Racial Profiling in America

The recent times has witnessed an escalation of issues regarding racial profiling. The government together with other non-governmental organizations has come out to condemn the racial-related vise. Racial profiling mostly involves situations where some criminal activities are assumed to be a mastery of specific races in the society. It is unfortunate that the government and public leaders are the ones who lead in escalating racial profiling. Moreover, the law enforcers have been highlighted as the key perpetrators of the social injustices. However, widespread public outcries and general awareness from scholarly figures around the globe serves to mitigate this issue at a rapid scale. Therefore, racial profiling is a systematic problem within our society, which fosters adverse effects, and sustains a negative relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Many people around the world suffer from the harmful effects of racial profiling like humiliation, discrimination, frightening detentions and interrogation based on their ethnic or religious backgrounds. The U.S. is violating its Constitution’s fundamental principle of equal protection under the law to all the individuals in the country. Additionally, racial profiling alienates and hinders community’s efforts on economic, political and social development (Blow). It also encourages the law enforcement to lose its credibility and trust among the people they swore to protect and serve. Therefore, racial profiling affects the socio-economic systems of the society and the credibility of the media.

Effects of Racial Profiling on Social System

African- Americans, especially in the marginalized areas, have low self-esteem and insecurity issues because of the adverse effects they face from racial profiling. The lack of confidence is a common problem in schools, employment places, and public places (Natarajan). The discriminatory actions negatively affect the performances of students at the school and employees at work by making them lose motivations. Most students in learning institutions drop out of school because of racial discrimination and humiliating remarks that they receive from their classmates as well as teachers (Sidner). Therefore, they join vulnerable groups in the society and end up on the streets as drug addicts, terrorist, and criminals who destroy peace in the communities.

Most marriages involving two races in the society suffer terribly at the hands of racial discriminations. Several of these relationships end up in displeasing disagreements and divorce primarily caused by either pressure from the parents or irreconcilable issues between the couples (Sidner). The divorces have made many children homeless, and some are taken foster families where they lack proper family union and love. The resulting effect is the children growing up with little education inadequate shelter, and they are unable to get proper guidance from the parents. Therefore, the social life within the society gets very uncomfortable compared to if they had enough education, motivation, good shelter and proper guidance from their parents.

Economic Impacts of Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination has largely contributed to mistrust among the workers of different ethnicity.  There is the trend of people from specific races avoiding shops that are owned by individuals from different races. The working environment has become unfavorable because of consistent low productivities, inadequate service provision to the customers and permanent reduction of clients. For instance, reports have confirmed boycotting of business in private sectors such as store and malls which are involved in the profiling activities (Mullainathan). There are also some clusters of individuals, family members and friends who have formed business partnerships based on their skin color, morphology, or ethnicity (Blow). Due to the cultural and racial differences, the economic system has significantly incurred a drastic decrease in its development within the country.

The Strained Relationship between the Law Enforcement and the Public

The police in the United States are facing severe criticism from local and international human rights group for its unequal treatment of minority racial groups in the country. The use of excessive force by the police and ethnic profiling are illegal actions that have been making the headlines in the media (Natarajan). Despite the condemnation of the inhuman activities by the lawmakers who are supposed to be protecting the public and treating them equally, they are still common practices in the country.

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights released a report in 2011 on racial profiling in the United States of America (Natarajan). The group indicated that the police always target Hispanics and African Americans during their random stop and search exercises (Natarajan). However, they are less likely to be found in possession of illegal goods or participating in unlawful activities. The stop-and-frisk program by the New York police officers indicates that the law enforcers target Latinos and African Americans in a majority of their searches (Natarajan). For instance, the traffic officers along the State highways were likely to stop truck drivers from the minority groups as compared to white drivers. Unfortunately, the probability of the Hispanic and black drivers having contraband is lower than that of white drivers. Therefore, the stop-and-frisk program by the New York police is a clear indication of how the law enforcers are using legislations to perpetuate racial profiling.

The police use excessive force during their unreasonable seizures and searches on the minority groups. The U.S Constitution prohibits these unlawful acts on any citizen. The country’s Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that majority of the law enforcement agencies have been participating in racial profiling activities that involve the use of excessive force and harm to citizens (Natarajan). Some of the State Departments that have been named in the report include Portland, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Seattle, and Newark (Natarajan). The DOJ noted that the local policies and laws in these States are not inconsistent with the U.S Constitution because they allow the police to use inappropriate force on the public and to discriminate between races. As a result, the African Americans and Hispanics who are targeted by the police develop mistrust and fear towards the law enforcement agencies. The minority groups are afraid of the police who are supposed to provide peace and security in the community (Sidner). When concern of the law enforcement is not to genuinely fight crime but to humiliate individuals because of their racial background, the society becomes a dangerous place. The real criminal gangs are left to terrorize the communities while the police target the wrong groups (Sidner). Therefore, the resulting effect is the creation of a dangerous and unfriendly relationship between the law enforcement agencies and the public.

Racial Profiling and the Media

Racial profiling has affected the credibility of the media platforms in the country. Minority groups fear that the discrimination against them has escalated to the media which is supposed to be a source of truth and justice for the public (Zheng). The media is under criticism for its selective reporting and addressing of issues that affect the U.S citizens. The major News agencies in the country are only concerned with information that make headlines rather than the real problems (Zheng). There are several actions of racial profiling by the police in all parts of the country.  However, the media only reports the high-profile cases that have been caused riots from the public and human rights groups. For example, the police shooting of Michael Brown in Fergusson only became worldwide news when there were national demonstrations in the country (Zheng). However, the media should be the leading platform for ending the unconstitutional racial profiling of minority groups by law enforcement agencies.  They ought to be impartial and credible because they are a source of information to the public.

Conclusion

Racial profiling is a systematic problem in our society which has created adverse effects on our economic and social systems, as well as the media platforms. The harmful impacts impede community development. The public has also lost trust in the law enforcement agencies that ought to provide peace by protecting all citizens. The broken relationship has increased cases of criminal activities in the country. Therefore, the government should restore sanity and peace in the society by revising the local policies and laws in all the States concerning racial discrimination and forceful searches. The police should also go through appropriate training and supervision to improve their behaviors. Lastly, the government must implement adequate laws that are against racial profiling in all the social, economic, and political systems of the country. The U.S Justice Department should implement strong internal accountability systems that will monitor and deter the unlawful actions of authorities and misuse of power.

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