|Type of paper:
|Race Discrimination Police brutality
In the 21st century, people have taken a more direct and hands-on approach in shaping the events happening around them. In the United States, it has been more than two weeks of protests against racial discrimination and police brutality. This took effect after George Floyd, an African-American man, lost his life on camera on the hands of law enforcement officers. The events recorded in the video that went viral on social media ignited a debate as old as time on the aspects of racism, police brutality, and the plight of minorities in American society, especially African-American origin. Every individual is entitled to their basic rights of life irrespective of their race or cultural ethnicity. As a result, any form of discrimination is unacceptable, and every individual is entitled to free and fair treatment under the law irrespective of their differences.
“Liberals denounce racial Profiling. Conservatives denounce affirmative action (Brus, 2020).” The concept of race has continued to be a pressing issue in our society, even in the 21st century. Despite the advancements that modern society has made in terms of science and technology, medicine, among other fields, we have failed to rise above our minor differences. We are as divided as we were decades ago based on race, ethnicity and cultural orientations. Brent Staples, for instance, even made a game based on the racial stereotypes that were prevalent in the society and the campus area in which he lived. He referred to this game as “Scattering the pigeons." He would walk down the street headed directly towards an oncoming couple, without even making any gesture towards them, he would notice the grip on their hands tightens. And as he approached them even closer, they would let go of each other’s hand and scurry apart. Staples would then breeze between them without losing a step or looking behind. The author says, “The “pigeons” feared Staples because of his blackness–they were using his race as a proxy for potential criminality. (Brus, 2020)”
In Proxy wars, the author refers to a war instigated by the people, but the instigators do not actively take part in the war. Racial Profiling is a challenge that most people of colour have had their fair share of experiences with. Racial Profiling could be exhibited when a police officer randomly frisks a pedestrian because they are black or searches their car based on their skin colour. Derisively, this crime is referred to as driving when black "DWB." Using skin colour as a proxy tool for the assessment of criminal intentions is an inaccurate assessment. Based on the commonly perceived notions, then all black men walking down the street could be considered muggers. The idea that a young black man is more likely to be a mugger than a young white man is a misplaced notion. The use of superficial characteristics to describe a character is an inaccurate approach in the study of social behaviour.
Affirmative action and racial Profiling are the same thing. Affirmative action refers to policies that take into account an individual's colour, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, among other social differences to support members of these disadvantaged groups. On the other hand, racial Profiling refers to the suspicion that individuals have committed a crime based on their colour and race orientation. To be able to effectively address the vice of racial based discrimination and segregation, there is a necessity to come up with policies that promote and enhance equality. While affirmative action may be an alternative option towards the easing of the day-to-day challenges that a majority of the minority communities experience, it is in one way or another enhancing the spread of racism and racial Profiling. If all individuals are equal in the eyes of the law, why should a particular group be entitled to "favours" through policies such as affirmative action? Every individual should be tried in a fair and just way before a court of law and similar court processes applied to all individuals in the determination of the presence or absence of guilt.
The concept of affirmative action and racial Profiling are contradictory in their approaches. While the supporters of affirmative action say that it is wrong for a person to be arrested, promoted or treated as a suspect based on their colour or race, they also say that it is okay for race to be one of the factors when deciding on an assortment of issues. This is not only contradictory but also absurd. The current racial profiling controversy is based on a variety of factors. There is a group of liberalists who are against this practice by all means, and a group of conservatives are trying to sanitize one side of the vice to still benefit a minority group in light that they are disadvantaged systemically.
According to governor Whitman’s quote in the New York Times magazine, he stated that “Profiling means a police officer using cumulative knowledge and training to identify certain indicators of possible criminal activity (Brus, 2020). The race may be one of those factors, but it cannot stand alone (Brus, 2020).” This, therefore, calls for accountability, professional conduct, among other indicators of professional behavior that are aimed at achieving the end goal of peace, justice and fair treatment for all, under the law. An affirmative action is an approach that is only aimed at cultivating grounds for racism on a much longer duration basis.
Reflection and conclusion
In the Ted talk by Jonas Gahr Store, the Norwegian minister for foreign affairs, he observes that there is a huge deficit in political dialogue. Nations have been significantly affected by the lack of this dialogue where the “with us or against us” policy has been adopted. This is a huge deficit in understanding the concept of modern conflict. Military power to curb crisis in a nation is not the most suitable approach to solving the underlying problems. Instead, a political solution is required for the above challenge. For instance, he gives an example of the war in Afghanistan and sys despite the military intervention, political dialogue is essential, and the people are included in the resolving these conflicts. Diplomacy, i.e. through engaging with civil societies, will be essential in attaining the much-desired change (Støre, 2020).
On the concept of racial Profiling and affirmative action as addressed in "Proxy Wars," political dialogue plays a huge role in both plays and civil societies. It is up to the government and political leaders to develop policies that provide fair and equal treatment for the people. While affirmative action may be aimed at providing rescue to individuals afflicted by injustices such as racism and ethnic discrimination, the policies do not come with a solution to eradicate these vices and conflicts. Such an approach fails in the sense that it does not provide a sustainable solution to the underlying problem. It only masks the severity of the challenge but largely leaves the main issues unaddressed. However, the racial profiling issue, as addressed by Governor Whitman, proposes a solutions-oriented approach that can be applied in the racial profiling challenge solution. With the ongoing demonstrations across the 50 states in America, it is time that we addressed the racial challenges and acknowledges the fact that minority rights must be respected too (Støre, 2020).
Brus, Michael. "Proxy War." Slate Magazine, 2020, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1999/07/proxy-war.html.
Støre, Jonas. "In Defense Of Dialogue." Ted.Com, 2020, https://www.ted.com/talks/jonas_gahr_store_in_defense_of_dialogue?language=en#t-885468.
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