Racial Profiling (Participation 10 EXTRA points added to OVERALL participation grade)

Published October 21, 2014 by djlwsu

Please watch these many videos (several are ones that we watched today) – and then connect those videos to course readings, institutional processes, stereotypes, the “side effects of profiling,” privilege, etc. What does it reveal about the connection between profiling and stereotypes These videos have to be read alongside of studies, including the following:

  • Briggs study: “Black and Latino drivers were significantly more likely to be searched, ticketed and arrested than white drivers when stopped by police; Found the differences b/t men and women aren’t cross-racial. White women were most likely to receive a perceived benefit in a traffic stop, such as receiving only a warning or no outcome at all. Briggs also studied the race of police officers during traffic stops. He found that officer race does not appear to have a significant effect on the outcome of the traffic stop.”
  • Charleston hospotal illegally tested women for drug use through the umbilical cord – 29/30 women were African American (the one white women was arrested to a black man – a fact noted on her medical record)
  • Blacks are 5 times more likely than whites to be stopped on the NJ Turnpike (15 percent of drivers but racial minorities constitute 42 percent of stops and 73 percent of all arrests are of black motorists
  • The Colorado Sheriff in Eagle County ordered its deputies to stop all black and Latino motorists with CA license plates driving through the state
  • On Interstate 95 in Maryland, African Americans reflected 17% of drivers, but accounted for 70% of those stopped and searched by the police (racial minorities: 21 percent of drivers but 80 of drivers searched)
  • Black women =20 times more likely than white women to be searched by U.S. Customs
  • According to the GAO, among United States citizens, black women were nine times more likely than white women to be X-rayed after being frisked or patted down. >>>>> 1/2 as likely to be found carrying contraband as white women.
  • IN NY, African Americans six times more likely to be stopped and frisked even though less likely to result in arrest (guns found 2.5/100 stops
  • You can also read more about racial profiling here, which pushes us beyond the focus on individuals, the focus on singular cases, that focuses on intent, that searches for other explanation-http://www.civilrights.org/publications/reports/racial-profiling2011/the-reality-of-racial.html

This will add 10 POINTS to your overall participation grade – last day to participate Nov 1


4 comments on “Racial Profiling (Participation 10 EXTRA points added to OVERALL participation grade)

  • Javon Johnsons speech about young black boys and the cops really sets the topic for all of these videos. He talks about how it is horrible that at such a young age, his nephew is scared of the cops and fears that they’ll be “mean”. It is horrible that black people are discriminated against even to this day. In the video “white and black teens vandalize cars” one of the black boys family had the cops called on them for sleeping in a car while a group of white boys went and spray painted a random car in the same parking lot. Or when the video “black guy robs a liquor store” the clerk was very nice and helpful to the white man in a hoody and gave him a deal on chips, but when the black man went into the same liquor store wearing the exact same hoody he was threatened and told to either “buy something or leave” in a harsh tone. When the black guy tried to rob a car in the middle of town the cops showed up with guns in no more than two minutes, when the white man did it, a cop drove by and didn’t do anything. The punishment for being black is unrealistic and incredibly racist. Color is not an excuse for reasonable doubt. Racism also takes judgment when the white man was trying to steal a bike in broad day light. People just walked right on by, a few turned their heads and questioned what was going on but the majority didn’t choose to get involved. When the black man tried to steal the bike he was instantly questioned and had the cops called on him. A phycology professor even said so himself that whites are associated with good and blacks are associated with crime. Rashid is a prime example of what the phycology professor was talking about, whenever he went shopping a white women attendant would follow him and keep an eye on his every move. He wasn’t doing anything bad or trying to cause trouble, he was just shopping. But because he was black he was followed around and checked on by suspicious white clerks. Javon Johnson sums up the messages in all these videos by talking about how all black boys pretty much learn to hide from the cops before they learn how to read. Black boys are treated as problems way before they are treated as people. Our world today forces black boys to become men earlier on due to the, not always intended, racist views of blacks committing crimes in our society.


  • In class the video that really grabbed my attention and got me to realize, wow there is so much racial profiling still going on in our era was the video from Javon Johnson “cuz he’s black.” I am a male hispanic student and I felt a strong connection with Javon and how he felt outraged by the mere fact that he had to educate his 4-year old nephew on how to “Act” around the law enforcement because if he doesn’t he is going to be in big trouble and as well as to not be afraid of the police officer. Why would a 4 year old feel scared of a police officer at such a young stage in their lives? Especially if they don’t have any first hand experiences with the law. It goes back to racial profiling, discrimination and how blacks are told to hide from the cops and that their survival depends on his ability to deal with authorities. What gets me really outraged just as I feel gets Javon as outraged is that his nephew loses his privilege of enjoying his childhood in a care free manner like other kids his age do, but in different ethnic groups more specifically in comparison to a while 4 year old. As a hispanic I grew up with the fear that at any given time my “undocumented” parents could be arrested and immigrated back to their homeland. Their privilege of living care free without having to feel scared that their privilege of walking down the street or going into a specific store for instance Safeway could turn into an unpleasant trip.
    In the online reading “ Why is the N.Y.P.D after me this 14 year old black male was told by his mother not to panic if a police officer stopped him. I’m sure this teenager was unsure as to why his mother would be giving him such advice but the mom on the other hand knew exactly why to give him such advice. She was well aware of what her son was soon to undergo in his day to day life and all because he was black. She knew he was 3.73 times more likely to get arrested than a white person like it was mention in lecture. I strongly disagree with the way she gave him the advice and after being frisked countless times he let himself be another victim of racial profiling. We need to educate our young like Javon said is his video in a different matter. We need to prepare them to learn how to deal with these discriminative encounters that they are unfortunately proned to having with the law enforcement. We need to teach them their rights!


  • Javon Johnson’s video and the “Racial profiling experiment” video were a strong message that really got to me emotionally. In general the class lecture that we had on the day Javon’s video was showed really made me think some things through. First of all, it is a real shame to see the way the police acts around the actors of color. Or take for example the way children of color are being born into this way of life. The police should always serve the people they should not pick favorites in any way. In “Racial profiling experiment” I was so touched emotionally when I saw the way the two young men were treated. There was no need for the police officer to be that aggressive. On top of that the officer clearly said ‘Why are you dressed like that?!” as if it was a crime or a threat for the two young boys to be dressed in their cultural clothing. It was really disappointing to see police officers degrade individuals for the way they appear. Everyone is made different and its upsetting that the color of an individuals skin can define the way the police will treat you or perceive you. This makes me think about an article we read in high school that had to do with the way people of color will respond to calling the police. When they are in trouble or need help they are hesitant to reach for the police because of the way the police treat Blacks, Latinos or people of color in general. It is clear in both assumptions and by hard facts that police are more willing to help out a white man or woman vs. black individuals. Racial profiling needs to stop, having other people be prejudice against people of color is one thing but for law enforcers to be that way is taking this to another level. Neither are nor should be acceptable.


  • The video of the poetry slam where Javon Johnson shares the story of his nephew is moving and really opened my eyes to how real racial profiling and fear of police is to people of color. Being a white female I rarely, most likely never feel the things that the people in the videos experiences (except for maybe people would help me steal a bike like the woman in the fifth video). The amount of racial profiling that goes on in America is ridiculous. Like in the seventh video the man said something along the lines of “America is supposed to be a place where you can walk freely and not be treated poorly because of the color of your skin, It is supposed to be a land of equality and new beginnings,” I agree with him, it should be but in todays world people are too skeptical of others and are often to quick to judge by appearance. This way of life that people of color have to adapt to is not fair. Like in another video that we watched in class and also a reading a woman explained to her child to put his hands up if a police officer is questioning him, this is a sad reality that most young colored children have to learn and it is sad that they learn it at such a young age. Knowing to put your hands up if you are approached by a police officer is a sad reality and it leads back to Javon’s nephew who says to hide because he sees the police. His nephew asks “what if the police officer is mean?” In many of the videos, when the police officer was talking with a person of color they were short tempered and harsher than if it was with a white person. This is another example of stereotyping a person on if they may be violent or not, in this case expecting the people of color to be more violent then a person of color. These videos should most definitely be eye opening to police officers and other law enforcement workers because all people should be treated the same.


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