Expository Essay on Racial Profiling


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Expository Essay on Racial Profiling: Excerpt

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s made great strides in eliminating the racism that the government practiced against minorities in America. Despite these accomplishments, the success of eradicating racial discrimination under law is far from complete. Jim Crow laws are still alive and well. Discrimination practiced by the government has only shifted to an area of “justified” racism. The new arenas for state-sanctioned racism are the highways and interstates across America. Local and state police pull over minorities for minor traffic violations only intending to search their cars for illegal drugs. Police stop African-Americans solely because of their race. In other words, they have committed the crime of “Driving While Black.” These legal acts of discrimination are executed in the name of the war on drugs campaign by federal and state governments. Hoping to find minorities in possession of illegal drugs who fit the “profile” of drug dealers, police officers stop people for ridiculous probable causes. The practice of racial profiling is the modern form of Jim Crow laws for a “politically correct” America, justified on incorrect statistics of minority drug use, and supported by recent Supreme Court decisions to serve as a perverted spin-off of the war on drugs, a war that has disastrous consequences for all of American society.

Motorists along the New Jersey Turnpike have experienced repeated abuses of police brutality. Although racial profiling occurs across the nation by law enforcers everywhere, New Jersey has had a disproportionate number of documented cases of excessive force by police officers and an absurd amount of targeting of minority drivers. In April 1998, four young minority men, one Latino and three African-Americans, were driving on the New Jersey turnpike on the way to a basketball tryout in hopes of earning a scholarship. Not long after departing, two state troopers stopped them for a routine traffic violation. The men believed the officers stopped them for their race and denied even driving above the speed limit. The van accidentally began rolling backward causing one trooper to fall down. Both troopers then fired on the unarmed minority men seriously wounding three of them. One of the racist cops had been involved in at least nineteen prior incidents but managed to stay on the force. Recently the four men were able to settle with the state (“Rights for All”). This act of racial profiling was unlike most; the victims were able to document the case and prosecute the racist officers. Thousands of human rights violations through racial profiling occur across the country and go without justice. Although they usually are not this brutal, using excessive police force and targeting minority motorists is commonplace. For example 42-year old dentist Elmo Randolph claims to have been stopped more than fifty times since 1991 along the New Jersey Turnpike. It is not because Randolph is a constant speeder, it is because he drives a gold BMW and police are looking specifically for wealthy blacks along this road. In fact, he has never received a ticket. This type of occurrence cannot be just a coincidence; it is another example of the rights-violating policy of racial profiling. 

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