How to stop racial profiling

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Racial profiling presents a major problem in the United States, especially for individuals from minority groups such as Blacks and Hispanics. The act of targeting, discriminating, or suspecting individuals due to their nationality, religion, or ethnicity/race is responsible for various social challenges, for example, police brutality. Accordingly, the need to address the issue has gained greater prominence over the years. Cases such as those of George Floyd and Ronell Foster highlight the adverse consequences of allowing racial profiling to persist. Evidence suggests that racial profiling is a public health and disparity matter due to the unpleasant and disparate impact (Laurencin & Walker, 2020). Therefore, racial profiling is a public health problem that should be addressed by raising awareness and overcoming bias.

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Raising Awareness

Public awareness of racial profiling is sufficient to cause meaningful change and reduce racism. The way various media present individuals from minority groups has a significant influence on public perception. By portraying individuals from monitory racial or ethnic backgrounds as inferior or giving them negative connotations, the media reinforces stereotypes. Therefore, the managers, producers, and moderators of various media have to raise awareness of this problem and seek to rectify the situation as a means to end racial profiling. The creative industry is a powerful tool for promoting diversity, inclusion, and equality (Crimmins, 2020). Through media literacy campaigns, content creators can enlighten the public on the way racial profiling occurs and its implications. The goal is to combat disinformation and address stereotypes that lead to the targeting of minorities.

Besides, raising awareness of the problem offers a means to protect individuals by encouraging them to understand their rights. Through the knowledge of the types of racial profiling experienced by people from minority groups, these individuals can determine the legal frameworks related to their cases, seek action by human rights agencies, and document good practices for dealing with the social problem (Preventing and countering racial profiling, 2019). Therefore, the technique will help to focus on the prohibition of racial profiling by encouraging individuals to understand their rights and exercise behaviors that reduce the potential that they will be the target. The federal, state and local governments are seeking ways to address racial profiling and encourage diversity. The awareness of racial bias among individuals who are potential victims protects their safety by knowing their rights and seeking legal redress for violations.

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Overcoming Bias

Ending racial profiling requires people who perpetuate the problem to overcome the bias that leads them to behave in ways that stereotype or discriminate against others. Therefore, people should be encouraged to rethink their ideas or conclusions about certain issues and people. Luscombe (2019) argues that the mind needs to organize everything to maintain a structured approach to issues. However, the organization can lead to bias as individuals develop certain beliefs or attitudes towards people from a specific group. Once people categorize others, they establish feelings and beliefs that direct the way they treat or interact with those people. Therefore, ending racial profiling requires individuals to challenge the beliefs they have developed to overcome bias and develop fresh perspectives that limit racial profiling.

Finally, the development and implementation of policies designed to overcome bias can eliminate racial profiling. Kovera (2019) observes that some of the current law enforcement policies encourage bias. For example, a focus on drug enforcement targeting drugs such as cocaine and crack emphasizes Black people as the primary dealers and traffickers of the drug. However, evidence shows that people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds participate in the trafficking and sale of these narcotics. Addressing such policies is crucial for ending racial profiling by removing the institutional policies that increase the potential of racial profiling. Furthermore, the use of interventions to eliminate bias such as training decision-makers to avoid stereotyping can overcome this problem. Therefore, the emphasis on overcoming bias is an integral step toward ending racial profiling.

Conclusion

Raising awareness and overcoming bias are crucial steps that can help to address the challenge of racial profiling. Several factors contribute to the existence of this public health issue such as the stereotyping of minorities by the media, misinformation on racial profiling, bias, and a lack of awareness of individual rights. By focusing on raising awareness of the problem, the media can contribute to efforts to address the problem. Awareness enlightens individuals on the reasons the problem exists and its consequences. Thus, it encourages people to change their thinking, actions, and behaviors to avoid racial profiling. Furthermore, increasing knowledge of the problems makes victims aware of the issue, the potential solutions, and the bodies that can help address the problem. Finally, overcoming bias encourages people to abandon ideas and actions that enable racial profiling. Furthermore, it can be viewed as a step toward eliminating policies that encourage racial profiling. The two techniques provide a way to end racial profiling by increasing knowledge of the problem, inspiring people to think differently about racial/ethnic issues, and challenging the policies and procedures that reinforce the issue.

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  1. Crimmins, G. (2020). Strategies for supporting inclusion and diversity in the academy: Higher education, aspiration, and inequality. Springer.
  2. Kovera, M. B. (2019). Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Prevalence, Causes, and a Search for Solutions. Journal of Social Issues, 75(4), 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12355
  3. Laurencin, C. T. & Walker, J. M. (2020). Racial profiling is a public health and health disparity issue. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 7, 393-397. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-020-00738-2
  4. Luscombe, B. (2019). What police departments and the rest of us can do to overcome implicit bias, according to an expert. https://time.com/5558181/jennifer-eberhardt-overcoming-implicit-bias/
  5. Preventing and countering racial profiling of people of African descent. (2019). United Nations Human Rights: Office of the High Commissioner. https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/tools-and-resources/preventing-and-countering-racial-profiling-people-african-descent
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