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ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF RACIAL PROFILING IN THE UNITED

STATES Hard to make an argument it has advantages. Will you actually be discussing

advantages?



       This is not a topic sentence for this paper. Racial profiling is defined as treating a

person differently because of their race, usually in the context of police stopping or

arresting someone simply because of their race. Another definition: “any police or private

security practice in which a person is treated as a suspect because of his or her race,

ethnicity, nationality or religion” (2).Historically, racial profiling has been directed

towards blacks and Latinos, but more recently has spread to include more minority

groups- Asians, Native Americans, and Arabs (especially after 9/11). This has become a

growing issue in the United States. Racial profiling can also be seen as a form of

institutional racism.   Your first paragraph does not outline your paper‟s subtopics. -5

       There is a long history of racial profiling stemming all the way back to the

emancipation of American slaves. As far back as the 1850‟s, a man named Cesare

Lombroso, inventor of criminal anthropology, “attempted to define criminal types

through head shapes and other physical characteristics”(6). This is a good example of

criminal profiling. Although not necessarily racially based, he believed that certain

physical characteristics of a person make them more biologically prone to commit

crimes. Other influential voices such as Earnest Albert Hooten, a Harvard professor of

anthropology, also used physical characteristics (in this case including race) to determine

those more prone to commit crimes. (cite)




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       Poor topic sentence. Also, too big a leap w/o transition. The sad thing is that

policemen today still follow these beliefs. „Driving while black‟ is a term that people use

to describe when a black person (or other minority) is pulled over for no apparent reason.

The belief that Hispanics and blacks are more likely to participate in illegal activities

such as selling drugs and stealing cars is ingrained in the heads of many police officers

regardless of the officers‟ race. (cite) This is especially a big problem in the wealthier

areas of town. If a black man or other minority is driving in a fancy car, he is more prone

to be pulled over even if he has not broken any laws. Several cases across the country

have come up against such police officers who pull people over without a cause. (you

must have citations)

       In addition to being pulled over, minority “suspects” are often humiliated and

made to do things that a regular traffic stop would not include. In San Diego, a black man

was pulled over in his expensive car for no apparent reason. (citations are required) Him

and his girlfriend were handcuffed and kept in a holding cell for an hour before they were

released. The officer claimed that the man was driving a car that met the criteria of a

stolen vehicle reported earlier. When the case was checked up on, the car that the black

man drove wasn‟t even the same model as the reported stolen car.

       Other more physical examples include people being pepper sprayed, people being

forced to lay on the pavement, and things of that sort. (cite) There are reports that people

were made to stand outside in the rain while drug-sniffing dogs searched their cars. (cite)

Police officers have trashed people‟s cars looking for drugs or weapons with no

inclination to do so. (cite) The excuses police officers give for doing these things are

endless- too many antennas on one‟s car, items hanging from the rear view mirror, having




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an “obscured license tag”, and driving abnormally. Some questions usually asked:

“Who‟s car is this you‟re driving?” or “What are you doing in this neighborhood?” (1)

       Many of these instances end up with the police officer being sued for civil rights

violations. Can you provide stats on this? And in many cases, the police officer is found

guilty. (cite) Transition. Usually, the fourth and fourteenth amendments have been

violated which “guarantees the right to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure

without probable cause” and “requires that all US citizens be treated equally under the

law” respectively (4). Transition. Campaigns have been created to aggressively attack

and try to bring an end to racial profiling. The Campaign Against Racial Profiling has

initiated several (public education and legislative) initiatives to end discriminatory

practices among police officers.

       In the last few decades, racial profiling has surfaced in more areas than just the

arena of criminal suspects. Racial profiling can also involve “pedestrian stops, „gang‟

databases, bicycle stops, use of police attack dogs, suspicion at stores and malls,

immigration worksite raids, and harassment on the way to voting polls” (2).

       The most recent type of racial profiling is that of those who appear to be on

Middle Eastern ancestry at airports. (cite) Ever since 9/11, Arabs have been looked at

with increased suspicion by workers of airport security, flight crew, and flyers alike. If

statistically Arabs were more likely to be terrorists than non-Arabs, would it still be right

to assume that all Arabs are terrorists? Again we see this problem of generalizing about a

particular group.

       Other forms of racial profiling can be exerted in real estate, insurance, and

education. This is far beyond the scope of this paper. It can not count as part of this




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paper. Several advertisements and commercials have brought our attention to profiling in

real estate. One radio commercial for example records people of different nationalities

inquiring about an apartment for rent. A black man and an Arab-sounding man were told

that a certain apartment was not available for lease when they called. Soon after, a white

guy called and was told that the apartment was available and that he could come take a

look at it anytime.

       YOU MUST TIE THIS INTO CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONCERNS or its beyond

the scope of the paper. In the education realm, inner city schools with an overwhelming

percentage of minority students in lower socio-economic status receive less finding and

are far more inferior than their sub-urban counterpart schools in ever aspect. Standardized

test scores are lower, money available for instruments and other extracurricular activities

is low to non-existent, and the school itself is often not very conducive to learning. A

recent t.v. show allowed black and white students to swap schools for the day. They were

overwhelmed with the differences among the schools. The black students were very

disappointed with what they saw at the white schools. The first difference was the

difference in the size of the schools. The black school was only meant to cater to 1500

students- there were over 4000 students that were enrolled in the high school. Another

difference was the condition of the school. The white school was fairly new and there

were no immediate repairs that needed to be made. The black school on the other hand,

had holes in the ceiling that required trash cans and buckets to be placed out when it

rained. There was also paint peeling off the walls in the hallways and classrooms and

broken windows were also observed. One of the bathrooms was closed because none of

the urinals worked and the sinks were rusty and falling apart. The white school had a




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state-of-the-art swimming pool, cardio room, and weight-lifting room. They also had

numerous musical instruments. The black inner-city school had a swimming pool that

had not been filled in years. It was filthy and was rusted. Their weight room had rusty

weight equipment and the bench press seats had foam coming out of them. The tears were

covered with duck tape. Their music department had no instruments.

       All these differences in environment clearly affect how students are able to learn.

These sub-standard conditions inhibit students from getting the same learning experience

as their white counterparts. There is no denying a parallel seen with these conditions and

scores on standardized tests. How are these minority students expected to excel when

there is obviously not a level playing field? There are some who justify these

discriminations seen in inner city schools by concluding that many of them will not go on

to college and so investing in their schools would be a waste of money. This is one of the

biggest and most important forms of racial profiling that should be addressed. The above

is NOT racial profiling, and it‟s beyond the scope of the paper.

       Others “blame students of color for their own oppression and failure” (9). Doing

this “diverts attention away from the systematic ways in which inequities manifest

themselves in a supposedly democratic, free and progressive society.” At the same time,

white students excel and are viewed as high academic achievers but it is not mentioned

that they have way more privileges than the black students.

       Can there be any advantages to racial profiling? Again, it‟s necessary to get a

good grip on what racial profiling entails: treating a race differently simply because of

skin color. Racial profiling as discussed in this paper must be limited to CJ issues, not

broader patterns of racism or inequality. You could have made them relevant if you tied




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them back in your paper‟s topic, but you DID NOT. Some view affirmative action as a

form of racial profiling through discrimination. This would be beyond the scope of this

paper as well. Many will argue that this is necessary in order to ensure that blacks get

equal opportunities as whites while others feel it is wrong despite this rationale. Some

argue that this gives black people special treatment simply because of their race and is

parallel to cops pulling over black people. The question now is who benefits from each

type of profiling? Blacks would probably see affirmative action as an advantage to help

them get jobs, while whites who also qualify for those same jobs may feel disadvantaged.

In a police officers case, stopping a black person who has committed no crime produces

no benefit for anyone- the black man feels like a target of discrimination and the officer

has not made the streets any safer.

       When is it appropriate to use racial profiling? Some think in certain instances it is

advantageous to use racial profiling in conjunction with other techniques. For example,

when examining a suspect‟s profile, race should be a factor in describing that suspect, but

it should no be the only factor. Additionally, future arrests should not be based on the

racial profile of past arrests. Trying to create a pattern by saying that blacks will be the

only people to sell drugs because of a past drug bust proves to be ineffective. Eventually,

the people that are meant to be protected by the laws will be the very ones that are

victimized by them. Another possible instance could be in a time of urgency. Kinsley‟s

article says “When you‟re storming a plane looking for the person who has planted a

bomb somewhere, there isn‟t time to avoid valid generalizations and treat each person as

an individual” (3). This statement would imply that targeting Arab passengers would save

time by focusing on those more prone (statistically) to being terrorists.




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        Another instance where racial profiling could have a potentially advantageous

effect is in the medical arena. Physicians consider the race and ethnicity of each patient as

“an initial proxy for history, language, culture, and health beliefs”(7). Thus it‟s a clinical

tool used to gain insight on certain practices. There is an immediate disadvantage in this

perspective though. Although this type of profiling can give a general indication of

certain health markers, it can not be assumed that every single person of a particular

ethnicity has the exact same health practices. So it “can help guide the initial clinical

approach…but individualized care is mandatory”(7). Also, a disadvantage arises when

certain treatments or medicines are withheld because they are deemed to be ineffective in

a particular race or ethnicity of people. One article clearly states that a certain heart

medication is “more effective in whites than in blacks” but “offers no plausible biologic

justification for making such distinctions”(8).

        Racial profiling usually causes more harm than good. Whether the intentions are

good or bad, it still violates people‟s civil rights. This is why “eleven stages have enacted

legislation addressing racial profiling to date” (1). The bills and laws proposed have been

brought up from data collected by different local and state law enforcement agencies. His

is a very important step because valid and current data is needed to determine whether

racial profiling is in effect. When looking at records, statistics are calculated. They look

at things like the percentages of different ethnic groups driving in a particular area in a

given time. Then they would calculate the percent that a certain group was pulled over. A

good example is found in the article of the Institute of Race and Poverty: “A 1996 study

in Maryland found that while African American accounted for only 16.9% of the drivers

of I-95, they constituted 72.9% of the drivers stopped and searched by the Maryland state




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police.” They also collect data on the nature of the stop. It‟s usually found that these

stops based on racial profiling have the most unusual reasons for being stopped. Efficacy

is often low because the collection of this type of data is voluntary at the local level. Until

is taken more seriously, the issue cannot be dealt with on a large-scale basis.

       Certain states use officer identification measures in their data collection as a way

to examine if an officer is pulling over a disproportionate group of people in a particular

ethnic group. If this was mandated by more states, racial profiling would surely go down

especially if punishments were handed out to those officers suspected of racial profiling.

       In years to come, more laws and regulations of this sort will be used in areas other

than police stopping. More regulations will surface at airports, jobs, college entrances

and other areas where profiling may be suspected.



This paper is only 7 pages long -9




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Bibliography Page

   1. Institute on race and Poverty: Research, Education and Advocacy. Components of
      Racial Profiling Legislation. Mar 2001 x
   2. American Civil Liberties Union. Racial Profiling: Old and New. x
   3. Kinsley, Micheal. Racial Profiling at the Airport: Discrimination we‟re afraid to
      be against. Slate. x
   4. Wikipedia Encyclopedia. Racial Profiling. X This source should not really count.
   5. Muharrar, Mikal. Media Blackface. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.
      September/October 1998. This source was never used in your paper -2
   6. Cockburn, Alexander, St. Clair, Jeffrey. Driving While Black. Counterpunch-
      Institute for the advancement of Journalistic Clarity. 1998 x
   7. Chin, MH. When is risk stratification by race or ethnicity justified in medical
      care? Acad. Med. 2002 Mar;77(3):202-8. x
   8. Schwartz, RS. Racial Profiling in Medical Research. New England J of Med.
      2001 May 3;344(18):1392-3. x
   9. Cross, Beverly. A time for action. Racial profiling and punishment in US public
      schools. x

   Everyone of these citations above is done incorrectly. -5

   Bib must be alphabetized. -3

   Minimum number of sources is 10       -2

   You did not use APA format in writing your internal citations. WHY DID YOU NOT
   FOLLOW DIRECTIONS? -15

   You did not put citations in your paper where they were needed. This problem was
   pandemic in your paper. -10

   The paper has organizational problems and jumps around w/o good transition
   sentences. -5

   A major section of the paper has no relevance to the paper‟s topic. -15


   30/100




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