Racial profiling is defined as the use of a person’s race or ethnicity by a law enforcement authority to bring charges against him or her. In general, racial profiling has varied its definition depending on the prevailing circumstances. However, most people refer to racial profiling as any action initiated or sponsored by law enforcement personnel that focuses solely on ethnicity, national origin, or race rather than a person’s character or other crucial facts that may potentially identify the suspect. Racial profiling commonly occurs when a law enforcement officer inaptly contemplates ethnicity or race in concluding whom and how to arbitrate in the capacity of law enforcement. In the United States, racial profiling is outlawed in the constitution, and any action similar to the ones mentioned above presents undue danger to the founding principles of the constitution. Nevertheless, acts of racial profiling have continued to be experienced in many regions in the United States.
Unfortunately, racial profiling exists in varied forms currently. Most acts of it disproportionately focus on people of color particularly Blacks, Muslims and Latinos for any acts of investigation and policing. This practice is prevalent against Blacks and Latinos in the USA. This paper analyzes how racial profiling exists in the United States society currently. The paper uses the example of black, Latinos and Muslims to elucidate how racial profiling takes place in America.
In the United States of America, racial profiling is prohibited in the constitution and any other similar actions related to the ones mentioned above may result to undue dangers to the founding principles of the constitution, although this practice is still evident and witnessed in widespread scenarios and contexts in the United States. Currently racial profiling is taking another turn and mostly focusing on color especially the African American people and the Latin Americans. The mass media has greatly contributed to racial profiling in that it has overwhelmingly made the White Americans to perceive the African Americans as gang rapists, the god makers and users of prohibited drugs and as the genesis of all crimes and anti-social behavior in the United States. The Latin Americans are mostly associated with smuggling of hard drugs in the streets especially those of Mexican descent; this is seen is in movies.
It is common to come across discriminatory and prejudicial messages and images when watching news and movies on television. The directors plan and apportion characters in a manner to depict ethnic minority, especially blacks, as drug victims who like engaging in criminal activities. African-Americans have become a major focus of crime situation in the United States. Consequently, this ethnic group has been regarded as a major source of criminal activities in the society. To further this stereotype, the victims of crime activities from the black community are rarely featured in the media. White American victims get a major share in media spotlights. Based on this analogy, the entire society has created a false depiction of crime and a racially biased image of crime perpetrators.
In many television programs, movies and other commercials such as advertisements, all these have actively been perpetuating racial profiling and other discriminatory views. In most movie theatres African Americans are usually apportioned with roles that depict ethnic minority as drug victims and as those who like engaging in criminal activities. This has made the African Americans to become a major focus in matters related to crime and drugs in the United States. This stereotype is further witnessed where the victims of criminal activities from African Americans are rarely featured on mass media but those of White Americans get a larger share. This camouflaging racial discrimination has made it difficult for the White Americans to understand the true nature and character of the African American people. Many scholars have considered racial profiling which is orchestrated by negative media coverage of Blacks is now being considered as modern day racism.
Racial profiling has become a perceptible and problematic characteristic of the United States media, as it seeks to escalate stereotypes and biases in our culture. It is clear that such kind of media attention makes the obvious audience believe that the facts and images portrayed are the exact representation of the victim racial group as a whole. The actions of the media strengthen the thinking process of the population and distort social realities. The stereotypes permeate the society and get entrenched within the culture in subtle ways. Most scholars argue that racial profiling, orchestrated by negative media coverage of African-Americans, is modern-day racism. This problem is greatly intertwined with African Americans’ interaction with the media and law enforcement agencies.
Racial profiling is also evident in religion, and this has been haphazardly been against the people of the Muslim faith. The media has again gone further to show that all persons of Muslim faith are dangerous in the society as a security concern. Most of them are seen mass bombers and people who live on the acts of revenge inculcated in them through their religious meetings and teachings. This believes has many weaknesses as not only Muslims are terrorists but this is a universal measure among all people of different races, ethnicity and religious affiliations that are capable of carrying out acts of terrorism because this is initiated by an individual’s personality. Film makers in the United States of America have also been belittling the other races and especially Arabs who uphold Muslim faith as weak and who cannot battle with the American forces in war.
This is evident where the movies always carry the success of American forces. The media coverage especially from battle fields and war fronts in the Muslim countries depict that Muslim people are murderers and law violators who cannot be trusted in matters of security. This has made the audience of these media to believe that African Americans, Muslims and Latin Americans are fond of committing crimes and that they are violent in nature. This has made people to regard reports from the media as completely true. This have had greater effects to the American culture as even the law enforcers have come to believe that racial profiling involving black people is the best way of arbitrating justice in the society.
In conclusion, racial profiling is clearly outlined in the United States constitution. Acts of racial profiling indiscriminately targets people of one race, thus alienating them from the rest of the community. Racial profiling among the black community of the United States has been actively advanced by the media. Media coverage in the United States has been biased in the sense that the common audience can easily believe that African-Americans are fond of committing crimes and are violent in nature. The model of information transmission has been positioned in a way that people have come to regard media reports as the complete truth. This scenario has influenced our culture and forced many people, including law enforcers, to believe that racial profiling involving black people is the best way of arbitrating justice in the society.