The term “racial profiling” was firstly used by the American mass media approximately in 1998. But the roots of this problem started to appear much earlier. The first, who complained about being discriminated were Afro-Americans and Hispanics. They accused the American policemen of detaining them without any significant reason and in the situations when the white person would not be stopped. They were offended that they were held, asked to show their ID and searched. And, indeed, it is a very humiliating process, especially for those, who did not violate the law. The problem is very strange and controversial because the authorities deny the fact that these nationalities are highly suspect. But the evidence of racial profiling can be seen every day. As it is said, there is no smoke without fire. And this quote concerns both police and the representatives of the insulted nations. Of course, even a blind man can see that the police pay much more attention to African-American people. And they have justifications for their actions. They explain that these groups are more likely to unlawful behavior, and provide the statistics showing that the black-dominated cities are the most dangerous places in America.
According to the crime reports, issued by the FBI, the area of Detroit, MI (where the part of Afro-Americans is bigger than the part of Americans), is keeping its disreputable status as the most dangerous city in America with no less than 14,504 violent crimes, including 316 murders, during 2013. This works out to the staggering 39 violent crimes per day or a statistical average of 1.6 violent crimes every hour. Detroit is an infamous city, which has been on the verge of total collapse since the last of the white inhabitants was pushed out from the district (Staff, 2014). But at the same time, other statistics in the FBI’s crime report claimed that in 2013, 68.9 percent of all individuals arrested were “white,” 28.3 percent were not “whites”, and 2.9 percent were of other races (Staff, 2014). The defenders of profiling also point to statistics that show, for example, that while blacks comprise only about 13 percent of the population, they make up 35 percent of all drug arrests and 55 percent of all drug convictions (Gale, Lehman, 2005).
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There are a lot of other statistics that show the percentage of Afro-Americans and Hispanics, who were detained for keeping marijuana and white people held for the same reason. And the big difference between the indicators is not in favor of the first group.
The critics of the profiling claim that it is because more attention is paid to the first two nations without noticing crimes committed by white people. And if two people are suspected of offending the law and one of them is not white, he or she will be punished. And in some districts, the severity of the punishment even depends on the nationality of the defendant.
Some scientists have tried to find biological reasons for the tendency of Afro-Americans to break the law by attacking white people and robbing them violently. This idea proved to be the absolute nonsense due to the fact that there is no ethnic group that is more likely to commit crime than others. Everything depends on the social status, cultural development, the level and accessibility of education, the level of poverty, unemployment rate and the overall welfare of the place of residence.
To prove this, I would like to cite an example from the book written by Bohannan: “In Africa, the crime rate is much lower than in black areas in America.” It means that their living conditions are much better and favorable (Bohannan, 1967)
Maybe now there is no harsh discrimination against this ethnic group, but they are still ethnic minorities without a lot of rights. Because of the prejudice and fear that they will steal something or kill somebody in the burst of anger, the employees are afraid of hiring them, thus leaving them without any source of income. In order to feed the children, they are forced to sell marijuana, attack white people who walk in their districts and take their wallets, jewelry, and cell phones away.
1. Tno Staff. “New FBI Crime Figures Confirm: Black Towns Most Dangerous, White Areas Safest”.2014. Web. Accessed on 17 Jan 2016 at http://newobserveronline.com/new-fbi-crime-figures-confirm-black-towns-dangerous-white-areas-safest/
2. Thomson Gale, Lehman. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law (13 Volume Set) 2nd Edition. 2004. Web. Accessed on 17 Jan 2016 at http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Racial_Profiling.aspx
3. P. Bohannan, ed. African Homicide and Suicide.1967. New York, Chap. 9.