Racial Profiling

Did you know that in 2002, the percentage of Hispanics pulled over and searched by a police officer in the United States was nearly four times that of White Americans? How about that in 2005 the percentage of African Americans pulled over and searched was more than three times that of White Americans? These repetitive statistics make me wonder “Why is it that why judge people simply based on race?” For example, have you ever saw someone who isn’t exactly “like” you and immediately thought lesser of them for it, before even saying a word to them? Well if the answer is yes, then you are guilty of something that most of the world is also guilty of; Racial profiling. Racial profiling is the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person. Sometimes we do it without even realizing it. Since September 11th, 2001, Americans have developed this crazy inkling that all Muslims are terrorists. As sad and rude as it is, racial profiling is an everyday part of our lives.

More often than most people even realize, when we see a Hispanic in our society, we immediately question their citizenship. In reality, they may be just as much of a citizen of the United States as you and I. In World War II, Adolf Hitler brainwashed all of Nazi Germany into believing that the Aryan race was above all other. He forced them to buy into his sick ideas that all Jews were greedy, selfish burdens to society that needed to be removed. In around six years Adolf Hitler, one man, was responsible for the extermination of six million innocent Jews and it all started with one racial profile. History just goes to show that no one man is better than another and that putting yourself above another is never the answer.

A terrorist is defined as a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. However, we often find ourselves labeling Muslims, followers of the most peaceful religion, as terrorists. Although history shows that most terrorists are Muslim that does not give us the right to racially profile anyone who is not from “our country” or practice “our religion”. I often find myself thinking “Why it is that we put ourselves above those who follow Islam and why we have the right to call them terrorists?”, as I realize it is wrong and unjust. Christianity and Islam are both monotheistic religions, as both believe in only one god. In any group of people, even Christianity, there are extremists. An extremist is someone who advocates or supports extreme doctrines or practices. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is the perfect example of a Christian extremist group. This particular group, along with many other extremist groups, interprets the word of God in their own sick way. The KKK lynched thousands of African Americans and for this; many believe them to be no better than a Muslim terrorist. Just because there have been some Christian extremists in history, does not mean that you and I are terrorists or that you and I are racist towards African Americans. Every group is going to be faced with extremists eventually; however those few bad people should not ruin the reputations of the millions of good people that have the same beliefs.

Racial Profiling does not only make us look and feel incredibly ignorant, but it also degrades the recipient. I know for a fact that I would not want to be judged based on the actions of people like me, before I even had the chance to be myself. Whether it’s profiling Hispanics as illegal immigrants, Muslims as terrorists, or teenagers as lazy, racial profiling is degrading and disrespectful and before you do it you should ask yourself, “Would you like to be judged based on completely different people?” So, next time you see that Muslim, Hispanic, Arab, teenager, or even elderly person, think twice before you judge, you may even make a friend or two.