the other. As a result, rather than the police achieving their objective of reducing crime, they provide a platform where the favored race can commit a crime and get acquitted. It is prudent to note that every individual is a capable criminal, therefore racial profiling lacks merit.

The negative impact of racial profiling on cohesion makes it a matter of concern in an era where globalization and cultural diversity are prominent, the existence of racial profiling is quite absurd. It is expected that people should be judged and regarded beyond their race, given that cultural diffusion has led to the creation of a global society. The United States is made up of diverse races all of whom identify to each other by speaking the same language, English, and sharing certain characteristics that identified with the country. Section one of the Amendment states that every person is entitled to equal protection of laws. However, to date, this law is yet to be fully implemented as cases of discrimination with regards to race, sex, and gender are still prominent. In the recent past, racial profiling towards people identifying with African American race has been quite significant. This led to the spark of an international campaign dubbed Black Lives Matter.

The campaign protested the aggravated force and agitation used by police while dealing with people of the said race. The police are said to detain and even to some extent shoot and kill innocent youths without following due process. This shows that rather than racial profiling decreasing, it has snowballed and targetting a particular race. In fact, it has even gained so much support based on how many people were an arrest that the second policy was created. The other policy “stop and frisk” in which it takes the same views of racial profiling and gives authority to stop anyone that looks suspicious (a.k.a minorities) and frisky for an illegal substance. This policy went hand and hand with racial profiling. This gave the negative stereotype of profiling in citizens where the profiled race has been exposed to demoralizing treatments by fellow citizens. The assumption by Lippert-Rasmussen, 2016 that racial profiling is justifiable given that it is aimed at reducing the crime lack merit. In this assumption, the author states “one race has to bear the cost of racial profiling, in order to attain the greater good which is security”. However, the conduct and nature in which the target race is treated disqualify this argument. Racial profiling as highlighted earlier is a hindrance to cohesion and also a basis for discrimination which is destined to retard the growth and development of the country and racial equality.

The utilitarianism theory has been used to justify racial profiling, and the articles by Rasmussen, 2016 and Risse and Zeckhauser, 2004 have expounded greatly on it. The theory interprets that an action is considered ethical or right if it benefits the majority. Racial profiling by police is obtained from the statistics of the number of persons that have been arrested and charged with a particular crime. Where a certain type of crime is prominent in a particular group or race of people, the police then engage in racial profiling with the aim of curbing the crime. This description and justification are contradictive in that, utilitarianism advocates for the benefit of the majority while racial profiling targets a particular race.

Therefore, would utilitarianism be applicable if the profiling was done to the race with the majority population? This goes to show that discrimination of the minority is one of the causes of racial profiling. It is manipulated to target certain people, which shows that enactors of the policy feel threatened by the said race and seek to compel them by using such deluded fallacies. Rather than seeking an alternative to stop racial profiling, the majority of the scholars have sought to find ways of justifying the atrocious deed.

The government and leadership organizations have also turned a blind eye to the situation, and this is illustrated in the event where protestants who were condemning the killing of an innocent youth were shot at and majority detained. The only reaction from the government was to call for an investigation to the matter, and no further action was taken. To mitigate and quell racial profiling, the victimized and target groups have resulted in the creation of organization such as the black lives matter, to advocate for their rights and seek equality and justice.

Only recently in recent years have the agencies and state have been trying to take corrective measures to prevent further action. Some of the procedures that have gone into place are state restrictions against racial profiling, such as New York banning racial profiling policies and body cameras to give the community public eye to how police officers are changing the status quo of police verse citizens of the minority. As corrective measure are being placed into government agencies and political activist are raising awareness to the inequalities racial matter it is an upright chance that we can move forward from the horrific incident that racial profiling has bestowed on our society.


  1. Lippert?Rasmussen, K. (2006). Racial profiling versus community. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 23(2), 191-205.
  2. Risse, M., & Zeckhauser, R. (2004). Racial profiling. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 32(2), 131-170.
  3. Marger, Martin N. Social Inequality Patterns, and Processes. 6th ed, McGraw-Hill, 2014.
  4. “Racial Profiling: Definition.” American Civil Liberties Union, www.aclu.org/other/racial-profiling-definition.
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Racial Profiling: Racial-Ethnic Stratification. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racial-profiling-racial-ethnic-stratification/