Argumentative Essay: Should Racial Profiling be Practiced? Ever since the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, America has been on high alert because of terrorists. People are hesitant to get on airplanes because of the other people that they sometimes see on the planes. They sometimes see persons of the same race of those who attacked on September 11 and are skeptical of them. This is known as racial profiling, judging a book by its cover.
Law enforcement should not be able to use racial profiling as a practice of capturing criminals or illegal immigrants. There are so many different cultures that have had people from that culture do something wrong, and now others become wary of people of that ethnic background. Besides being morally wrong, racial profiling is in violation of federal laws and can cause harm psychologically. This is not right because we all have equal chance of being someone who we are not. As stated from the Oxford English Dictionary, racial profiling is originally and chiefly U.
S. selection for scrutiny by law enforcement based on race or ethnicity rather than on behavioral or evidentiary criteria; discrimination or stereotyping on racial or ethnic grounds. People are sometimes judged by their race or ethnicity because of what others of the same race or ethnicity have done. What gives us the right to judge someone just because of their race or their ethnic background? Everyone should be treated the same no matter what ethnic background they come from.
We all know that Middle Eastern persons were responsible for the attacks on September 11th, but that was only a specific group of them. Just because some people did this, it does not mean that the whole race has the same intentions. Let’s say A is a certain race and B is another. When a certain number of people of A perform a significant, heinous act towards B, should others in A be judged the same way? No, not all people are going to be the same. Daily, people are judged because of the color of their skin, where they came from, or their religious beliefs.
One example of racial profiling that is fairly recent is the law that was enacted in Arizona. The law states that state and local law enforcement are required to reasonably attempt to determine the immigration status of a person involved in a lawful stop, detention or arrest in the enforcement of any other local or state law or ordinance where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present, except if it may hinder or obstruct an investigation (Morse). This is pretty uch saying that if there is a person who looks like they can be an illegal immigrant, they may be asked for papers proving their citizenship when stopped for an illegal action, i. e. traffic violation, parole violation, etc. Although, the law also states that law enforcement cannot consider race, color, or national origin when implementing these provisions, except as permitted by the U. S. or Arizona Constitution (Morse). If the officers aren’t allowed to consider race, they should be asking all people, when stopped, for proof of citizenship.
Most, if not all, unauthorized immigrants along the U. S. -Mexico border come from Mexico. According to a Department of Homeland Security report, in 2011 there was an estimated population of 6,800,000 Mexicans who were unauthorized immigrants. The total estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States in 2011 is 11,510,000 (Hoefer). That means that the percentage of Mexicans that make up the total unauthorized immigrants is 59%. This is a very large percentage compared to all other countries that have illegally immigrated to the U.
S. There is very little chance that you will see a person of Caucasian ethnicity and American background trying to sneak into the U. S. Police officers will have more of an inclination to ask residents who look of a Latin decent because of how many Mexicans come here. This is not right and this law that was enacted in Arizona is racially profiling most Mexicans as illegal aliens. It is not fair to those who have legally come here and have the right to stay. On September 11, the world witnessed one of the most heinous acts committed against the U. S.
Nineteen Arab men hijacked four planes and aimed them at major civilian areas. Two planes were flown towards the World Trade Center, one was flown towards the Pentagon, and the last was taken down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania (Lee). Since that day, airports have greatly tightened up there security. In response to the attacks, “Bush signed into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), This act established a new Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which consolidated security efforts inside the Department of Transportation (DOT)” (Blalock 2).
In the airports, the number of screening agents was increased to about 56,000 workers by the end of 2002 (Blalock 5), and the number of hours needed for training was increased from twelve to one hundred hours (Blalock 6). Along with this and more thorough baggage screenings, airport security was also able to use airport profiling. “Airport profiling ‘permits investigators to correlate a number of distinct data items in order to assess how close a person . . . comes to a predetermined characterization or model of infraction. The modal characteristics and behavior patterns of known violations . . are determined relative to the characteristics of others presumed to be non-violators’” (Macdonald 132-33). Furthermore, the only people who have hijacked airliners for the purpose of mass murder have been Arab men. So the FTSA should incorporate gender, race, and age into profiling procedures (Macdonald 134). They shouldn’t, the only people to hijack planes for mass murder of others may have been Arab men, but every one of us has an equal chance of doing the same thing. Airports are technically targeting one specific group of people because of what they did what anyone could have done.
Airport profiling could make airports and flying safer, but it’s not the way that they should be made safer. Along with being morally wrong, racial profiling also interferes with peoples constitutional and legal rights. In the U. S. Constitution, Section I of Amendment XIV says that no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws (U.
S. Const, amend XIV). Racial profiling procedures could have an influence on any person whose combined characteristics, such as gender, race, age, etc. , could permit closer examination. Along with Amendment XIV, “the Equal Protection Clause ‘prohibits selective enforcement of the law based on considerations such as race’ and is the ‘the constitutional basis for objecting to intentionally discriminatory application of laws’” (Macdonald 116). Racial profiling is blatantly in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause and we cannot change that.
This country was founded on the fact that we all wanted to be free and all to be treated equally, why should we be discriminating against others because of their ethnicity? The only people who should be targeted are those who have actually done something wrong, or those of which we have evidence to prove them to be immoral. Throughout the years, there have been several smaller incidents of racial profiling. A lot of them have been traffic stop related or minor confrontations. In May 1992, Robert Wilkins, a Harvard-trained African American attorney, was pulled over ecause he and his other family members fit the profile developed and used by Maryland State Police to uncover drug-running activity along the highway. They were male, black, and were driving a rental car. In 1993, two 15-year old Asian-American girls, Minhtran Tran and Quyen Pham, were shopping in a strip mall in Garden Grove, California. While they were leaving the mall, they were stopped by the police. The police had said that the girls were dressed in “gang attire. ” The articles of clothing that they were wearing were form fitting shirts and baggy pant, what all American teens wear.
The Orange County police had specifically identified Asian youth as being involved in gangs. On September 14, 2001, an Indian-American and his family members were stopped and cited for a broken taillight. The officer then began asking them questions about their nationality and had asked for their proof of citizenship. The motorist told the officer that their papers were at home and the officer replied, “You are lying. You are Arabs involved in terrorism. ” He ordered all of them out of the car and he searched the vehicle.
When he found a knife inside a toolbox, hand cuffed the driver and later reported that the driver “wore and carried a butcher knife, a dangerous deadly weapon, concealed upon and about his person” (Lawson 9-10). All of the people mentioned above were targeted because of their race, none of which had actually done something terribly wrong. Officers assumed that minorities were more likely than others to be involved in certain types of criminal activities. There are several types of racial profiling, “driving while Black,” being the most widely known.
The case of Robert Wilkins demonstrates this. Law enforcement has viewed the black minority as being involved in illegal drug activity. Hispanics have also caught the attention of law enforcement because of their involvement in drug activity and illegal immigration. This is known as “driving while Brown. ” Since September 11th, Arabs have begun to also grab the attention of law enforcement in what is called, “driving while Arab” (Lawson 11). A study in Los Angeles showed that only 10 percent of the population of LA was Blacks, but 18 percent of the traffic stops were Blacks.
Broken down further, “22 percent of Blacks who were stopped were asked to step out of their cars, as compared to only seven percent of Whites stopped. Once out of their cars, 67 percent of Blacks were patted down and 85 percent subjected to a body search. Fifty-five percent of Hispanics removed from their cars were patted down and 84 percent searched. By contrast, only 50 percent of Whites were patted down and 71 percent searched” (Lawson 12). That is only in Los Angeles; there are many other cities in the U. S. that experience this kind of discrimination.
Other forms of racial profiling include “stop and frisk” tactics and customs service profiling. Along with racial profiling, there are the consequences. When law enforcement stops and interrogates one based on race, and then later on the person is let go because they were found completely innocent, that can be kind of humiliating. Officers go around and stop people and happen to find the few that are criminals and they deserve to go to jail, but there are far more of those who are innocent and do not deserve to be picked out just because of their race.
A 1999 Gallup Poll revealed that 42 percent of African Americans, and 72 percent of African American males between the ages of 18 and 34, believe they have been stopped by police because of their race (Lawson 19). Law enforcement has taken their privileges a little too far in just having a hunch that that man/woman may be involved in some sort of criminal activity just because others of their race tend to be criminally involved. All in all, racial profiling is not going to go away, but that still does not make it okay to practice it.
There are so many more innocent people of minorities compared to the guilty. Whether it is driving while Black, Brown, or Arab, not all are going to be criminally involved. Airport security has been heightened since 9/11. Although airport profiling may make airports and flying safer, it still is not morally right. Racial profiling is also in violation constitutional and legal rights. “A social problem is one that concerns the way in which people live together in one society.
A racial problem is a problem which confronts two different races who live in two separate societies, even if those societies are side by side” (Pauline Hansen) Works Cited Blalock, Garrick. “The Impact of Post? 9/11 Airport Security Measures on the Demand for Air Travel. ” The Journal of Law and Economics 50. 4 (2007): 1-42. Print. Hoefer, Michael. “Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2011. ” Department of Homeland Security. Mar. 2012. Web. <http://www. dhs. gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe