It appears that the color of your skin whether it be black, white, brown, red, or yellow doesn’t matter in America anymore. One might assume that this statement is a plausible one, given the fact that we have a male “African American” president, and America is now considered to be a “Post-Racial Nation” (Rush Limbaugh, 2010), where skin color is no longer an inhibiting factor. The truth of the matter is that race has most certainly played a significant factor in America’s history since the early 16th century and through to the 21st century. “Race” is a good predictor of who has power, owns land, receives privileges and opportunities, and who reaps the benefits of those items listed (just to name a few things from an exhaustive list). It seems as if African Americans along with other racial minority groups continue to be the primary targets of extreme discrimination, prejudice, racism and profiling when it comes to their observable characteristics.
The past is a good indicator of the future, and a careful examination of America’s richly eventful historical past will reveal that for a black male in particular, the likelihood of him being racially profiled occurs more frequently than his Caucasian counterparts. According to the declaration of independence which stated “all men are created equal” (Thomas Jefferson, 1776), it is evidently clear that this phrase was and still isn’t applicable toward African Americans. We can look at our nations early colonial era when the period’s powerful and well-to-do elites rationalized the enslavement of Africans and indigenous people as a moral good and service to “the lesser races”. It is universally known in America that the racial caste system of slavery which included racial profiling, lasted about four centuries in America, but once it ended did the racial disparities between Blacks and Whites in the United States come to a screeching halt? From that moment in time onward, racial profiling seemed to gained leaps and bounds in America especially as it relates to the criminal justice system. This discriminatory practice of racial profiling has a lengthy history of oppression towards people of color based on their heritage, and reaches blacks on many fronts no matter their socioeconomic status or geographical location.
In William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Dubois’s book The Souls of Black Folk, he elaborates on the woes that Blacks face in America as well as internationally. In his book he makes a bold claim that the predicament of the twentieth century blacks and other racial minorities face, concerning their upward mobility, can be reduced to a singular characteristic all minorities have in common, which is not being white and able to integrate into mainstream society.
This paper will in great detail prove that the social phenomenon of racial profiling is a germane factor when considering DuBois’s theory as it relates to people of color, and that being black and living in America is inherently a problem. In...