How the George Zimmerman Case Brought Racial Profiling to the Forefront
Amid the turmoil and backlash of the results of the George Zimmerman trial, racial profiling is once again at the forefront of public debate. This is not a new issue, but has become more divisive than ever. Does racial profiling exist? Most definitely! Is it justified? This is the issue at the core of the debate. No one wants to be the subject of racial profiling, no matter what race they are. And yet, it exists in every layer and race of our society. Whites are profiled as being racist against blacks, blacks are profiled as being criminals, and Hispanics are profiled as being illegal. Let's look at the facts behind these stereotypes.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, blacks are 4-7 times more likely to be convicted of a crime. At the same time, blacks are also four times more likely to be a victim of a crime committed by a black person. A result of this statistic is, right or wrong, blacks are more likely to be stereotyped as being a criminal. Foreign countries such as the UK and Japan also issue travel warnings for high crime rate areas in the United States, which include travel into inner cities where the black population is high.
Hispanics are also stereotyped, with many people assuming that if a person is of Hispanic descent, they are in the United States illegally. Even the United States government participates in this stereotyping. Notice how the heading is worded for table 12 in the above referenced BOJ report: "Percent of crimes reported to the police, by gender, race, and Hispanic origin, 2009." They are mentioned specifically in reports, Census Bureau statistics and surveys, even though "race" is already a category. This is a form of stereotyping which the government has participated in for the last decade or so. However, 58% of illegals in the United States are Mexican, and 78% of all illegals are Hispanic. These facts have lead to the stereotyping that all Hispanics and Mexicans are illegal.
Whites are stereotyped as being "racist." This has a historic foundation in fact. Who belongs to the KKK and other supremacy groups? White America has had a record of 150 years of official racism, only ending with government recognition of separatism and its affiliated laws as denying those of other races the right and privilege of sharing the exact same opportunities and advantages as the rest of the population, and being against the intent and wording of the Constitution.
Was racial profiling present in George Zimmerman's mind? In my opinion; absolutely. Was it justified? Maybe-a recent rash of crimes within the neighborhood all involved young black men according to the reports. This would lead one to believe that he would be on the lookout for those fitting the profile. If the crimes had been committed by Hispanic youth, one would hope he would have been profiling Hispanics.
But one of the backlashes of this whole thing is it has become "black against white." This confuses me. Zimmerman is not white, he is Hispanic. So why the recent "anti-white" outrage? I can understand the desperate desire by the law-abiding black community to end racial profiling. But this is also a two-way street. All groups wish an end to racial profiling, not just the black community. The white community wishes they weren't seen as racist. The Hispanic community wishes they weren't all perceived as illegals.
It is my wish and many others out there, that some day when a person is asked their race the answer will be the "Human Race." Ultimately, this is all that matters. Ask any child-they will tell you. It seems they have much more common sense on this issue than adults have, as well as lessons to teach. Just sit at the playground in a mixed community and watch them play together ... and learn from the children.