Racial Profiling - Driving While Arabic (DWA)

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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What is racial profiling? According to Robert M. Franklin, the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University, it is ?Trying to assess and predict the behavior, motives, and character of other law-abiding people based on their physical appearance?. In 1999, former President Bill Clinton said of racial profiling, ?Racial profiling is in fact the opposite of good police work, where actions are based on hard facts, not stereotypes?. President George W. Bush has said he is opposed to racial profiling, yet created the Patriot Act shortly after the September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center (referred to hereafter as 9/11). This issue has been very heated and controversial, and in the times we live in now, even more so. The question now becomes, in pre-9/11 America, it was a more unanimous end to the debate on racial profiling, what is racial profiling now? Is it to be considered prejudice or protocol? Since September 11th, the United States has employed the use of racial profiling in an attempt to apprehend terrorists.

However, the government has not considered other important factors that make a terrorist. Instead, it has used racial profiling to detain citizens, question immigrants, and encourage racial backlash at great costs to the American citizens. The government has used racial profiling liberally and irresponsibly. What should be a single factor in locating and capturing terrorists has at times become the sole crutch of terrorist investigations. Racial profiling is not always an effective method of catching terrorists, and blatant use of racial profiling is a violation of Driving While Arab 3 constitutional right. Negligent use of racial profiling is also very harmful on a societal level.

In the months after September 11th, the American government detained over one-thousand two-hundred (1,200) people in connection with the attacks. These...