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 researchers’ feel that many of us unconscientiously stereotype and profile without even knowing and that our rearing traditions have also contributed to this way of thinking. Profiling can be implemented by different approaches such as racial profiling, facial profiling even as simple as individual or group profiling. Stereotyping and profiling can affect anyone, rich or poor, black or white, famous or ordinary, and does not consider any age or gender. Humiliation and degradation will come about within each person. As a nation, changes are needed on how we view and accept one another; teach our children the effects of this behavior at home and school, and stress to our government to undertake ways to establish effective means of profiling for security measures that will not violate constitutional and human rights.
Our nation is comprised of various people that are distinctive as far as to their race, religion, ethnic background, and traditions. Our forefathers established what we know as our existence, freedom, and happiness. Being unique is what makes us, as Americans, a dignified nation. We are taught from childhood through our adult lives, to honor, love, be of integrity and respect one other as we would want them do unto us. 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