Essay Racial Profiling and the African American Male

1801 Words May 14th, 2012 8 Pages
Racial Profiling and Male African Americans
Tanika Williams
SOC/120
March 4, 2012
Renisha Gibbs

Racial Profiling and Male African Americans
What comes to your mind when you think of an interaction an authoritative figure (police, teacher, principal)? In the African American community it is usually fear and anxiety of the motive of the authoritative figure, especially if you are a male. The intersection of race and gender for the African American male provides a basis for premature judgment by many authoritative figures in their lives. African American males deserve the same equality to succeed in life as any other human being without the threat of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t moniker that defines the functional ability
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A criminal history for many AAM’s begins as early as childhood as the inequalities experienced in grade school follow them through life.
The lack of equality for the AAM does not stop in grade school. There is a direct correlation between the failure of AAM’s to obtain quality education and their over representation within the judicial system (Weatherspoon, 2006). It trickles into the adult life of AAM’s as they are profiled, stopped, arrested, prosecuted, sentenced, incarcerated, and placed on death row at a disproportionate rate. As inequality manifests to follow them into adulthood these inequalities ultimately result in a limited ability to function productively in society further fueling the misconceptions placed on the AAM. Upon entrance into the judicial system the basic foundation of productive living (voting, employment, or qualifying for educational assistance as well as many other aspects that rely upon criminal background to determine worth) becomes a part of the social restriction placed upon them, further exacerbating stereotyping and profiling by ensuring it perceived validity in the eyes of the perpetrators. In a study of racial profiling Fridell (2001) found that 60% of the 1,087 police chiefs surveyed do not think racial profiling is a problem, whereas a survey of the African American community produced results indicating they feel they will be automatically deemed involved in the presence of authority. This is sentiment is reinforced

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