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Racial Profiling Of Blacks By Police

2260 words - 9 pages

“‘Racial Profiling’ refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” (ACLU). Racial Profiling is a common occurrence in our culture. Most people don’t even realize that they are racial profiling because frequently in our society, people use race as grounds for assuming someone committed an offense. A study conducted at Northeastern university found that, “… 74.7 percent of speeders were White, while 17.5 percent were Black. In contrast, according to MSP data, Blacks constituted 79.2 percent of the drivers searched…” (Ramirez, McDevitt, & Farrell, n.d.). The high levels of disproportion in Black speeders to car searches shows how frequently racial profiling happens in our day to day lives.Trayvon Martin was a victim of racial profiling and neither supporters of Martin nor Zimmerman could deny that. In fact, Democrats saw such blatant racial profiling that their Racial Profiling Bill got another chance of being passed. John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan said, “Though the death of Trayvon Martin was not the result of a law enforcement encounter, the issues of race and reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct are so closely linked in the minds of the public that his death cannot be separated from the law enforcement profiling debate…” (Fox).

In a speech given in support of Trayvon Martin, President Barack Obama spoke about his own personal experiences with Racial Profiling and how the story behind Trayvon’s death hits home because it easily could’ve been him. This is the full video of Obama speaking about Trayvon Martin and race in America . The mentality of “this could’ve been me” that President Obama mentions is a mentality that African Americans hold across the country. As he said in the video, “the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.” (Obama). The African American community looks at the events of the night Trayvon was killed with those sets of experiences in their mind. There was no reason for Zimmerman to approach Martin other than racial profiling, whether Zimmerman did it knowingly or unknowingly, and that is the struggle that African Americans have to deal with every day.

A visual example of the stereotype that President Obama talks about is shown in the picture below. It is clear that the woman in this picture is clutching her purse due to the fact she is sitting next to an African American man, just like Obama said happened to him before he became President of these United States. The most prominent African American stereotype in American culture is the bridge that social...

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