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Racial Profiling: The Color Of Justice In America

1120 words - 4 pages

For the past few years there has been an ongoing debate surrounding the issue of racial profiling. The act of racial profiling may rest on the assumption that African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to commit crimes than any individual of other races or ethnicities. Both David Cole in the article "The Color of Justice" and William in the article "Road Rage" take stance on this issue and argue against it in order to make humanity aware of how erroneous it is to judge people without evidence. Although Cole and William were very successful in matters of showing situations and qualitative information about racial profiling in their articles, both of them fail at some points.

In the article Road Rage, Williams does a good job trying to make society aware of the racial profiling problem and also trying to make each citizen more conscious about its consequences through communities all over the world. She starts by saying that although the Black Ministers Council has been trying to expose and prevent racial profiling, it still occurs. To identify the problem and to start her argument, she uses a lot of statistics to show that even though most of the individuals convicted of drug related offenses are white, the majority of people that are suspects and stopped in the streets are black. These statistics strengthen her argument once it proves with relevant facts that this unacceptable situation keeps on happening often.

Williams defends the idea that, SOMETIMES, it might be relevant to use race as ONE of the factors used in a profile; however, this does not mean that we should target a whole group of people. She sustains her point by illustrating a particular situation. If, for example, there has been a lot of cases of Canadian woman from an extended family that have tried to hide contraband in their backpacks, this doesn't justify putting every woman who looks like she might be Canadian through a strip-searching or a drug-sniffing dog. By using this illustration, Williams tries to show that racial profiling seams illogical when you put it that way. But when you just change Canadian to Jamaican, most people think that it is reasonable to stretch nationality into race.

Furthermore, to expose the hypocrisy of the police department she does a really good job appealing to the reader's emotions by pointing out a specific situation: The Diallo Shooting. Troopers shot eleven rounds into a van full of unarmed minorities after the police pulled them over for an unclear reason. And it comes to be really ironic when at the same time Safir, New York City Police Commissioner, argues against racial profiling but police presence in minority neighborhoods still tends to be high.

Williams assumes that crime is related to poverty but, as in the US, white communities tend to be much wealthier than communities of color, people are, one more time, induced to stretch poverty into race. Moreover, in order to sustain her point of view, she points out that...

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