Stereotyping and Profiling – The Negative Effect on Society
Glenn A Smith
This essay shows the negative effects society encounters from stereotyping and profiling and some solutions to how, we as a nation, can overcome this plague. Stereotyping is the act of making an assumption or generalization of a particular person or group of persons based on misconceptions usually extending to how they might act or what they represent or just categorizing these people and groups as to what they are like. Profiling is the process in which we base information on a person or group from past knowledge of their traits or actions. Some ...view middle of the document...
Whether we realize it or not, we stereotype and profile people everyday, thou we may not consider it to be demeaning or adverse, we have arisen to the nature of being on both the obtaining and philanthropic end of stereotyping or profile. The differences that we see in others and as a nation value and honor this trait, are creating many misconceptions and delusions by stereotyping and profiling people or groups due to their sex, social class, gender, race, or even looks. Through the realm of wars, segregation and discrimination this country endured over the centuries, one would think that this nation has matured to a level that this behavioral action would not be so evident.
Stereotyping, according to Oxford Dictionary, is “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing” (2013) and The Merriam-Webster Dictionary “something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially: a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment”. (2013) Profiling is another form of stereotyping. In today’s society, we term this action also as “racial profiling” or conferring again to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary “the act or process of extrapolating information about a person based on known traits or tendencies <consumer profiling>; specifically: the act of suspecting or targeting a person on the basis of observed characteristics or behavior <racial profiling>”. (2013)
There are many issues where these two particular actions have been subjected to individuals and the results have been shown to have violated that person’s rights as well as their dignity. Law enforcement has been exercising the right to profile individuals ever since Arizona passed the measure, which was signed into law in 2010 and advocated by the U.S. Supreme, to suppress illegal immigration because the state of Arizona felt that the government was not acting diligently to secure the Mexico boarder. Many law enforcement agencies around the country have accepted this means of practice and have stressed to the public that detainments would be free from any unjust racial profiling.
This was not so true for an adolescent “black” teenager from Queens, New York. In April of 2013, Trayon Christian, 19 years old, went into a well-known store on Madison Avenue to purchase a high-end designer belt. Before he could get only a few blocks away, he was stopped, arrested, and taken to the precinct for further questioning. Christian told the police that he has been working a part-time job and saved his money for months to finally be able to purchase this item. Racial profiling began at the Madison Avenue store, where the clerk, asked for identification, rang up the sale and handed the adolescent man his receipt and proceeded to contact the police saying that this individual, of his age, could not have that...