Dear Future President,
Imagine you’re in an elevator, alone. Suddenly, the elevator stops, the doors slide open, and an African American man steps inside. If you’re a woman, you instinctively clutch your purse tighter, and you crush yourself against a corner of the small cubicle, trying to stay as far away from him as possible. If you’re a man, a guarded look crosses your face as you look straight ahead, being careful not to unintentionally challenge him. Much to your surprise, the man turns your way and says, “Good morning,” and flashes you a toothy white smile, ignoring your callous reactions and his wounded feelings. Many people blame the police for all racial profiling that occurs in the United States; they are not aware that they are criminals of this injustice as well. People may not be aware of this, but this is a popular example of racial profiling.
According to statistics provided by the LA Times, approximately 34% more black people are stopped by the police due to suspicions of criminal activity than white people. What does this say about our society? When we hear that a crime has been committed, our minds go directly to the minorities. Latinos, blacks, Muslims, etc. Apparently, white people are the most innocent and superior race that you will ever come across. However, the same source states that blacks are 42% less likely to be found with a weapon than whites and 23% less likely to be found with drugs.
Trayvon Martin was just one of the millions of helpless victims of racial profiling. The policeman who assaulted him claimed that he held a gun; however, when he was close enough, it was obvious that he was not carrying a weapon of any kind. Nonetheless, before it was discovered that he was innocent, he was shot and killed. This is another prime example of racial profiling. Without even knowing his intentions, George Zimmerman speculated that he had a gun in his hand and that he was out looking for trouble, when in reality, he was just strolling the neighborhood.
African Americans aren’t the only victims to racial profiling. Muslims and Latinos are also part of this fiasco. Latinos are always perceived as drug addicts and dealers, as well as rapists, even though there have only been a few proven cases of this. They are otherwise the foundation of our agriculture in the state of California. Without their intense work and labor, our agriculture would not be as fresh and ripe as it is in every supermarket as of now. The produce will begin to come in at a slower pace, with less workers that have less experience. Muslims are always blamed for shootings and terrorist attacks, but this is based on the 9/11 attack. Before September 11, 2001, Muslims were like everyone else, maybe with a few differences in their physical appearance.
Let’s look at the other side of our hypothetical situation. You are a black man, and you are waiting for an elevator to take you up to your apartment after a long day at work, and your kids and wife are waiting to have dinner with you at home. The doors of the elevator slowly glide open, and you see a white woman with her little girl standing in the center of the small cubicle. Your heart clenches as you see the woman pick up her child and scoot backwards toward the corner, and you hear her gulp as she tries to play off her reaction. You turn to her, covering up your dejected feelings, and give her a smile. When you say “Good night” as you get off, you see her grip loosen on her child and you hear a relieved sigh as you walk away.
Just as everyone else, these people who are part of the minorities have a family and a job and a normal life. In reality, no one is much different from one another; we all just want to take care of our family and live a good life. Besides the physical appearance and the cultural differences, everyone is exactly the same. Minorities should receive the same basic rights as everyone else, especially in the Land of the Free. That is what America is nicknamed, right? Some people can get confused of this due to this problem of racial profiling, which is a sign that it should be abolished at once.