By definition, the act of racial profiling refers to the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based on the individual’s race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. The idea that people could possibly think that racial profiling does NOT exist truthfully baffles me. African Americans have forever been a target by law enforcement..and the crazy thing is….usually, it is for no other reason other than ignorance and a lack of understanding and appreciating differences coupled with implicit or explicit biases.
Not only does racial profiling exist, but it is very real for African Americans. Numbers do not lie nor can they be disputed. According to the USA Today analysis of FBI arrest data, there are least 70 departments ranging from Connecticut to California where the arrest rates for African Americans are 10 times higher than any other race. On a national scale, African Americans all around are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested and incarcerated more than any other race. In 2016, these numbers should not be so skewed so heavily the way that they are. In 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court deemed it illegal for law enforcement to racially profile individuals as it was a violation of constitutional requirements that allows all persons to be equally protected by the law. Evidence is evidence and it certainly lifts the veil on our cops…who we trust to actively and equally treat all citizens the same..and to hold EVERYONE to the same standard no matter the race.
With everything that has gone on in the news with the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile..some would argue that for African Americans… it is fate to always be treated unequally and unfairly particularly from people in positions of power and authority. Could you blame them though? Too many of our young black men, often times unarmed, are being taken by the police with no actual justification behind it. What is worse is that there is no justice being served…these officers are not answering to their wrong doings. But here’s the question we must ask ourselves: Can anyone honestly remember a time in history where African Americans were NOT being singled out simply because of the color of their skin? It does not exist. The possibility which often turns in to a reality remains as history has shown time and time again that African Americans will always be vulnerable and subjected to racial profiling.
Being victimized because of the color of our skin color (or any other attribute for that matter) makes you question and wonder just how “great” America is and if it is even a home to African Americans. Putting it in to perspective: how can people call America home when they are constantly being targeted because of who they simply are and what they look like. NEWSFLASH: you can not erase your skin color, it is permanent.. nor should any one feel like they have to in order to be considered equal in this country. There is absolutely no doubt that cops express biases, whether they be implicit or explicit, that dominate their decisions when dealing with African Americans, particularly our young black men.
Through all of the struggles our people have been through, our history represents a mark of power, strength and triumph….and that is what it means to be BLACK.