Racial Profiling and Male African Americans
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Social pillar like many others core pillars in human development demands close attention in answering the disparity and challenges in the society. Ideally, most of the social challenges facing a society, such as America, are dependent on the period in a calendar. For instance, those cases facing American society in 19th century have subsided welcoming contemporary cases. However, in can be argued that there are those challenges that cut across the borders of timeframe. Racism is one of such social challenges, especially in multiethnic societies such as America. The issue of minority, especially blacks being sidelined and singled out in most humiliating situations has been a thorn in the society over decades. This has even seen pronounced racism profiling among the African American by a number of policing cadre.
Racism profiling has been described by Weatherspoon, 2006, as discriminatory actions where law enforcement forces, individually or as an organ, instigate security search or impose stops while travelling on the bases of race, skin color, religious, ethnicity, or nationality grounds, rather than facts based evidence. Racism profiling among the African American men has been evidenced for a long time in America. The society holds differing perceptions on validity, ethicality and reason behind these devious approaches of handling humans. The fact that they are black does not mean they should be subjected to security measures and suctions more than their fellow countrymen. The process is utterly ineffective in dealing with security challenges and just culminates to profound wastage of government resources. Constitutionally, racism profiling violates ample articles of the constitution and ethical principles (Carter, 2004).
American society forms a good example of diversified societies, in the world, in terms of ethnicity, race and religion. Incidence of racism and discrimination along these lines can lead to an off-balanced society with loopholes of conflicts and disagreement cropping up. African Americans, especially men can attest the degree of racism profiling with cases including even prominent people in the society such as Gates. Gates, Harvard University professor suffered racism profiling a scenario that warranted the U.S President, Obama, to intervene. How many go through such inhuman treatment but lack a “Presidents intervention” for the policing cadre to correct their mistakes. It is not a wander to witness discrimination on the rate of cars signed to pull over by corps. Out of the many cars and motorbikes summoned for security check a handful or even non have a white man behind the wheel.
Sincerely, in the current century and level of civilization witness in American society, such activities of discrimination ought to have been uprooted. However, there are many explanations proposing why such activities are still carried on in American society. First, the black and other minority ethnic groups in America are believed to have an upper hand in trafficking drugs and illegal firearms (Carter, 2004). Therefore, police having been mandated with the constitutional responsibility of championing law and order, and fighting against illegal drugs business have the right to clear their doubt. However, approaches used such as framing the driver of over spending, skewing form traffic lane, or other minor claims, qualifies their actions discriminative. It is expected that once requested to pull over, most of the blacks will heed the call, and allow the police to search the vehicle and to some extent their pockets. This is done through humiliating encounter that is tolerated by the individual being frisked.
Being an African American man raises eyebrows in situations when the person happens to be in a stylish or expensive car. Therefore, police officers and other guards will recommend a thorough search to validate legality of possession. This has been associated with the stereotypic perception that blacks are highly involved with criminal activities; thus owning an expensive machine can be associated with questionable living activities.
The validity of the above claims utterly disputed on a logical point of argument. Conducting ample security search measures on the blacks and other minority groups on the load compared to those of the whites shift the probability scale towards the side of the minority. The sample representation of the study favors one side leading to disproportional sample to draw a conclusion. Meehan & Ponder (2002) hypothesized that if there is an equal number of cars checked, and then the statement is deemed to change. According to him, the fact that many African American cars get security inspection raises the probability of having many culprits from this group. Moreover, question on the means of amassing wealth among the blacks is discrimination and acts of humiliation. These are hardworking people some of theme holding powerful positions in the society that were rightfully won. Therefore, these claims should cease and ethical, factual and nondiscriminatory security inspection embraced.
The impact of racism profiling among the African American individuals is worth evaluating. This will help expose the true of the menace posed by this inhuman and social challenge in American society. These individuals subjected to racial profiling feel demeaned and like outcast just because of their skin color. The African American men feel singled out from the society where they expect coexist without commotion. The generalization of all African American men as ruffians or persons involved in illegal activities is a mere fallacy. This fallacious statement should be replace with factual and individualized judgment of an individual.
Secondly, the fact that they have been marked or tagged “thugs”, police takes this opportunity to harass African American men even in the presence of their, relatives and children. The person feels embarrassed over nothing, and their privacy and confidentiality violated. Such feeling exacerbate the racism feeling and hatred between the two racism involved. Children growing in such society will have an ill-founded perception of the society affecting harmony even I the years to come. Therefore, it is worth cultivating positive association and upholding professionalism especially among the policing cadre.
Moreover, individuals facing these actions of racial profiling, in this case African American men, felt victimized and reported loss of control over the issue. Consequently, they subject themselves to control of the policemen in such circumstances and accept manipulation as part of their life. This is downright inhuman and the feeling of “there is nothing I can do to change” encroach the society. What follows is a society that does not uphold the rule of law and may end up engaging into to illegal activities – after all this is what they think we are. Among African American men who are in middle class and who suffer racism profiling, they adopt coexistence and survival strategies which will help them evade racial profiling. Such strategies include changing place of work, home, and even the route. This, in turn, leads to increase in immigration concentration some people in a certain region where they feel more comfortable and welcomed. These changes impact significantly on social, economic, and political pillars, in the society.
Mistreating and discrimination in a society cause stigmatization. African American men feel stigmatized and demeaned by the society where they reside. The mere fact of having policemen around their vicinity makes them feel uneasy. The mentality of having perceiving that these people are criminals and their activities are mostly illegal robs the society the respect and trust that it should accord Blacks. Carter, 2004, notes that the mentality of criminality impacts negatively on the lives of the African American men noting that their history of enslavement and mistreatment lingers in their minds. The stereotype of congenital criminality that exists among the white men is one of the factors leading to lack of harmony in American society. In fact, the mentality has engulfed even the fellow black men and they consider this as a base of fighting crime in the society.
The fact that law enforcers have cultivated criminality mind, in the society, has caused young African American men to engage in illegal activities as part of the game or hind and seek play with the police. They have been exposed to ruthless treatment from the police; hence do not see a big deal in making the game real. In so doing, African American men are some parts of the country have subdued to the illegal activities. This renders the racial profiling ineffective in fighting crime in the society. The law enforcement department ends up using a lot of finances in fighting crime while paradoxically they are propagating it.
Moreover, the African American gangs that have engaged in illegal acts have realized that they are highly prone to police check-up that their fellow white counterparts. Therefore, when even they are making transit of their illegal commodities, they use white partners to drive the cargo. Consequently, the war against criminal activities continues to be fruitless. In this respect, the society problem becomes exacerbated by the ineffectiveness of the poor crime fighting tactics. The impact of racial profiling of African American men continues to harm the American society at large even those orchestrating the activities.
Focusing on one race or the minority groups in the fight against crime, in the society develops mistrust and under looking the security measures. The African American men feel they are the target in the crime fighting, yet they are not criminal. This causes them to distrust the law enforcement and to some extent, the judicial process. In such societies, establishing community policy on security becomes difficult. In addition, involving such individuals in security programs and surveillance practices may proof futile.
Legally, racial profiling is vehemently condemned by a number of acts in the American legal framework. The Fourth Amendment veto activities deemed to be unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that the officers should have reason beyond doubt as to why they are engaging in search and these reasons should not be inclined to race, ethnicity or religion. Therefore, racial profiling the African American men become unconstitutional. The Equal Protection Clause is another legal framework that outlaws racial profiling. The clause commands judgment of all individuals with equal force in analysis; hence singling out African American men in search on the basis race is highly condemned. The government has made an attempt in fighting racial profiling especially in the enactment of Racial Profiling Education and Awareness Act of 2002 (Weatherspoon, 2006). The act seeks to enhance knowledge on the measure of condemning racial profiling. It is through knowledge and awareness that the community will embrace fight against racial profiling. However, even with these legal frameworks in place, police have not desisted from racial profiling on African American men. The jurisprudence of criminal justice has limitations within the legal framework which should be revisited if the fight against racial profiling is to materialize.
In conclusion, at the time when the society is reinforcing social justice and equity, racial profiling should never be a topic of the day. The discrimination effect will create the environment for promoting social justice and equity unfavorable. Therefore, enough effort should be focused on fighting the menace in American society. Repercussions of racial profiling are not only to the directly attacked social group but also to the entire American society. The African American men have fallen prey for racial profiling that have eminently affected their social, economic and political life. Some of the demeaning consequences include humiliation, victimization, stigmatization, harassment and demoralization among other effects. It is the high time for all the individuals, organizations and institution in American to join hands in condemning racial profiling against African American men.
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