Ethnic Profiling

Ethnic profiling is the act of suspecting or targeting a person of a certain race based on a stereotype about their race.

You hear about it from time to time. A person gets pulled over by the cops because they think he/she has stolen the car. Just by looking at the colour of a person’s skin, the police decides if the driver is a criminal.  These cops depend someone’s personality on stereotypes. The existence of ethnic profiling dates back to slavery. In 1693, Philadelphia’s court officials gave police legal authority to stop and imprison any black person (freed or enslaved) seen wandering in and around on the streets. This continued through the Jim Crow era and now in the twenty-first century. Racial profiling has been acknowledged to be occuring across cities in the U.S.

A lot of people tend to judge others by stereotypes. But just because someone is Arab doesn’t mean he is about to blow up the local bus station. A lot of the people who are targeted by this are minorities. Most cases of ethnic profiling involve the police. Because for some weird reason cops seem to judge people more on their race than others. But is profiling legal? Police powers to stop and search vary from place to place. But profiling constitutes illegal discrimination under U.S., European, and international law. Ruud Bik, head of the National Police, says: “Ethnic Profiling by police is wrong and unprofessional, but it happens unconsciously and unintentionally. A study from the investigation program, Police & Science, proves that police lets skin colour help them with making decisions.  According to the scientists there is no evidence of racism and is against the police being racist.

But not only police are guilty of ethnic profiling, also just the regular people do it. For instance, if something has been stolen in class, the black kid would’ve probably done it. If the math teacher there were a few really high grades, the Asian kids must have those grades. The German boy is probably a nazi and the Russian girl wants to introduce communism again. Studies have proven that not only white people, but all races are guilty of ethnic profiling. Everybody has an opinion about the other person’s race. But it’s not only races that are being profiled, also looks and opinions. The girl with coloured hair must be looking for attention and the kid who listens to metal worships the devil.

I think this a really bad thing from our society. We judge everything and everyone by how it looks, acts etc. I know I’ve done it at some point of my life, and I know probably everyone is a bit guilty of ethnic profiling. A lot of the things we profiled have been shaped by events and things that happened in our lives. We must stop ethnic profiling and stereotypes. And I think that the only way is to create new, but good and nice stereotypes. I also agree with Ruud Bik, ethnic profiling happens unintentionally and you’re most of the time not aware you do it. In order to solve this we must pay more attention to the things we say and think.

Ward Beerens




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