Racial Profiling: The Color of Justice in America

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For the past few years there has been an ongoing debate surrounding the issue of racial profiling. The act of racial profiling may rest on the assumption that African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to commit crimes than any individual of other races or ethnicities. Both David Cole in the article "The Color of Justice" and William in the article "Road Rage" take stance on this issue and argue against it in order to make humanity aware of how erroneous it is to judge people without evidence. Although Cole and William were very successful in matters of showing situations and qualitative information about racial profiling in their articles, both of them fail at some points.

In the article Road Rage, Williams does a good job trying to make society aware of the racial profiling problem and also trying to make each citizen more conscious about its consequences through communities all over the world. She starts by saying that although the Black Ministers Council has been trying to expose and prevent racial profiling, it still occurs. To identify the problem and to start her argument, she uses a lot of statistics to show that even though most of the individuals convicted of drug related offenses are white, the majority of people that are suspects and stopped in the streets are black. These statistics strengthen her argument once it proves with relevant facts that this unacceptable situation keeps on happening often.

Williams defends the idea that, SOMETIMES, it might be relevant to use race as ONE of the factors used in a profile; however, this does not mean that we should target a whole group of people. She sustains her point by illustrating a particular situation. If, for example, there has been a lot of cases of Canadi...

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...m. Race is a legitimate factor for police to take into account -- along with other factors. No one should not be stopped or harassed or anything like that solely because of his race, ethnicity, etc. But police officers, who understand the real world, and the workings of actual neighborhoods -- should not be expected to ignore their real-world experiences. Liberals assure that crime is caused by poverty and lack of education. But the big issue is that blacks are, in fact, disproportionately poor, so people end up thinking that it is conceivable to suggest that blacks (young black men, actually) are disproportionately more likely to commit crimes. But, is it conscionable to forget about the Basic American right, the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.


David Cole, 1999, The Color of Justice.

Patricia Williams, 1999, Road Rage.

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