Racial Profiling Reflective Essay

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Student 1

Dear … ,

Thanks for your post! You pinpoint that racial profiling is an issue because some people always feel that the justice system is unfairly targeting them. After a careful review of available evidence, the end of racial profiling and hate speech is certainly not in sight. According to Swanson (2016), police use superfluous force when dealing with African Americans, an aspect supported by Buehler (2017) who asserts that although African Americans are only 13% of the US population, they constitute 31% of those killed by police. So, it is not that some people feel that they are being wrongfully targeted, they are actually being targeted if we go by these statistics. Hate speech contributes to the perception that blacks are natural criminals (Buehler, 2017). The media has been propagating such lies making more and more Americans to believe that blacks are criminals (Kennedy, 2016; Buehler, 2017). If the society does not stop believing in unsubstantiated beliefs regarding certain sections of the population, the unity America needs may never be attained.

Student 2

Dear …,

I concur with your assertion that the US is great because of its diversity and something has to be done to end racial profiling and hate speech. Although your suggestion that profiling may end if diversity is factored into the process of recruiting police officers is feasible, there are better ways to solve the issue. First, it is important to note that “The work of police is to preserve law and order, including the racial order” (Butler, 2017, n.p). So, this is what they should be doing not withstanding their race or the race of the suspect of people they interact with (Taylor, 2013). If hate speech and racial profiling are to end, the authorities should be ready to deconstruct all prejudices held against certain groups of people (White, Bay & Martin, 2017). If such prejudices are eliminated, those in the police force will unlikely think of certain people as criminals and will approach them objectively – not subjectively as they currently do.

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  1. Buehler, J. W. (2017). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Use of Lethal Force by US Police, 2010–2014. American Journal of Public Health, 107(2), 295-297. doi:10.2105/ajph.2016.303575.
  2. Kennedy, F. R. (2016). Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Written Submission in Support of the Thematic Hearing on Excessive Use of Force by the Police against Black Americans in the United States. International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of Virginia School of Law Justin Hansford, St. Louis University School of Law.
  3. Swanson, E. (2016). Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans Issue Brief | APNORC.org | APNORC.org.
  4. Butler, P. (2017). US justice is built to humiliate and oppress black men. It starts with the chokehold… Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/11/chokehold-police-black-men-paul-butler-race-america
  5. Taylor, C. (2013). Introduction: African Americans, Police Brutality, And the U.S. Criminal justice system. The Journal of African American History, 98(2), 200-204. doi:10.5323/jafriamerhist.98.2.0200
  6. White, D. G., Bay, M., & Martin, W. E. (2017). Freedom on my mind: : a history of African Americans, with documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.
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