Racial Profiling





Racial Profiling
Racial Profiling
E-mail: [email protected]

Rahsaan DeLain Senior Paper Mrs. Carlo 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 many years ago. Racial profiling in America is on 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 starting to show itself a lot in cases of racial profiling. This name is meant to be a shot at he already known DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). 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. Because police look for drugs primarily among African Americans and Latinos, they find a uneven number of them actually in possession of contraband. Therefore these people are arrested, reinforcing the idea that drug trafficking is primarily an Latino or 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. This war on drugs since it began targeted minorities. According to the governments own reports 80 percent of the country’s cocaine users are white and the “typical cocaine user is a white middle class suburbanite.”(Harris 7) But law enforcement tactics are concentrated in the inner city. This continues to feed the perception that most drug dealers and users are black. This prompted the “drug courier profile,”(Harris 7) with racial overtones to take hold. Media coverage of this issue has begun to increase in the last couple of years or so. In the past year , front page stories and editorials have appeared in every major national newspaper and many local papers. Even though media fascination with a problem doesn’t make it real or lack of media coverage doesn’t make a problem nonexistent. But because of the many stories and statistical reports, the lawsuits and even recent action by the government, make a good argument that , “driving while black,” is not just an occasional problem. Some of these stories are absolutely ridiculous there are so many cases its crazy. Racial profiling believe it or not is a big problem among the news media itself. When the media covers a story about drugs they often show the black drug dealer , abuser , criminal or the undeserving affirmative action recipient. When we look at the ways the national media has covered or failed to cover recent stories or studies we get a better understanding of the practice or racial profiling in the media. In a recent poll taken by the child advocay group Children Now the children included said that,”the news media tends to portray African American and Latino people more negatively than white and Asian people. Most of the major news media did not cover this story and the ones that did said,” that the children were influenced by television news.” (qtd in media blackface 4) On 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 they fired in self defense. On Feb 4, 199, after Diallo,22, reached for an object they though was a gun while he was standing in the vestibule of his