Racial Profiling is a very overlooked and under discussed topic. it has been used very often over the years by not only police officers but by people of different races also. People tend to justify using racial profiling by applying the stereotypes formed about a peculiar person’s or group’s race, origin or ethnicity and with the tragic event that happen on September 11th (the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon) people feel it could help prevent any future attacks.
Discrimination in any form including racial profiling is frowned upon by the government and most American citizens. My family taught my siblings and I to never judge a person by the color of their skin or where they were born, and that we should make our own judgements based upon experience, and even with experience we should never make that judgement on everyone with the same race or origin of the person we experienced. Law enforcement personnel have been using racial profiling as a way to identify criminals and possible terrorists however no one person or group of people should be arrested based on their race, ethnicity or national origin and the stereotypes associated with them, rather than their behavior.
Most people are not aware of how big a social issue racial profiling is, and some don’t even consider it an issue because the stereotypes used about people are sometimes true. When I ask my group of friends if they have ever been racially profiled or if they know of anyone who has, more than half of them have been and or know about someone who has. My friends consist of African Americans, Latinos and many other races. Most of them had been pulled over, searched or arrested because of their race and or origin. I believe that if an individual does not show criminal behavior or a reason to be arrested then they shouldn’t. No one knows what someone is going through emotionally. A person could be having a bad day, having been pulled over and searched multiple times by different police officers and gets pulled over another time by a different officer in the same day. Being the human this person is, they could snap and get shot by the officer.
I was born in Jamaica and moved to the United States when I was 16 years old. Being born and raised in Jamaica I was not aware of the stereotypes about Jamaicans until I started school in US. I was shocked at what people believe was true about Jamaicans and how completely wrong they were. Some of the stereotypes were: “All Jamaicans smoke marijuana. All Jamaicans know how to dance. All Jamaicans love jerk chicken and curry chicken. All Jamaicans have anger problems and are quick to fight. Jamaicans don’t speak English.” I found it funny that people knew so little about my culture and that they were shocked to know that I am Jamaican and I was completely different from what they thought a Jamaican should look like. Although stereotypes are sometimes true, it is not fair to those that are trying to make a new beginning but can’t escape the stereotypical views people have about them.
Race should not be a factor in a way an individual is treated. Because of a few idiotic behaviors of people that associated themselves with the Muslim religion, the honest, hard working Muslims now have to live with the consequences and be a target for people’s anger and hate comments. Why couldn’t the people who committed the crimes be known for their name instead of race or national origin? Is it to give people the relief that someone so disturbed could not come from their race or national origin? People should be given a fair chance to make a first impression and not be pre-judged by someone because of their race.