Skip to Main Content

Racial Profiling

About Racial Profiling

News conference in BaltimoreRacial profiling occurs when individuals are suspected of acting with criminal intent due to stereotypes or assumptions related to their race, ethnic background, country of origin, or religion. Because racial profiling in the United States disproportionately targets people of color, the practice has been linked to waning trust of law enforcement among communities of color. Though racial profiling most commonly refers to undue suspicion applied by law enforcement officers, complaints have been lodged against educators, retail personnel, and others in positions of power who have acted under the assumption that students, customers, or bystanders pose a threat because of racial or ethnic factors. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Is racial profiling justifiable? Is it justifiable in certain circumstances?
  • What are the causes and consequences of racial profiling?
  • Other than law enforcement, discuss other instances where racial profiling is prevalent.
  • What is the government's stance on racial profiling?
  • Discuss the immigration law and how it impacts racial profiling.
  • How did the attacks on September 11, 2001 affect racial profiling?