Stereotyping in Action

Stereotyping in Action - Whites are more likely to be found...

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Stereotyping in Action: Racial Profiling Racial profiling is any police-initiated action based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than person’s behavior. Generally, profiling occurs when law enforcement officials, including custom’s officials, airport security, and police assume that people fitting certain descriptions are likely to be engaged in something illegal. • This profiling can be a very explicit use of stereotypes. For example, the federal anti-drug initiative Operation Pipeline specifically encouraged officers to look for people with dreadlocks or for Latino men traveling together. • On the New Jersey Turnpike, African Americans accounted for 17 percent of the motorists but 80 percent of those pulled over by the police. • The reliance on racial profiling persists despite overwhelming evidence that it is misleading.
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Unformatted text preview: Whites are more likely to be found with drugs in the areas where minority group members are disproportionately targeted. Nationwide, 80 percent of the country’s cocaine users are White, but law enforcement tactics concentrate on the inner-city drug trade. • There is a self-fulfilling nature to racial profiling. If overwhelmingly Blacks and Latinos are investigated, they will account for the majority of successful arrests. Data presented in 1999 indicated that Blacks constitute 13 percent of the country’s drug users, 37 percent of those arrested on drug charges, 55 percent of those convicted, and 74 percent of all drug offenders sentenced to prison....
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