How is Racial Profiling an Issue to Our American Society?

Perla Martinez Bravo, Senior Reporter

Racial Profiling is known to harm our society’s emotions and visual concept of equality. How so? Racial Profiling isn’t just the verbal accusations confronted by many supremacists or racist people, it’s the sensation of the danger behind. The concept of discrimination is not only found in America, but throughout American history.


  The history of racial profiling traces back to the year 1877 after the Reconstruction Era, in which Jim Crow laws were officially established by white state legislatures. These laws prevented ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’ from using the same bathrooms, eating at the same places, and also prevented many to attend the same schools.


  How does Jim Crow contribute to current racial profiling? These past discriminatory laws were dedicated to split America’s society, dividing each person, culturally and personally. The objective of many were to separate whites from blacks, with the mindset that blacks were inferior and unworthy. Over the course of time, racism has dominated the country, creating a picture that blocks equality and rights for people of color.


   It is believed that children at an early age develop a sense of ‘bias’ from our society. In Holly Yan’s article, ‘This is why everyday racial profiling is so dangerous’, Yan describes how children adopt the ’bias’ concept, surprisingly, before kindergarten.


              “Social scientists believe children begin to acquire prejudices and stereotypes as toddlers, according to ‘Teaching Tolerance’, which helps schools educate children about tolerance and diversity. Those environments (sic) triggers can come from verbal slurs, ethnic jokes and acts of discrimination.”


  My interview with a Desert Pines High School student regarding this issue has become difficult to speak about;


PM: “How do you feel that racial profiling is currently a serious topic discussed still today?”


ANONYMOUS: “I feel upset and bothered.”


PM: “Have you ever been targeted for this [racial profiling]?”


ANONYMOUS: “Yes, a couple of times I felt scared and pressured by this. Thinking of life and values. Handcuffs were involved for no reason and that was my anger. My friend and I were taking pictures on a nice day on the side of a storage unit when two police cars approached nearby. They came upon us, questioning our motives to why we were there. My friend and I were frozen since only me and him knew our real motivates (sic) and that was to take pictures for fun. After answering some questions given to us, at least three police officers from both vehicles opened their doors and step out towards us. Let me tell you that the fear and confusion we felt during this was real.”


PM: “If you had the chance to speak out about this issue in public, would you say ‘yes’?”


ANONYMOUS: “Yes. I would say that racial profiling is a serious matter and it has to be addressed immediately. Know your rights, always be honest, and stay safe.”  


  We live in a society in which racial profiling is witnessed by our own children. How surprising, right? How can we change our attitudes towards racial profiling? Racial Profiling has developed into a harsh and judgmental practice that we, in America, have adopted over time. America has to stop now.


Related image

Editorial Cartoon Artist: F. Simmons

Photo Credits: AvivaLaVida’s Glogster “Next Gen-Racial Profiling”