One Of The Most Common Lessons Taught To Children At An Early Age

Yet in today's society, it seems that many people in power choose to ignore that simple lesson and mark people as potential criminals simply because of the color of their skin. Racial profiling is the act of targeting a person as a potential criminal or offender purely based on a person's race or ethnicity. This could include the increase in stops and searches of black drivers on the road because authorities believe that they are more likely to commit a crime.

Other forms of racial profiling can happen indirectly. For instance, if a certain country is known to commonly smuggle drugs into the United States, law enforcement officials would be more likely to investigate immigrants that are arriving from that certain country.

This method of law enforcement results in nothing but difficulty and struggle for those that are at the target end of this racism. Racial profiling is the source of a large amount of distress and anxiety in the minority community.

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Furthermore, racial profiling also results in creating a distrust between minorities and law enforcement officials. Finally, racial profiling often detracts from law enforcement official’s efforts of crime prevention. This is because racial profiling often leads to many false negatives resulting in criminals that are not minorities walking free and causing havoc. Racial profiling is an obstacle in crime prevention and results in nothing but problems for the minorities that are being unreasonably targeted. Racial profiling is an ineffective method of crime prevention.

Research shows that police officers who implement racial profiling in their crime prevention efforts are often less successful in finding actual criminals.

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This is because, by profiling individuals purely by their race and ethnicity, they tend to ignore other actual, unbiased forms of suspicious behaviors that could lead to the arrest of a potential criminal. In 2018, Mark Anthony Conditt decided to terrorize the African American communities of Austin, Texas by using bombs to kill at least two people and injuring five others. Conditt, also known as the Austin Bomber, was a twenty-three year old white male who wrote blog posts that detailed his views against same-sex marriage and abortion. Conditt killed himself by detonating a bomb after police were closing in on his location. Other white terrorists include Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista shooter, and Michael Hari who drove around terrorizing minorities with pipe bombs.

Elliot Rodger even posted a manifesto that consisted of several youtube videos proudly displaying his hatred of women and the men that were able to form relationships with them. Law enforcement officials had plenty of opportunities to investigate Rodger and arrest him before he could enact his rampage, however, these warning signs went ignored. In fact, law enforcement officials had previously visited Elliot Rodger three weeks before he would start his shooting. When the officers visited Rodger, they were aware that he had posted the videos online, however, they neglected to actually watch them. Had they not been negligent, these officers could have prevented the shooting and saved six innocent peoples lives and prevent fourteen others from getting injured. Furthermore, by establishing a profile that law enforcement officials and even TSA agents are looking out for, criminals and terrorists can take deliberate steps to avoid fitting this profile.

Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda have purposely tried to recruit non-muslim members to carry out terrorist acts without raising suspicion beforehand. If TSA agents generally single out Muslims to investigate instead of conducting random searches, that makes it far more likely that a white terrorist can bypass security and carry out their plan of attack. Instead of looking out for meaningless features such as skin color or country of origin, officers should be observing suspicious behavior and investigating a suspects travel history and past purchases to figure out if they could be a potential criminal. Racial profiling is an ineffective use of police time and often distracts law enforcement officials for identifying real possible threats. Partnerships between law enforcement officials and their communities are extremely important in crime prevention. The victims of crimes are often times minorities that often live in areas with high crime rates.

Therefore, cooperation between minority communities and law enforcement officials is necessary in order to prevent future crimes. Yet many minority communities do not trust their local police or the criminal justice system. Often times, many minorities are more afraid of the police than they are of criminals. Due to this distrust, minorities will often not contact police if a crime has occurred. Racial profiling is a major contributing factor in the growing distrust between the criminal justice system and minorities. For instance, Muslims are predominantly selected for screenings when traveling due to racial biases. This minority group is being purposefully persecuted and alienated, thus straining the relationship between Muslim people and law enforcement officials. However, Muslim people are ones who are most likely to find out and alert authorities about Muslim terrorist plots before they occur.

By alienating a group that could be a tremendous asset in crime prevention, law enforcement officials are making it much harder for themselves. San Diego Police Chief Jerome Sanders states that “Racially targeted traffic stops cause deep cynicism among blacks about the fairness and legitimacy of law enforcement and courts . . . . Thus it is no wonder that Blacks view the criminal justice system in totally different terms than whites do.” In fact, many communities have grown intolerant of the heinous actions that law enforcement is committing to innocent minorities throughout the United States. Events like the killings of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner have incited protests and even riots condeming the actions of the police officers. By continuing to implement racist and bigoted policies like racial profiling, the criminal justice system will only continue to lose the trust and support of the people they are protecting.

Racial profiling is not only an ineffective method of law enforcement, but it is also very dangerous and harmful for the minorities that are being unreasonably targeted. Many Americans who do not suffer from racial profiling themselves may ignore the effects of racial profiling and write them off as trivial annoyances. The truth is that racial profiling can cause severe psychological, emotional, and physical to those that are experiencing it directly. According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission “The American Psychological Association notes that research psychologists have studied the psychological effects of racial profiling and found that “victim effects” of racial profiling include post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of stress-related disorders, perceptions of race-related threats and failure to use available community resources.”

Those that are targeted by police officers can often develop a fear of all law enforcement officials. These people are then too scared of police officers to call and inform them of crimes that are being committed or the people that are committing them. Minorities that have had negative encounters with law enforcement officials often exhibit traits such as increased vigilance and suspicion and an increase in sensitivity to threats. Those that have been stopped and harassed by police often are suspicious of many social institutions, such as the courts, due to being constantly perceived as suspects or potential criminals. They also tend to avoid risks, because they fear unwanted attention from law enforcement and commonly display defensive posture and heightened sensitivity.

Racial profiling not only hurts minority groups emotionally and psychologically but also physically. Racial profiling could very well lead to cases in which law enforcement officials could harass, assault, or even kill innocent people. According to an analysis of SDPD stops conducted by San Deigo University, Citywide and across 2014 and 2015, Black and Hispanic drivers were more likely than White drivers to be searched following a traffic stop. While more Black and Hispanic drivers were searched, they were less likely to be found with prohibited materials. Nonetheless, minorities are still more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. These stops can often lead to a dangerous encounter for the person being stopped. Philando Castile was shot seven times by an officer after letting the officer know he had a gun on him. Even though Castille was doing exactly what the officer was telling him to, he was still killed. Racial profiling should not be implemented as it can lead to the needless harm or death of those that are being subjected to it.

Racial profiling is an ineffective, immoral, and harmful practice that does nothing to help law enforcement officials in crime prevention. Yet people are advocating for its use believing that it is necessary for preventing crime and stopping terrorist attacks. These people are operating on nothing but racist and bigoted belief. There has been extensive research conducted proving that racial profiling is ineffective. There has also been research conducted on the negative effects this method of law enforcement has on minorities and their communities. It is because of racist and bigoted leaders in power that are advocating for this practice that it is still in place. If the people of America decide to elect political figures who care about their communities racial profiling could finally be stopped. Even by implementing things such as diversity training and improving community policing we could arrive at a future in which people did not fear law enforcement officials but instead trusted and valued them.

Updated: May 23, 2022
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One Of The Most Common Lessons Taught To Children At An Early Age. (2022, May 23). Retrieved from

One Of The Most Common Lessons Taught To Children At An Early Age essay
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