Free Essay on Racial Profiling

Published: 2017-10-24
Free Essay on Racial Profiling
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race Racism Judicial system Ethics
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1153 words
10 min read

According to Williams (2010), the practice of racial profiling tends to judge people based on their way of life. The African-Americans are sometimes known to have a culture of involvement in drugs and according to the theory; this is their culture which should be respected. This approach is frequently criticized since scholars believe that no matter how different the cultures may be there is always some theoretical moral grounds which everyone follows ( Durlauf,2005). A particular culture of Asian origin believes that they have to kill their parents so that they enter the afterlife feeling vibrant and full of life. In the contemporary society, this would be wrong, but the fundamental principle that we need to take care of our parents is still applicable (Drakulich, 2009).

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The theory of absolutism is the complete opposite of the philosophy of relativism. According to Aguirre (2004), it postulates that for society to flourish and survive then there is a need for a universal standard of ordinary laws which need to be enacted. There should be a law enforcement body to ensure that the rules are followed. The theory is therefore in support of the role of police officers as law enforcers. The theory states that the standard code of ethics should apply to everyone whether they are in support or not. It holds the opposite view of the theory of relativism which state that people's cultures should be respected. According to Drakulich (2009), we should judge others fairly and with understanding. This method relates to racial profiling in the sense that there should be an acceptable code of ethics which commonly refers to the constitution which should apply to all. The fact that racial profiling leads to infringement of equality rights and focuses more on some cultures and ethnic groups, then it is not normal according to absolutism. For the theory to ultimately apply to the law enforcement, then the judgment (profiling) should be fair and not biased by suspect’s demographic attributes.

The theory of utilitarianism by Stuart Miller was developed in the 18th century and aims at explaining the basis of ethical behavior. According to Drakulich (2009), he states that ethical behavior is deemed as any action which promotes the social welfare of the majority as opposed to equity. The utilitarian view of the racial profiling is that the levels of crimes associated with the particular ethnic group are not proportionate to the information showing that other members of the community are involved. This approach means that any measures directed towards the reduction of crimes committed by the particular ethnic group are justified. According to Coates (2004), the utilitarian view of racial profiling only works to the people who are directly affected and not in a conceptual view. The view assesses the relationship between how much the racial profiling has reduced crime as compared to the adverse effects of the practice to a particular ethnic group. According to Wilson & Dunham & Alpert (2004), if the profiling has led to reduced crime rate that means that there is a significant proportion of social well-being which has been improved. If the level of social welfare improved is more than the social welfare of the group feeling hurt and discriminated for being profiled then the profiling act is justified. In the US the people who are profiled for engaging in certain crimes may reduce social welfare and profiling instills fear and also restores the lost welfare to some extent so that the society is either at the initial welfare will being or they are better off.


Racial profiling which means making a decision of crime association of a particular group based on their ethnicity is one of the central debates of the contemporary law enforcement and justice society. There seems to be no clear justification of whether the practice is right or not. According to Coates (2004), those in support of the racial profiling state that it is very crucial since the frequency of the crimes associated with the profiles shows that they are prevalent in the particular community. However, some ethics and moral theorists do not agree to this as this is a violation of personal beliefs and practices which are different for every individual according to relativism. According to Drakulich (2009), absolutism states that the there are supposed to be basic ethical procedures for everyone, but the law enforcers should do their job with understanding and fairness. Utilitarian view postulates that the benefits of an action are justified according to how much the work improves social welfare which to some extent means that racial profiling is justified.


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