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Research Paper on Racial Profiling in The United States and Its Consequences

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Racial discrimination and inequality continue to be an issue. Despite the advances we make in our society in terms of race, racial prejudice is something that cannot be abolished. Conflict with discrimination is evident when we look at the issue of racial profiling. Racial profiling in the United States has corrupted the justice system, causing various misinterpretations and placing innocent persons in jail.

Racial Profiling is just what it is. Targeting individuals for suspicion of a violation determined by the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin. Race and location are the supreme characteristics law enforcement visually examines when engaging in this type of profiling. African-American males are the primary victims of racial profiling in the United States. The phrase “driving while black” derives from African Americans protesting that they are pulled over by police officers for no reason other than the color of their skin. But racial profiling isn’t only about African-Americans, racial profiling deals with other ethnic groups likewise.

Police departments across the country too often use extortionate force, injuring people suspected of misconduct and sometimes killing them. Stop and frisk is the practice by which a police officer initiates a cessation of an individual on the street allegedly based on plausible suspicion of malefactor activity. Statistically, police have been more liable to perform stop and frisks in neighborhoods that are home to sizably voluminous numbers of African Americans and Hispanics.

Slavery has a correlation to the prison institution since it dealt with capitalism, physical control, and cruelty. Racial justice affects minorities in contemporary America. Depending on the way it is tackled, slavery is still in place today. The prison institution has become the new slave trade. Blacks are used for manual work. Prison companies have created an interest in private corporations to make money from blacks by doing a diminished job, ‘even producing ads to bring business and land contracts, putting prisons at work as a free alternative to foreigners in other countries. It is a fact that food that is processed like chicken, beef, and pork within schools ‘ have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners.

In the mid-1800s, there were more African Americans in prison than any other race. Slavery was the belief of the foundation that blacks were unequal to everybody else. Slavery destroyed vast amounts of humans mentally, physically, and spiritually. When slavery ended, it left scads of racism creating different effects on generations. Currently, men have become the spotlight for the prison system. Men are now labeled as a “growing undercast” meaning they have low values. Men are sometimes denied the right to vote, discriminated from having a job, and public benefits”, during the Jim Crow period.

Although in some instances it may seem as if the racial caste has ended in America, it hasn’t; it was merely been redesigned. During the formation of the United States, African-Americans were denied citizenship and equality. Even though African-Americans were granted freedom after the Civil War, they were never in peace in this country. Since freedom, many different factors have prevented African-Americans from having a voice. Jarvis Cotton, an African-American, and his antecedents have victims of these factors.

Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, Cotton has been denied the right to vote. His great-great-grandfather was denied to vote since he was a slave. His great-grandfather was killed by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was intimidated by the KKK. His father was barred by poll taxes and literacy rates. Currently, Cotton is unable to vote because he has been labeled as a felon, like many black men in contemporary America. Cotton’s story supports the old adage “The more things change, the more they remain the same”. Each generation creates new tactics in order to discriminate Blacks from participating and gaining equality.

Isn’t it ironic that an African-American man cannot afford a job in society, but as soon as a black man enters prison, they are given a huge load of labor work? According to the Center for Economic and Political Research (CEPR), ‘In 2008, over 2.3 million Americans were in prison or in jail, with one of the 48 working-age men behind bars’. Currently, in America, illegal immigrants and teens are racially profiled and processed under a caste system. Studies claim that detention rates between 1880 and 1970 were expanded to ‘100 to 200 prisoners per 100,000 people’.

Up until 2001, the public judged racial profiling. President Bill Clinton addressed racial profiling “morally indefensible and deeply corrosive.” Blacks and Hispanics are considered poor because of lack of education, unemployed, social environment. However, it is one of the main reasons why Blacks and Hispanics become racially profiled in their communities. Judge Shira Scheindlin, discovered that the New York Police Department altered to a “policy of indirect racial profiling”. In the inner-cities, the amount of stop and frisk are majority Blacks and Hispanics.

New York City police have made it a procedure to stop “Blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white”. New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman fired police superintendent Carl Williams for mentioning, “Blacks are more likely to be involved in trafficking.” The Supreme Court has pointed out that watching community, race can be used as a clear reason in decision making. In New York police officers use race as a factor in stopping people on the streets, sometimes to scare them. Stating that there is enough evidence for a jury to decide. Blacks and Hispanics generally represent more than 85 percent of those who are stopped by police officers.

The court marked that the police could take a person Hispanic appearance to jurisdiction when acquiring suspicious hint that a vehicle may obtain illegal immigrants. The attention becomes to the nation focusing on trisomy. Another thing the nation is paying attention to immigration. People moving to the U.S. caused a lot of racial profiling because of new people coming in. everybody should get equally treated. “Background injustice might led us to suspect that when the police racially profile blacks drivers, they might sometimes be motivated by racist attitudes towards black drivers but not white drivers in a harassing manner, or might selectively impose such profiling on blacks in an unfair way” immigrants get the same treatment as if they were to violate the laws for them coming here to America. As were blacks get treated differently even if we are in the same category.

Michelle Alexander stated, “The likelihood that a person of Mexican ancestry is an “alien” could not be significantly higher than the likelihood that any random black person is a drug criminal”. People get the wrong idea of racial injustice, and how it still influences history. The JimCrow laws found it hard dealing with slavery. However, racial injustice effects the young minorities in contemporary America. Poverty is the state of being poor, not having certain necessities to survive in America such as food, shelter, and security.

Blacks are the majority in jails, prisons, and the court systems. Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Hugo Black put his thought and commented in a decision Griffin v. Illinois. “There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.” There are three major issues that society have today involving the criminal justice system. One of the first major issues is race. Race such a major issue because of family influences, cultural influences, and because some people are just ignorant.

Despite making up close to 5% of the global population, the U.S. has nearly 25% of the world’s prison population. Since 1970, the incarcerated population in the United States has increased by 700% –2.3 million people in jail and prison today, far outpacing population growth and crime. One out of every three Black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino boys — compared to one of every 17 white boys.

In 2000, Hearne, Texas was attacked by an undercover drug bust, leading to the arrest of 15% of the African-American men between 18 and 34. Many innocent minorities were considered drug felons, such as Emma Faye Stewart and Clifford Runoalds. Racial injustice is growing faster and faster, African-American men have arrested thirteen times the rate of white men on drug charges in the U.S. despite roughly equal rates of drug use.

Human Right Watch reported in 2000 that, in seven states, African-Americans constitute 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison. That been said, Latinos and Blacks make up more than 75% of drug violators in prison. Since the establishment of the War on Drugs, drug admissions for African-Americans skyrocketed, quadrupling in three years. Drug admissions for whites have also increased drastically, but their numbers still aren’t as closed to those of Latinos and Blacks.

It may seem that minorities use more drugs than whites, but that is not true. One study, published in 2000 by the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that white students use cocaine at seven times the rate of black students, use crack cocaine at eight times the rate of black students, and use heroin at seven more times the rate of black students. Even though whites use drugs at the same rate as minorities, possibly even higher, they still do not match the numbers of those guilty of it in the minority community, but why?

Racial Bias

The racial bias inherent in America was a major reason why 1 in every 14 black men was behind bars in 2006, compared to that of 1 in 106 white men. For young black men, between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, one out of nine of them were behind bars in 2006. More recent research has confirmed that racial profiling of students is still extremely common. Over 70 percent of students involved in school-related arrests are Hispanic or Black.

And a 2010 survey found that Black students are three-and-a-half times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white peers. A2008 University of Pittsburgh study called “Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in School Discipline among U.S. High School Students” concluded that the differences between the suspension and expulsion rates were not linked to differences in behavior and that there was no information to indicate that Black students acted out more than White students. Instead, they found that Black students were being referred to the office for less serious and more subjective reasons. The conclusion was that racial bias was behind the statistical differences.

Further, the discrepancy in punishment of minority children in North Carolina was outlined in a2012 analysis conducted by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. It was found that Black students were suspended eight times higher for cell phone use, six times higher for dress code violations, two times higher for disruptive behavior, and 10 times higher for displays of affection. These punishments have become more common and more severe in the past decade due to the rise of zero-tolerance policies, which give school faculty more discretion in giving suspensions and expulsions (University of Pittsburgh).

Between 1972 and 2009, the number of secondary school students suspended or expelled over the course of a school year increased about 40 percent, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.

Like schools, police also use racial bias when it comes to making arrests. A couple of years ago, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) gave a powerful speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Scott talked about howhe had been repeatedly pulled over by police officers who seemed to be suspicious of a black man driving a nice car. He added that a black senior-level staffer had experienced the same thing and had even downgraded his car in the hope of avoiding the problem.Given that Scott otherwise has pretty conservative politics, there was little objection or protest from the right. No one rose up to say that he was lying about getting pulled over.

Racial profiling is a major part in comprehending racial abuse. Police brutality against African Americans is a serious societal problem that affects many states across the US. It implies the use of unauthorized, illegal, unfair, unnecessary, and otherwise unwarranted violence or brutality by police officers against civilians, regardless if they are breaking the law or not. The issue has gained special prominence in recent years thanks to the numerous killings of young black people that have been perpetrated by police officers. The issue has gone so far that it has spurred various movements, such as the ‘Black Lives Matter movement. One of the main criticisms against the police forces across America has been that they unfairly discriminate against people of color, while being generally more lenient towards white people.

No matter how much The United States advances, in military, politics, economy, etc., equality amongst all people in the United States will never exist. Since before this Nation was independent, discrimination was already taken place in the thirteen colonies and bequeathed the independent United States. Since then, although the U.S. has changed in the political, economic, and social points of views, racial prejudice and discrimination have been redesigned. Slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow laws were all antecedents to the contemporary racial caste system used today by millions of Americans.


  1. Alexander, M.(2010). The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York, NY. The New Press Baker, A. (2011, August 31). Judge declines to dismiss case alleging racial profiling by city police in street stops. The New York Times
  2. Bou-Habib P. (2011). Racial profiling and background injustice. Journal of Ethics, 15, 33-46. DOI:10.1007/s10892-010-9091–x.
  3. Goldstein, J. (2013, August 12). Judge rejects new york’s stop-and-frisk policy. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  4. Houndmann, M. (2002). What does the bible say about racism, prejudice, and discrimination?. Retrieved from
  5. Olson, A. (2005). Justice is not blind. People weekly world, Retrieved from
  6. Weatherspoon, F. (2004). Racial profiling of African-American males: Stopped, searched, and stripped of constitutional protection. Marshall Law Review,439, Retrieved from

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