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Racial Profiling:
Unfair to the Innocent

The issue of racial profiling in America is one of great importance to the future of American society. This issue fairly new, in terms of being recognized is old in its ways. Racism and stereotyping are issues that date back to hundreds of years ago. Racial profiling in America is one that needs to be addressed by the government and society if we ever want America to truly be, “The Land of The Free.” One of the main examples of racial profiling is called DWB (Driving While Black). This is a term started to show itself in cases of racial profiling. For example, in the article “ Ragtime, My Time” Alton Fitzgerald White was wrongfully accused for a crime and was arrested in the lobby of his home. In today’s society the perception is that most drug traffickers are minorities. This is very untrue.
Racial profiling is based on the premise that most drug offenses are committed by minorities according to officer Carl Williams “It is most likely a minority group that’s involved.”(Color of Suspicion, 427) Because police look for drugs primarily among African-Americans and Latinos, they find an uneven number of them actually in possession of illegal drugs. Therefore these people are arrested, reinforcing the idea that drug trafficking is primarily a Latino or an African-American thing. At the same time white drivers receive far less police attention, many of the drug dealers and users among them get away. This just feeds to the perception that whites commit fewer drug offenses than minorities. This often results in the persecution of innocent people based on skin color. This also causes a huge distrust and minorities are less willing to cooperate. Driving While Black is not an issue that just arose its just now gaining a name. The
practice of racial profiling by our nations police is the consequence of the rising concern about the war on drugs. Drug use and drug selling are not limited to minorities in the US , in fact five times as many whites use drugs.
One of the major and most well known cases of racial profiling is the case of Amadou Diallo. Four white officers members of the anti street crime unit fired 41 shots at Diallo hitting him 19 times. The officers contended that they fired in self defense. On Feb 4, 1999, after Diallo,22, reached for an object they thought was a gun while he was standing in the vestibule of his apartment. The object turned out to be his wallet. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder as suspended from there jobs. The officers said that Diallo darted into the entrance of his building and took a combat stance. He pulled out what they perceived as a weapon and opened fire on him. The officers contended that Diallo’s death was a tragic case of self-defense. The officers were found not guilty on all charges. Diallo was just another black man that fit the profile of a drug dealer simply because he was black. In the case of Alton White, this similar situation occurred, fortunately for him he was not shot and was set free. He and three other black men were humiliated by being accused of being connected to a crime that they didn’t even fit the description of the two Hispanic men. “Everything from being handcuffed strip-searched, taken in and out of questioning, to be told that they knew exactly who I was and my responsibility to the show and the in fact they knew they already had whom they wanted, left me in absolute disbelief.” (Ragtime, My Time; 422). In many cases such as these innocent people like Diallo and Alton, have been victims of racial profiling.

Statistics have a great deal to do with racial profiling. Many officers have used the statistics provided to pull over someone. Statistics can’t always be a good source to follow. Although numbers don’t lie, there still may be some things missing that can be used to show there is a bias against minorities. “A police officer working at the Memphis International Airport testified that at least 75 percent of those followed and questioned at the airport were black.” (Road Rage, 424) However this fails to show how many