Aspects Of Racial Profiling

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Profiling According to Webster’s dictionary profiling is defined as: the act or process of extrapolating information about a person based on known traits or tendencies “consumer profiling”; specifically: the act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior “racial profiling” (Merriam-Webster ,2012). Profiling can be a very useful and powerful tool in many aspects of our everyday lives. From DNA profiling, to how companies market their product, to consumer spending and buying habits, also in law enforcement and national security. Another aspect of profiling called behavioral profiling is used both by law enforcement and the marketing and retail industries. Profiling is something humans do instinctively…show more content…
One of the most useful and controversial forms of profiling is racial profiling. Racial profiling is the use of race or ethnicity as the main determining factor for law enforcement to engage an individual or group in an enforcement capacity; to become suspicious of or have “probable cause” that someone is guilty based solely on their race or ethnicity. Racial profiling allows law enforcement to concentrate their resources on only people who are more likely to be guilty of a particular offence. If your suspect for a bank robbery is a white male you wouldn’t want to waste time and resources looking at everyone in the area. It would make more sense and be more efficient to only be interested in the white males that are in the area. Some negative aspects of racial profiling are the reinforcement of racial stereotypes and preconceived notions about certain racial or ethnic groups. When people think that the TSA are targeting Muslim men, this could help to reinforce Islamophobia. Often times racial profiling will help justify irrational fears and notions that someone may have about people of a different race. A real life example given by the ACLU is “In December 2001, an American citizen of Middle Eastern descent named Assem Bayaa cleared all the security checks at Los Angeles airport and attempted to board a flight to New York. Upon boarding, he was told that he made the passengers uncomfortable by being on board the plane and was asked to leave. Once off the plane, he wasn't searched or questioned any further and the only consolation he was given was a boarding pass for the next flight. He filed a lawsuit on the basis of discrimination against United Airlines. United Airlines filed a counter motion which was dismissed by a district judge on October 11, 2002. In June 2005, the ACLU announced a

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