Racial Profiling Has Been a Research Paper

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The inverse would also be true. However, that question is not entirely black and white, pardon the pun (Stenning).

The reason for this is that race can inform whether or why to stop someone for a traffic stop or on the sidewalk with racism not being the root reason. For example, a young white woman in her 20's would stand out like a sore thumb in a drug-infested area that is almost exclusively black and Hispanic. It is almost a certainty that the women is either horribly lost or that she's there for less than noble reasons such as buying drugs or something of that nature. There could be other explanations but they are very unlikely. It is not all that dissimilar from a person that is black and is in an affluent and mostly white area. The person could very well be rich and well-off but there are a lot of other (and more likely, at least statistically) explanations as to why the person is there. However, assuming the worst is never a good thing but there is a difference between using race as a guide and using race as a cudgel (Stenning).

The depth and breadth that some police tactics take can be quite disturbing. The major reason for this is that drug smugglers and other criminals go to great lengths to conceal what they are smuggling up to and including putting drugs or other contraband in their anuses, their vaginas, or even ingestion through the normal digestive tract. Agencies like customs enforcement go so far as to give suspected smugglers cavity searches and "monitored bowel movements" to make sure that suspected smugglers do not indeed have drugs on or "in" their person. The problem with the above, though, is that the searches done to ensnare such people are very invasive and in many ways brutal and innocent people sometimes get trapped by such tactics unfairly and sometimes because of improper racial profiling and/or because the race of the person being search fits the "template" smuggler or other criminal profile (Thomsen)

Racial profiling can be applied and assessed throughout culture but it's almost always associated with policing habits and tactics and is also commonly associated with racism against minority groups as they seem to be the ones most affected by the tactic. The issue with the term "racism" is that it is not in and of itself descriptive but it's extremely accusatory and can sometimes be applied in entirely too broad ways. However, the subject of racism is not something that can be discarded so easily because it is indeed part and parcel to many stops and seizures that are done by police. Even if a given minority stopped is a criminal, the rules of evidence and other law enforcement principles as codified and enforced by the courts of our countries have held that perverting the process, even with a legitimate criminal, can lead to the person walking scot-free because of improper police action. This is seen as a sick joke to many when murders walk free but minority advocates counter that allowing such convictions to stick would make the situation untenable for racial minorities. After all, Ernesto Miranda, the namesake of the now ubiquitous Miranda Rights was a rapist and a guilty one at that (Crank).

Racial profiling is not always a conscious and intentional act. Some people do with full knowledge that what they are doing is based on prejudice while others may feel justified and feel they are acting rightly and/or they may even do it without really realizing what they are doing and why it is wrong. Perhaps a good example of this in real life is the case of Trayvon Martin. Just because Mr. Martin was in a gated community where it's statistically unlikely that he would actually live, that does not mean that Zimmerman, who ended up shooting and killing him, had a right to assume anything. The case is still pending and it's not clear that Zimmerman was acting based on racism, but the possibility exists and the world may never know for certain what motivated Zimmerman and why. A major reason and cause for this is that Martin cannot defend or explain himself. However, whether Zimmerman is guilty or not, the cacophony of rhetoric both for and against Zimmerman has perhaps made it quite unclear what is motives were (Satzewich, and Shaffir).

However, it should be noted that when racism and racist ideals become entrenched and ensconced in a person's psyche, they can become very hard to remove and people of that nature are a curse to law enforcement in many ways. Even so, the true intent and motivation of ostensibly racist people is not a black and white sort of thing. The person could be blindly and unapologetically racist, know full well they are racist and these people are clearly in the wrong with no question about it. However, others that are also clearly racist may be motivated by things they think are noble and proper. This is not to say that they are in the right because they are not. However, not all people with racist mindset are the same (Henry, and Tator)


The salient point that can be taken from the research above is that while racial profiling for the sake of racial profiling is wrong, it can also be said that as wrong-minded as the tactic and subject can be, there is some credence to the fact that it can be effective and that the subject is not nearly as black and white as some may have us believe. Even so, the rules of evidence and the protection of people that happen to inhabit high-risk groups should be upheld and racial profiling as a tactic and procedure should be exceedingly rare to non-existent except perhaps in martial law and other very dire situations which are extremely rare to never existent in modern times.

Works Cited

Crank, John P. "Scholarly Debate on Racial Profiling: To What End?." Canadian

Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 79-85. Academic Search

Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.

Fox, Dov. "The Second Generation of Racial Profiling." American Journal of Criminal

Law 38.1 (2010): 49-79. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.

Henry, Frances, and Carol Tator. "Rejoinder to Satzewich and Shaffir on 'Racism

Versus Professionalism: Claims and Counter-Claims About Racial Profiling'."

Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 53.1 (2011): 65-74.

Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.

Pickerill, J. Mitchell, Clayton Mosher, and Travis Pratt. "Search and Seizure, Racial

Profiling, and Traffic Stops: A Disparate Impact Framework." Law & Policy 31.1

(2009): 1-30. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.

Ryberg, Jesper. "Racial Profiling and Criminal Justice." Journal of Ethics 15.1/2 (2011):

79-88. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.

Satzewich, Vic, and William Shaffir. "Racism vs. Professionalism: Claims and

Counter-Claims about Racial Profiling1." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice 51.2 (2009): 199-226. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June


Stenning, Philip. "Isms and Ists: A Slightly Personal but Not Intentionally Trivial

Comment on 'Racial Profiling'." Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal

Justice 53.1 (2011): 113-118. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 June 2013.…[continue]

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