- Posted July 30, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Racial profiling: Both sides
The Right Profile
Racial profiling at its worst is nothing short of racism, a scourge that American society has yet to shake here in its 233rd year of existence. Yet, it’s become such a buzzword of late, that people are not all understanding what it really means. Racial profiling stems from law enforcement assuming that a party of a particular race possesses certain behavior characteristics of that race in general and for that reason might be likely to commit a crime. It's quite a small-minded concept, it needs to go.
On the other hand, simply identifying a person based on their race is not racial profiling and not necessarily racism. Skin color is used as an identifier just as gender, height, age and weight is. A black man is indeed black and a white man is indeed white. Hearing somebody else refer to us as such is a piss-poor reason to take offense and cry racism. Look at the big picture. If airport security has reason to believe that a man is carrying a bomb onto an airplane, it is in everybody’s best interest that a thorough description of the culprit be given. It would certainly limit the number of possible suspects, thereby increasing the chances of avoiding a really bad flight. Referred to in such a context, Black, White, Hispanic or whatever should not be heard as naughty words meant to oppress. It’s all about context and intent. Genuine racism is still out there and I personally think it holds us back as a society. But it doesn’t help the cause to inflate the non-issues into headline news.